Bach: Prelude and Fugue in G, BWV 541; Prelude and Fugue in A, BWV 536; Trio Sonata No. 4 in E minor, BWV 528; Concerto in C after Vivaldi, BWV 594; Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bach
LABELS: Proudsound
WORKS: Prelude and Fugue in G, BWV 541; Prelude and Fugue in A, BWV 536; Trio Sonata No. 4 in E minor, BWV 528; Concerto in C after Vivaldi, BWV 594; Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582
PERFORMER: lain Simcock (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: PROU CD 145
Among several organists trawling through Bach’s complete organ works on CD, Ton Koopman is at the forefront for scholarly awareness, technical virtuosity and lively interpretation. Here, in the contrapuntal intricacies of some of Bach’s chorale settings, the grand ‘St Anne’ Prelude and Fugue, and the celebrated Canonic Variations on ‘Vom Himmel hoch’, he is at his least quirky and controversial. What disappoints – at least in this recording

Advertisement

– is the harsh, acidic sound of the Silbermann organ, dating back to 1711, in Freiberg in Saxony.

Advertisement

Some of the most interesting recordings of Bach are on modern ‘classical’ instruments, and Iain Simcock’s attractive programme is beautifully recorded on a small French organ built in 1972 for a chapel in Angers. On this he does the great Passacaglia proud, and the first movement of the Vivaldi transcription resonates beautifully in the building. The ‘Gigue’ Fugue (BWV 577) is played entirely, and very buoyantly, on a mellow trumpet stop. Only some mannered delays in the Prelude in G and some arthritic rhythmic bending in the last chorale prelude spoil a disc which is otherwise very enjoyable. Adrian Jack