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Complete Bach


Peter Allison
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There are thousands! It depends on player, building, organ, record label and price. There is a really cheap set going for about £40 played various Swedish organs by Hans Fagius on the Brilliant Classics label, available at Amazon. Hyperion have recorded a completed series played by Christopher Herrick, on various and rather nice Metzler organs in Switzerland. Not to mention some recordings by Jacques Van Oortmerssen. There is also a good set by Kevin Bowyer on the Nimbus label too. These are just a handful, but it should point you in the right direction.

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Guest Roffensis

EMI has a good boxed set, on HMV by Werner Jacob, all on period organs and with relevant temperament, and these are really excellent. There is nothing mechanical about the playing, and performances are without the rubato of some. The other set I have is Wolfgang Stockmeier, also on period organs. Both these sets are good, and the latter is particularly good for the student and every note is crystal clear and measured. Articulation is spot on.

The Herricks are also good, but in a modern sort of way, and the organs frankly not up to much, not to my ears. Too "classical" in a 1960s sort of way.

All best,

Richard

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Hi all :lol:  I am thinking about getting a complete bach (organ) set. Any ideas and coments as to which one would be grateful, modern or old skool, artists, organ  etc

thanks

Peter

 

Of the zillions now available, Preston on DG is splendid but pricey and the earlier DG mono Helmut Walcha is rather a landmark...

 

... but I spent my money on the Hurford and Herrick boxes. They contrast very well and both are good vfm. Sound on the Herrick recording is splendid. His playing seems to me to be well-matched to the particular style of each set of works, and especially tuned to external influences. The trio sonatas disc is a desert-island job.

 

Having spent a couple of years running CD outlets, I found these two sets took the most repeated listening. Others will disagree, and as ever these things are utterly subjective.

 

Hope this helps a little!

 

Matthew.

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Hi all :lol:  I am thinking about getting a complete bach (organ) set. Any ideas and coments as to which one would be grateful, modern or old skool, artists, organ  etc

thanks

Peter

 

The Preston complete Bach is currently available on eBay - opening bid £34. Shown as new and sealed. Have a look at

 

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Bach-Organ-Works-14C...1QQcmdZViewItem

 

Hope this helps.

 

Graham

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Many thanks for the info people, I rang a friend, and he is putting a cd together of bwv529 and bwv 542 played by Herrick, Hurford and a few more and leaving me to decide. He says the Walcha is marvelous for the year

thanks

Peter

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I hope your friend included at least one example of the work of Lionel Rogg, a name I thought conspicuous by its absence from the cornucopia of worthy suggestions provided, but perhaps he has fallen from favour. Also there are the Naxos recordings of Wolgang Rubsam, though my personal opinion is that these are a step back from the LP Boxed set which he recorded for Phillips .

 

Brian Childs

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Guest Roffensis

Naxos recordings of Wolgang Rubsam,

 

 

Or should that be Rubato :lol: , of which there is too much to my mind? Once your attention is drawn to it (almost immediately) it becomes very irritating, like constantly changing gear in the car!

All best,

R

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I've got some of the Rubsam - often they're quite nice (chorale preludes). Also got Rogg (v academic), Hurford (great fun - all those squeaky instruments), the bits that Weir has done (v nice indeed) and Bowyer, probably overall my favourite for fairly contemporary & moderate common-sense scholarship & gentle musicality.

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I've got some of the Rubsam - often they're quite nice (chorale preludes).  Also got Rogg (v academic), Hurford (great fun - all those squeaky instruments), the bits that Weir has done (v nice indeed) and Bowyer, probably overall my favourite for fairly contemporary & moderate common-sense scholarship & gentle musicality.

 

 

I agree with the comments quoted about the virtues of Kevin Bowyer's performances BUT I cannot help feeling it might have been wiser either to vary the instruments a bit or else go for one that was rather larger than the one actually used (nice though it is), simply for the sake of increasing the possibilities for registrational variety without being forced to be different for the sake of it. Especially since this was such a VERY COMPLETE complete set incorporating a considerable amount that other "complete sets" do not. That of course is a relevant issue to be factored into the ultimate choice. Just how complete do you want to be ? Will it be enough to have only the established core or is it desirable to have everything that is possibly by , or has ever been attributed to, JSB along with the works about which there is a pretty broad consensus as to authenticity ?

