The Organ Music of Bach

Discussion in 'Classical Music' started by Rodrigo de Sá, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dark castle
    The Alessio Corti 17-CD Gesamtaufnahme won't disappoint.

    Super digital sound, two OK modern Italian Tamburini organs, super player (Rogg's pupil and successor at Geneva conservatory).

    His Orgelbuchlein is particularly good.

    Probably the best digital set available. (For reference get the Walcha mono set, too.)

    just my 0,000000000000000002 cents.
     
    bat, Jun 8, 2004
    #41
    1. Advertisements

  2. Rodrigo de Sá

    GrahamN

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Suwway
    Damn - just missed a s/h copy (by a day or so - wasn't paying enough attention to my email) of the Rubsam/Philips integral for £40. So what characterises this Corti set? I would really have liked to hear the Rubsam set, as it sounds rather up my street - fairly lively and up-front. I did have a listen to the stereo Walcha set when I bought it on behalf of a friend - and found it really rather dry and sterile for my tastes. I do have a 2CD set from Koopman (the Warner Bach 2000 set) of the 'dubious' Bach pieces, concertos + arrangements, and think it really works for what is basically Vivaldi, but I suspect that approach would really not work in the more reflective pieces.
     
    GrahamN, Jun 8, 2004
    #42
    1. Advertisements

  3. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dark castle
    IMHO the Corti set has a killer sound and the artist is a virtuoso with good taste.
    It never irritates me. In fact, the more I listen to it the better it sounds.
    There are absolutely no wrong notes.
    His instruments are perhaps not great masterpieces but they are good enough.
     
    bat, Jun 11, 2004
    #43
  4. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dark castle
    But if someone is looking for a new relelatory way to play Bach, this isn't it. I think it's just well played. Besides, it includes the Art of Fugue (but omits the Neumeister chorales found in 1985).
     
    bat, Jun 11, 2004
    #44
  5. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dark castle
    If someone is interested, this is my current overall impression (which is probably incorrect and could change after more listening):

    Corti vs. Walcha:
    Corti: much better sound, better fingers
    Walcha: arguably more artistic vision, better instruments (mono version), better registrations

    I prefer Corti at least with headphones.
     
    bat, Jun 11, 2004
    #45
  6. Rodrigo de Sá

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lisbon
    I would be greatly surprised by that... Have you noticed how Walcha keeps his articulations exactly the same in whatever voice and however awkward the intervals? - he does it even in stretti when the two voices in question are taken by the same hand! That gives the impression of irregularity, but that is precisely what he wanted. If you listen partition in hand you will understand how and why he does it. Also, bear in mind that the Lübeck, Cappel and Alkmaar versions were captured in one take - no editing whatever - and that all of those keyboards are beast to manage: playing an old suspended action keyboard is a weird experience: it all trembles and shakes and the touch can be quite hard. Now with Tamburinis…

    Still I'm talking without having listened to Corti. The Tamburini organs don't sound that appealing to me, though...

    I'll now vanish into my internet non-existence.:eek:
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, Jun 14, 2004
    #46
  7. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dark castle
    Walcha is probably better but who wants to hear this music played always the same way? This is why we need alternatives to Walcha's set(s) and AC suits my (bad) taste well. He is a very neutral player without any gimmicks, and the music comes through nicely.

    Besides, some claim that Walcha's feet lag behind the manuals. I believe this is a complete misunderstanding?

    From Geneva AC got 1st price in virtuosity with distinction, so I think his technique should be OK.

    I insist that Tamburinis are good enough - I think it is music that should be the main emphasis here.

    If RdS returns before year 3000, I would like to ask him what is his opinion on Hurford's Bach recordings.

    Now back to my coffin.
     
    bat, Jun 14, 2004
    #47
  8. Rodrigo de Sá

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lisbon
    Hello Bat

    A direct question deserves a direct answer.

    Walcha's feet lag behind the manuals???

    That is a complete misunderstanding of how an organ works and of how pedals should be played.

