John Sayer Posted August 16, 2010 Share Posted August 16, 2010 The Royal Albert Hall must have been at least 70% full for David Briggs's Bach Prom last Saturday. Those making a full Bach Day of it may only have come to fill the gap between the Complete Brandenburgs in the morning and the orchestral transcriptions in the evening, but, whatever the reason, it was a heartening sight to see the stalls, boxes and the central part of the gallery pretty well full, not to mention several hundred in the arena (incidentally probably the worst place to hear from, thanks to the impediment of the wretched orchestral canopy). The programme was a mix of original pieces and transcriptions, the two divided by a not-too-serious interview with DB himself. The Passacaglia gave us a big, classical plenum with all the Great mixtures (a tad relentless after a while) plus incisive pedal reed. In Wachet auf what sounded like a sprightly Choir Trumpet took the chorale melody. However, the true revelation came with the transcriptions, with registrations blowing dust out of long-unheard pipes and reaching parts of the organ other recitalists never seem to reach; delicate strings and flutes in Sheep may safely graze, massed Violes etc in Virgil Fox's incredibly lush arrangement of Süsser Tod and some Tuba pyrotechnics in DB's own realisation of Orchestral Suite No 3, served up with infectious energy and fun. All in all, the best £5 worth of organ music I've heard for a long time. JS Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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