sprondel Posted March 28, 2009 Share Posted March 28, 2009 The question was raised in the GDB topic, but gained quite some momentum of its own, so let me start a spin-off topic here. Malcolm Kemp asked: "... but I still find that Walcha and Heiller inspire me in a way that van Oortmerrson and Koopman do not. Perhaps I am just getting old. What do others think?" As for Koopman, he just raises my blood pressure to dangerous levels, even in his recordings – something quite remarkable in its own right –, so that I have to stop listening after a short while. I decided not to listen to him any more. Jacques van Ootmerssen's recent Bach recordings I found very good – well-chosen tempi, nicely breathing phrasing, noble articulation, and a true sense for the respective organs and their sounds. About Walcha, I find it remarkable how every voice sings, and how he never disturbs the grand pace of the music. I needed some time, however, to discover these qualities in the recordings, because they are the opposite of spectacular – you need to open your ears wide and to join into the singing. As regards registration and articulation, the recordings avoid extremes of any kind – as long as you regard a playing based on seamless legato not an extreme, that is. Another player I found quite compelling is Leonid Roizman, teacher of most Russian organists touring the globe today. His 1960 Bach recordings are currently reissued on CD (Melodia), one by one. They were taken on the Cavaillé-Coll-Mutin organ of Moscow conservatory (the one you see on all the Horovitz Covers). The playing is flawless, majestic and overwhelmingly disciplined. By going at very steady paces and using incredibly long-reaching phrasing, he manages to build up even the longest pieces – the F Major toccata, the Passacaglia – as large units. These recordings are definitely worth listening to. I had to review them together with Jacques van Ootmerssen's, and found them not as distant from each other as one might expect. Best, Friedrich Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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