    First, the very low notes (bottom 16 foot and all the 32 foot range) do lag behind the manuals, but that is just because the wind needs time to set the huge pipes into vibration. That will be true of ANY organ, and it is especially noticeable in the Alkmaar one. The effect is, to a certain extent, musical and one can exploit it. If you listen to a Cavaillé-Coll this effect is so pronounced it even affects the manual 8' principal: your left hand will seem to lag behind the right hand.

    Second, when a theme appears (in the pedals or elsewhere if it begins an important section) Walcha may delay its entry by some milliseconds. But then that is just agogics. If you criticize that you'll probably like a computer's rendering of music... Which of course you don't.

    Peter Hurford. I now very little about him. He published a very interesting (if also very technical book on Making Music on the Organ which I like. But I don't particularly like the results of his principles. Too monotonous, registration is unimaginative, tempi too dull and agogics close to absent.

    I've been thinking about Walcha for a long time now. I don't play the way he does. When I compare results I always find we had different things in mind when we studied the piece (I mean, before actually playing it). But I cannot but admire his results (and I don't mean technically: of course he is superior; I mean musically). Often they are absolutely marvelous. There are many pieces he recorded I think have never been bettered in recording.

    Finally, about his virtuosity. I once asked Harald Vogel what he though about Walcha. The answer was a very strange one, and I won't repeat it. But he said he though Walcha had 'a very strong sense of Bach' but 'the details are all wrong' (verbatim). He also said when one listens to Walcha's records one is witnessing organ playing at the very peak of virtuosity - he said (and Vogel is an extraordinary virtuoso himself) he never heard or saw anyone play with such an absolute control over the instrument.

    Did you know he was totally unrivalled (both musically and technically) when playing Max Reger (that's the Listz of the organ)?

    You only have to listen to a fugue played by him (take the 5th Counteroint from the Art of Fugue, or the big a minor one or the 'doric' from the Preludes and Fugues) or, if you prefer, to the triosonatas. It is unbelievable: every voice is shaped as he wants it to be, breathes, and has a life of itself.

    Now whoever tried to play a really difficult Bach fugue knows that is almost impossible - it requires you to know the music totally by heart and to concentrate on all the voices at the same time.

    Somehow Walcha managed it. As much as I like and respect Marie Claire Alain, she seems unable to do that; as is Koopman, Leonhardt (he comes very close) and everybody else I've heard.

    My relationship with Walcha is a difficult one. I don't completely like the way he plays, but cannot help acknowledging his genius (now I do hate this word: but in Walcha's case I am obliged to use it).

    I also think you must know the scores (and the difficulty of playing an organ) when you pass judgments on him.

    Sorry to be so abrupt, but when you face greatness you must acknowledge it.

    All the best
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, Jun 15, 2004
    #48
  9. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dark castle
    What a fantastic reply.
    Btw, on second thoughts avoid Corti - the Tamburinis are not the best organs in the world.
    Knud Vad records and a good subwoofer would make a nice combination.
     
    bat, Jul 21, 2004
    #49
  10. Rodrigo de Sá

    pe-zulu

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    1
    Walchas Bach

    As a newcomer to this site I have read your contributions
    with great interest, especially the devoted and informative letters from RdS.
    He quotes without further comment Harald Vogel for saying that "Walcha had a strong sense of Bach" but "all the details were wrong". I think some comments would be useful.
    My first encounter as a young boy with Bach was the Walcha 6th partita, which I remember as a quite extraordinary experience. In the meantime I got or heard
    almost all his recordings, so I know his style wery well.
    Walcha grew up in the shadow of the organ movement.
    This was a reaction against romanticism, and it told more about how not to interprete Bach than how to do it.
    So Walcha was in a sort of stylistic vacuum.
    From structural analysis of the scores and contemplation,
    as it seems to me, he created his own comprehensive Bachstyle, original, impressive. He was his own autonome authority, and made the choise to stay "uninformed" all his life, and this explains perhaps why the "details all were wrong".

