Bach: Schübler Chorales, BWV 645, 646, 647, 648, 649, 650; Leipzig Chorales, BWV 651, 652, 653, 654, 655, 656, 657, 658, 659, 660, 661, 662, 663, 664, 665, 666, 667, 668; Kirnberger Chorales, BWV 690, 691, 694, 695, 696, 697, 698, 699, 700, 701, 702, 703,

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Bach
LABELS: Hyperion
WORKS: Schübler Chorales, BWV 645, 646, 647, 648, 649, 650; Leipzig Chorales, BWV 651, 652, 653, 654, 655, 656, 657, 658, 659, 660, 661, 662, 663, 664, 665, 666, 667, 668; Kirnberger Chorales, BWV 690, 691, 694, 695, 696, 697, 698, 699, 700, 701, 702, 703, 704,
PERFORMER: Christopher Herrick (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67071/2 DDD
Herrick’s project to record the complete organ works of Bach is now past the halfway point and, as in his previous recordings, he once again plays an organ by the contemporary Swiss firm Metzler (at the Jesuitenkirche, Lucerne). Herrick’s sense of adventure with the colours of this convincing instrument is the collection’s strongest point; he shows clear understanding, in his choice of registrations, of the varied Affekten Bach chooses to reveal the meaning of the texts – note the differing interpretations of the same chorale. The booklet, in addition to informative notes on the works, lists the registrations used and the organ’s specification.

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Herrick’s playing is always clearly defined, sometimes perhaps too articulate, but at other times appropriately virtuosic. There are 44 chorale settings recorded here, begging questions – despite the best efforts of any player – as to the reasoning behind such collections, which inevitably list to the point of ‘genre-fatigue’. The chorales can of course be dipped into as the listener wishes, but perhaps carefully chosen, even themed recitals covering the complete oeuvre highlight each work’s individuality more effectively. Andrew McCrea