 

Brian Childs

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You could also try the Ton Koopman recordings - very sharp, crips, harsh maybe, lots of trills, I've had it with his style of organplaying but you might like it ...

 

======================

 

 

Ton Koopman fascinates me when I'm not climbing up a wall!

 

I went to a live performance of his some years ago in Holland, and for the Buxtehude, I was gratefully walking on air. For the Bach, I wanted to stone him to death.

 

He's certainly never predictable, but at least, one doesn't fall asleep at his concerts.

 

MM

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I've got some of the Rubsam - often they're quite nice (chorale preludes).  Also got Rogg (v academic), Hurford (great fun - all those squeaky instruments), the bits that Weir has done (v nice indeed) and Bowyer, probably overall my favourite for fairly contemporary & moderate common-sense scholarship & gentle musicality.

 

Peter Hurford seems to have changed his mind about squeaky instruments.

 

He gave a lecture at the St Albans Festival in 2003 at which he rather rubbished (some of) his recordings, saying they "did nothing for the music", and particularly criticising his use of high-pitched stops. He played a number of his recordings in order to tell us how dreadful they were. Many of those present were rather shocked, and could not agree with him.

 

I seem to be on my third set now. I bought Chapuis in the 70's, Hurford in the 80's and recently Bowyer.

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Fashions are subjected to change...

 

It might be interesting to read the Naumburg's Hildebrandt disposition

again:

 

http://www.euleorgelbau.de/rnaumb.htm

 

Soooooo far away from neo-baroque designs!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

Try Robert Clark playing Bach here on Calcante CAL CD041 (recorded in 2001) - amazing!!

 

AJJ

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Try Robert Clark playing Bach here on Calcante CAL CD041 (recorded in 2001) - amazing!!

 

AJJ

 

 

I agree, Clark's disc is quite stunning: intelligent, musical playing and a quite magnificent recorded sound.

 

St Wenzel, Naumburg must be surely be ultimate Bach organ, not least because JSB almost certainly had a hand in its design and inaugurated the instrument himself in five days of junketing and festivities in September 1746.

 

The sound is a true Thuringian sound, rich and full - a far cry from the brittle North German organ so often favoured for Bach, and yet differentiated from the French-influenced work of Gottfried Silbermann who was also active in this part of Germany.

 

The specification includes all of JSB's favoured stops - strings (Viola di Gamba, Fugara), Sexquialter, Fagott, varied families of flutes, rich principal choruses and wondrously fundamental wooden Posaunen 32 & 16. And not forgetting a gorgeous principal-scaled Unda Maris on the Oberwerk, which floats sensuously around the lofty building. Eule's painstaking and scholarly reconstruction is amazing.

 

I had the privilege of playing this instrument earlier this year. A notice at the console asks players not to touch the (original) paper inserts in the stops handles as these "were once touched by JSB".

 

An unforgettably moving experience.

 

JS

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well, I did not realise there were that many JSB complete projects out there. Just having done a "search " for any complete boxed sets I was amazed who has done recordings. I did not realise that I had volumes 1 & 5 of Peter Hurford lurking away in my cd collection, so after dusting them off, I listened to a couple. They sound ok to my ears, I have always liked the Ratzeburg organ even though it a bit, "in your face" but a few 80's recordings were done fairly close. I am off to look at E Bay, to see what is on offer.

Peter

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well, I did not realise there were that many JSB complete projects out there.  Just having done a "search " for any complete boxed sets I was amazed who has done  recordings. I did not realise that I had volumes 1 & 5 of Peter Hurford lurking away in my cd collection, so after dusting them off, I listened to a couple. They sound ok to my ears, I have always liked the Ratzeburg organ even though it a bit, "in your face" but a few 80's recordings were done fairly close. I am off to look at E Bay, to see what is on offer.

Peter

 

That set is the nicest I have ever heard the New College instrument sound, as well. Isn't there one in Australia as well - can't remember who by?

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I bought Chapuis in the 70's, Hurford in the 80's and recently Bowyer.

 

 

Ah, the Chapuis set... my number one choice:

 

1) good choice of instruments

 

2) exciting playing

 

3) excellent sound quality

 

4) complete mini-scores too :)

 

 

 

Unfortunately, difficult to find on CD, (reissued on the Valois [spelling?] label)

 

 

-MAS

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