    Tempo: Rather uniform tempo with really minimalistic agogics. Only some small ritardandi between the by him defined sections mostly in fugues and rather mannered in excecution. No trace of a retoric point of view. He probably newer wanted to hear about stylus phantasticus.Well there is small exceptions to this, fx his Partita 6 and Fantasia Chromatica. On the other hand his often relentless tempo
    and insisting articulation in many cases led to some sort of extasis fx in the gigues of the English suites. But often when the counterpoint becomes more dense with strettos and chromatism he just plays through in an stiff and cool manner as if nothing had happened. Did he ever hear about Frescobaldis recomandations fx. Or did he quite simply choose to close his ears. And what about notes inegales or doubledotting.

    Articulation: Best heard in the harpsichord recordings.
    He often played non legato, thanks for that,
    but his use of legato was motivated by considerations of phrasing, and he often played wery many notes in one bow for that reason. The theme of the Dorian fugue fx he divides in two halves, an ascending bow and a descending bow and plays each of these in strict legato, with a demonstrative and a bit exaggerated cæsura in between.
    He always uses a characteristic articulation of fuguethemes, surely to make them easy recognizable,
    some of his rules of articulation though being rather ridiculous, especially his tendency to start the theme with an overtied upbeat, creating an inadvert feeling of synkope. In other places accentuating single notes with extreme staccato.

    Ornaments: As a rule mecanical executed, no agogics here.
    In repetitions of suitemovements no extra ornaments, on the contrary he repeats always quite literally. In the French
    suites which are played in a very ponderous manner he takes all repeats, the same in the Goldbergs.

    Registration: Fortunately he usually aimed at transparency,
    and fx his 8+2 feet is good in that respect, but in the harpsichord recordings he uses very often not
    suitable 16 foot, though his clear articulation tends to compensate for this. In organ plenums as I hear it in Alkmaar he often muds the sound with a Terz or Sesquialtera. His sense for structure made him change registrations between sections all to often, the most ridiculous example being his busy changes of manual in the great e-minor prelude BWV 548.
    So I think Walcha shows us only one side of Bachs genius.
    The fascination with Walcha is surely his unique structural breadth of view, his unequalled virtuosity and the sheer concentration of his playing, and the fact that the music of Bach stands well up to different interpretations. Scarlatti fx
    played in that way would kill the music.

    Cheers
     
    pe-zulu, Sep 1, 2004
    #50
  11. Rodrigo de Sá

    pe-zulu

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dear RdS
    How can you say that the Fagott 16 ft. is essential to the playing of the free pieces of Bach. You certainly never heard the Sorø Fagott which is penetrating, snarring, like an overdimensioned Vox humana and blends very badly with the plenum. Knud Vad uses it all too often. The great Silbermanns and Schnitgers usually
    have got milder sounding 16ft. reeds in the pedal (Basuin).
    Cheers
     
    pe-zulu, Sep 1, 2004
    #51
  12. Rodrigo de Sá

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lisbon
    Dear Pe-Zulu:

    You are right - I don't remember listening to its sound. From what you say it is a kind of Dulciaan. The Basuins, Posaunen and such like by Schnitger and Silberman are actually quite alike: deep, dark and strong - just as Bach liked them (in a report about, I think, a Scheibe organ he complains about the brash and harsh sound of the Posaune 16 and recomends a thorough reharmonization to get a deep and pure tone). (by the way, I wouldn't call Schnitger and Silberman Posaunen 'milder': they are VERY strong and get a lot of wind. They just are not very bright so as to act as the bases for the whole of the harmony).

    But of course, when the Organbewegung took flight a tendency to use only mild voicing set in - hence the reliance on Schnarrwerk - the regals, Schalmeys, Dulcians and such like.

    But, even so, if one uses the Principal and the Subbass 16 plus a Dulcian, one usually gets a tolerable 16' foundation.

    Now a Trombone 16 is essential to Bach music - but I agree, not a spicy Dulcian. In such cases, I would use both 16' flues, the subquint 12 and both 8' flues plus the trompete. That usually works (unless the trompet itself sounds like schnarrwerk, which, in the pedals, it sould not).

