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Thread: Bach for organ

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    Senior Member Clouds Weep Snowflakes's Avatar
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    Default Bach for organ

    Any lovers here? I personally think they sound quite creepy-which is exacly why I love them; are there any horror movies that include Classical music? That could make for an interesting combination!

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    Senior Member SONNET CLV's Avatar
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    It's perhaps a bit unfortunate that one of the many many organ works of J.S. Bach is today so associated with horror films. Had that association never occurred we could maybe enjoy the piece from a different perspective today, as we generally do all the other Bach organ pieces which strike me as more "sacred" than "horrific" in tenor.

    I'm not a big fan of solo organ music, but I do have at least three sets of the complete Bach organ music in my collection and on occasion I will program a Bach solo organ concert, combing through the various works, always being startled anew by the music, which I also enjoy reading in score.

    The Bach solo organ music will never replace the Brandenburg Concerti or the Cantatas or the Passions and Masses or the Violin and Cello sonatas as Bach favorites in my listening room, but they will remain worthy diversions from time to time, as they long have been. And I'm glad Bach wrote that music. After all, one's least favorite Bach music is probably still more favored than most music by anybody else!

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    Senior Member Clouds Weep Snowflakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SONNET CLV View Post
    It's perhaps a bit unfortunate that one of the many many organ works of J.S. Bach is today so associated with horror films. Had that association never occurred we could maybe enjoy the piece from a different perspective today, as we generally do all the other Bach organ pieces which strike me as more "sacred" than "horrific" in tenor.

    I'm not a big fan of solo organ music, but I do have at least three sets of the complete Bach organ music in my collection and on occasion I will program a Bach solo organ concert, combing through the various works, always being startled anew by the music, which I also enjoy reading in score.

    The Bach solo organ music will never replace the Brandenburg Concerti or the Cantatas or the Passions and Masses or the Violin and Cello sonatas as Bach favorites in my listening room, but they will remain worthy diversions from time to time, as they long have been. And I'm glad Bach wrote that music. After all, one's least favorite Bach music is probably still more favored than most music by anybody else!
    So there is a piece from Bach that is used by a movie, horror or otherwise?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SONNET CLV View Post
    It's perhaps a bit unfortunate that one of the many many organ works of J.S. Bach is today so associated with horror films. Had that association never occurred we could maybe enjoy the piece from a different perspective today, as we generally do all the other Bach organ pieces which strike me as more "sacred" than "horrific" in tenor.

    I'm not a big fan of solo organ music, but I do have at least three sets of the complete Bach organ music in my collection and on occasion I will program a Bach solo organ concert, combing through the various works, always being startled anew by the music, which I also enjoy reading in score.

    The Bach solo organ music will never replace the Brandenburg Concerti or the Cantatas or the Passions and Masses or the Violin and Cello sonatas as Bach favorites in my listening room, but they will remain worthy diversions from time to time, as they long have been. And I'm glad Bach wrote that music. After all, one's least favorite Bach music is probably still more favored than most music by anybody else!
    I am very fortunate to be able to play the organ in a (small) chapel where the console is in front of a few paintings of Jesus.
    When playing the piece I think that you are mentioning it really does feels in fact "sacred" playing it when I play it, looking at the pictures of Jesus in front of me, there is nothing I can think except about holy devotion to god.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clouds Weep Snowflakes View Post
    So there is a piece from Bach that is used by a movie, horror or otherwise?
    Plenty, especially the famous toccata and fugue in D minor.

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    The d minor (above) is most famously played by Capt. Nemo aboard the Nautilus in Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
    Last edited by MarkW; Mar-20-2019 at 13:08.

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    Delve deeper into the organ works - they are among his best works, and certainly have earned a higher place than as creepy mood music.

    The Passacaglia in C Minor, BWV 582, is among my absolute favorites. Helmut Walcha is my go-to performer for these works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMike View Post
    Delve deeper into the organ works - they are among his best works, and certainly have earned a higher place than as creepy mood music.
    Agreed! The organ as horror show is a terrible and cheap cliche.

    Only in Bach my favourite is Ton Koopman and I recommend a listen to BWV 542, fantasy and fugue. I find it hard to give one favourite, as the entire Bach oeuvre is so wonderful.

    And if you can't listen to the heavier works without seeing vampires and ghosts, try a few of the many organ chorales.
    Last edited by NLAdriaan; Mar-20-2019 at 16:48.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clouds Weep Snowflakes View Post
    So there is a piece from Bach that is used by a movie, horror or otherwise?
    There is informed speculation, and possibly evidence, that the great Toccata and Fugue in D minor was originally composed with a solo stringed instrument in mind, probably the violin. In any case, arrangements for the solo violin are available. And ... they just don't seem so spooky.


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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Sometimes Bach’s organ works sound (to me at least) like he’s throwing out a challenge to himself with his choice of subject and then rising brilliantly to meet that challenge. Here’s his E-minor “Wedge” fugue from BWV 548, so named because – well – the main subject is shaped like a wedge.



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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SONNET CLV View Post
    The Bach solo organ music will never replace the Brandenburg Concerti or the Cantatas or the Passions and Masses or the Violin and Cello sonatas as Bach favorites in my listening room, but they will remain worthy diversions from time to time, as they long have been. And I'm glad Bach wrote that music. After all, one's least favorite Bach music is probably still more favored than most music by anybody else!
    Never say never. These could have been my words at one time. Now I listen to the organ stuff as much if not more - there's so much of it to hear, and it's not as tone-limited as the piano - harpsichord stuff, or even the string stuff. The variety of sound from an organ is hard to beat.

    Organs do lack certain forms of articulation, bite, percussiveness, that other instruments contribute to music, so a lot of listening becomes a bit like floating in space too long and losing your legs...
    Last edited by philoctetes; Mar-20-2019 at 19:35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SONNET CLV View Post
    The Bach solo organ music will never replace the Brandenburg Concerti or the Cantatas or the Passions and Masses or the Violin and Cello sonatas as Bach favorites in my listening room, but they will remain worthy diversions from time to time, as they long have been. And I'm glad Bach wrote that music. After all, one's least favorite Bach music is probably still more favored than most music by anybody else!
    Quote Originally Posted by philoctetes View Post
    Never say never. These could have been my words at one time. Now I listen to the organ stuff as much if not more - there's so much of it to hear....

    I hear you. But I stand by my comments, nonetheless. They are, after all, not at all derogatory towards J.S. Bach or his organ music. In fact, as a somewhat non-fan of organ music, I remain a fan of Bach's organ music. I occasionally delve into the organ works of other notable practitioners of that particular compositional art form (Widor, Vierne, César Franck, Messiaen, Hindemith ...) and have quite a collection of music for this instrument, including some fairly esoteric things from the contemporary compositional world, but Bach's organ works remain statistically my usual first choice when I wish to explore that genre.

    I do remain cautious about saying "never". After all, I have posted on this very site about my aversion as a youngster to Bach's choral music, especially the Cantatas, which today make up a large portion of my listening pleasure time, and I have collected several complete sets of the Cantatas, with a sense that one can never have enough of Bach's Cantatas. And there -- I've used that word "never" again. Shucks.

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    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the Orchestral Music forum?

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    Quote Originally Posted by drmdjones View Post
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the Orchestral Music forum?
    Yes, it is. This thread is on the wrong sub-forum, but don't let that stop you from posting here.

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    Senior Member Clouds Weep Snowflakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    Yes, it is. This thread is on the wrong sub-forum, but don't let that stop you from posting here.
    Can a mod please move it?
    Anyway, this one is really good, almost as it was taken from a horror movie:

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