    So thank you for the correction.
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, Sep 4, 2004
    #52
  13. Rodrigo de Sá

    pe-zulu

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dear RdS
    Yes, the volume of a great Silbermann Posaunbass 16 e.g.Dom zu
    Freiberg is imposing, but the sound quality is mild, compared to the Sorø Fagot 16, and this says a lot about the Sorø Fagot. A dulcian 16 would blend better in the plenum, as you describe it. You have to hear this Sorø Fagot to believe it.
    Even if the Knud Vad Bachcycle as to interpretation is far from the best I have heard (a bit too conservative to my taste as a whole) I think it is worth to hear, considering the relative low price.
    Cheers
     
    pe-zulu, Sep 4, 2004
    #53
  14. Rodrigo de Sá

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lisbon
    Dear Pe-Zulu:

    You made me curious about that Fagott! I reread your previous message: an overgrown vox humana! I may well buy the records just out of curiosity for that Fagott!

    Thanks for the information.
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, Sep 6, 2004
    #54
  15. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dark castle
    The price I paid was a joke - even nine empty jewel boxes must be worth something.
    Marcussen was considered #1 about 50 years ago, so it's odd that they goofed with that Fagott - or perhaps that was the way Bach liked it??? He was known to favor unusual registrations.
     
    bat, Sep 12, 2004
    #55
  16. Rodrigo de Sá

    pe-zulu

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dear Bat
    You see, I am a member of a danish music-club owned by the editor of Knud Vads Bachcycle, and I got it new and just released for 360 Dkr.. That is ca. 48 Euro. and this is still wery cheap .
    I think it is full value for the money. Knud Vads style is a bit
    "preautentic" 1960 style, but the result is still very beautiful listening, especially the choralworks. And apart from the
    Fagot16 this is a most appealing sounding organ in the postorganmovement neobaroque style. The fagot is rather special - I have heard it in the church - it is a Marcussen special without much reference to Bach. He should have preferred a
    Basun 16 with a less rattling sound, and not this which sometimes sounds like motorcycle.
    Cheers
     
    pe-zulu, Sep 12, 2004
    #56
  17. Rodrigo de Sá

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lisbon
    In very small organs (say about 13 stops and very mild voicing with a soft but bright mixture) I like the effect of a Regal 16 (plus Subbass and principal chorus coupling) in the pedals, or even the combination of a Subbass and a regal 8 (and, of course, in certain chorales, a regal 4' in the pedals works very well). A PedalDulzian 16 (Ahrend style) also sounds very well.

    In a big organ have the sole 16' reed sounding as schnarrwerk is incomprehensible to me.

    Of course there are all sorts of bassoons - some are really shaped like narrow trumpets and sound more fundamental than a real trumpet which can be good - but a motorcycle! I must listen to it!
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, Sep 19, 2004
    #57
  18. Rodrigo de Sá

    pe-zulu

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dear Bat
    Having listned to most of the Alessio Corti Bach integral by now, I feel inclined to write a word about it, considering your remarks about him above.
    After the variable Ton Koopman, the decidedly unsophisticated Simon Preston and the egomanic Andre Isoir, Corti comes as a sort of relief. A very sympatic player with stylish articulation and phrasing, and well considered tempi and registrations. Not surprisingly reminding much of Lionel Rogg. What I miss is some personality, an agogic driven by internal artistic need,
    more stylus phantasticus. Listen fx to Martin Sander or Hartmut Rohmeyer to know what I think of.
    But the real problem with Corti's integral is his organs and the recorded sound. The choice of Tamburini organs can only be explained, if the organfirm p(l)ayed an important part. The organs are completely unsuited to Bachs style. I remember a church with an electronic organ
    sounding much like this. And a recording quality that probably makes the organs sound even more synthetic, given the rumbling acoustics and lack of perpective. The small organ (Chiesa Cristiana Protestante, Milano) has been recordet just acceptable, but not more than this, whereas the great organ (Chiesa di S.Maria Segreta, Milano) , which Corti - alas - uses for the most pieces , sounds the worst, the sound seeming to come at the same time from everywhere and from nowhere. Let us hope that Corti will be given the chance to rerecord the works when he has matured a little, and on another organ. After all Lionel Rogg has until now been allowed to record the Bachcycle three times, and his first recording was made on the relatively unsuited giant Metzler-organ in the Zürich-Münster.
    As to the Knud Vad integral, I have been told that it is a live recording. I think this makes his achievement even more remarkable and excuses for some wrong notes.
    I have not decided whether to aquire the Radulescu-integral or not. I fear it is terribly boring. If you
    gets it you may let me know.
    Venlig hilsen
     
    pe-zulu, Oct 13, 2004
    #58
  19. Rodrigo de Sá

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lisbon
    Dear Pe-ZULU:



    I think you characterized Walcha's style very well. I agree with almost all you wrote.


    THIS PARTICULAR BIT IS ORGANIST TALK - JUST SKIP IT IF YOU ARE NOT AN ORGANIST OR AN ORGAN BUFF: THE REST IS QUITE INTELLIGIBLE

    Only, the problem with the Alkmaar plenum is that the terzian and the sexquiaters (and the mixtures too - except the one from the Bovenwerk) are all 16' ones. If I remember right, the two sexquialteras are built as:

    3' - 1 3/5
    3 1/5 - 3
    6 - 3 1/5

    The terzian, if I am not mistaken, is rather high, but I think it goes down to 6 (5 1/3) in the treble. (I can check all this, if you want)

    I personally never liked to register on a 8' bases with a 16' mixture: the treble becomes metallic and harsh (of course, because one listens to chords, not harmonics).

    ORGANIST SPEAK OFF

    I also agree that his 6th partita is one of the most the most impressive recordings of the piece, even if it is quite wrong; for instance, all the arpeggios in the mind boggling sarabande are missing. But the final gigue! That is a true ending to the most magnificent of all the partitas... And I still rank his Chromatic fantasy as one of the best (together with Leonhardt's on the Zell and Gilbert's miraculous one).

    By the way, they are available on CD in Amazon.de - I'm expecting to receive them next week. Let's see if they stand the test of time.

    But yes, Walcha's Bach is not the whole Bach. In a way it is a reductive, but also an illuminating way of playing Bach. I'm not sure about the indifference to the stretti and such things, though. I'm thinking of the triple stretto in the WTC II c minor fugue (a magical moment: the theme is presented unmodified, in augmented form and inverted: the whole world is unified in that single moment).

    His fingering and articulation rules are laid out in his edition of the 6 voice ricercare of the Musical Offering. It is a very interesting thing to read, and I can send you a copy of the text (in German or in English). After reading it, I just thought: luckily his playing is much more that he wants us to believe; otherwise it would have been horribly boring.

    I also agree that his e-moll fugue is silly (moreover, he muddles the triplets and the fast upward and downward sweeps) - it is, perhaps, his worse recording. And the constant chopping of parts by registration changes makes things rather worse, and totally unnecessary - just consider the magnificent 3rd version by MC Alain, on the Martini organ: the plenum is used throughout and the dynamic nuances are provided by the reduction or augmentation of the number of voices.

    So yes, listening to Walcha's Bach is a rather odd experience. But an enlightening one. My personal favorites are his extraordinary a-moll (a minor, of course) fugue (I mean the big one) where manual changes are justified and the doric fugue (both at Alkmaar) where he reaches almost mystic heights.

    You mentioned stylus fantasticus. Walcha actually recorded some music by Bruhns (not very convincingly), a very good choice of Lübeck's praeludia and a superlatively good Buxtehude selection of the Preludes (the Peters edition - he would not play the modern editions!). It is nothing like Buxtehude. But it is agogically subtler than his Bach and, if you have the patience to listen to it carefully, you may be convinced. His g minor is odd but totally convincing, the e minor (the one with the octave leaps in the last fuge) is absolutely marvelous and the e major is ravishingly sunny and transparent.

    Finally, Harald Vogel. I cannot really elaborate further. It came up during a conversation we had over a few beers (well, I had one, he had several - but then he is a huge man). But I dare not repeat what he said to me about Walcha. It is not insulting, and he has great respect for Walcha: 'he had a very strong sense of Bach' - quoted verbatim. 'But the details are all wrong', also verbatim. We did not elaborate much further, because I knew what he meant - indeed, you explained it very well.

    Thank you for your very interesting and informative post.
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, Oct 14, 2004
    #59
  20. Rodrigo de Sá

    pe-zulu

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dear RdS

    On your request I have listened to Walchas last recording, the 4 LP set "Organ masters before Bach" from 1977.I got it already in 1977, but didnt listen much to it, since for the most part I didnt like it then.

    It is a mixed bag though. Interesting to hear the Cappel-organ restaurated and better recorded than in his early Bach- recordings on that organ.

    There is certainly much more stylus phantasticus here than we are used to with Walcha, but indeed there should be, and I think there should be even more. But the most annoying thing is his articulation - almost in a demonstrative anti-informed style. He should or could have known better in 1977 if he had wanted to. I should be very glad to read his principles.
    His Bruhns is not wery interesting, much better is the two coralvariations of respectively Scheidt (Warum betrübt du dich) and Tunder (Jesus Christus ,unser Heiland) , where he uses the quintatons and reeds to splendid effect,
    and the Fantasia Cromatica of Sweelinck with its wonderful cumulative effect. His Pachelbel chaconne is a little tame, this is the usual way of playing Pachelbel, whom most people, I think, regard him as a nice, perfect and a litlle harmless composer. But have you heard Wolfgang Rübsams Pachelbel CD (Naxos) ? Full of drama and passion from the first note - a totally different composer. Walcha appears to be a little relaxed in his Buxtehude, the mild character of the E-dur very nice,
    and the mysterious character of the passacaglia well carried through - maybe the piece describes the four phases of the moon, wery plausible in his rendering.
    Though the d-minor prelude has much drama and the e-minor as well. But I frowned a bit rehearing his f-dis dissonance in the final cadence of the first fugue (e-minor),
    a little point showing his attitude to the score.
    His Lübeck on the other hand is splendid especially the d-minor (really much retoric here) and the g-minor.
    If Buxtehude must be played in the old style I much prefer the ill-fated but exceedingly charismatic Walter Kraft, even if he is given a rather bad recording-tecnique (Vox). I heard him in the real life many times, and his agogics were outstanding expressive. But of course Buxtehude must be played in the informed way, so Walter Kraft is history.

    I have not before been aware that the tertian and the sesquialteras of the Alkmaar-organ were low, and thanks for drawing my attention to that. Usually the disposition is referred short as Sesquialtera II, and you dont se the composition. A normal sesquialtera (2 2/3, 1 3/5) is useful
    for underlining - or rather overlining - a solo voice in a choralprelude, or as a part of a composed cornet, but what can a low sesquialtera be used to. To create a feeling of
    16 Ft in a plenum? Like the 10 2/3 Ft in the Pedalsection in some organs? Certainly not, and I think these Alkmaar-recordings show why not. The low tertz is quite annoying and muddles the texture.

    I listened to the Alkmaar BWV 538 and 543 too and agree
    with you that this is something of the best of the set. I
    would add Die Kunst der Fuge and the BWV542 to the top list. At last I listened to the Chromatic Fantasy and some
    WTC. His Chromatic fantasy will stand the test of anytime, full of energy and drama.The long passage of arpeggiated chords leading to the recitativ is marvelous,
    and the fugue, which he sees as a concertfugue with tutti and soli is splendidly cummulative. Here is any talk about
    informed style irrelevant, but his squarehanded renderings of many WTC pieces may be subject for critique. The ponderous es-minor prelude bd.I, the stiff rythm in the fis-minor piece bd.II fx.

    Surely I am not hifi-freak either, my actual amp and speakers being fully satisfactory (Naim-amp.,Ruark-speakers),- it is the music that matters.

    Venlig hilsen
     
    pe-zulu, Oct 15, 2004
    #60
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.