Bach, Haydn, Liszt

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COMPOSERS: Bach,Haydn,Liszt
LABELS: Amphion
WORKS: Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565; Chorale preludes; Organ music; Prelude and Fugue on BACH
PERFORMER: Geraint Jones (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: PHI CD 148 (distr. Priory)ADD mono
Martin Monkman’s enterprising Amphion catalogue features artist-led historical organ compilations. The postwar European peregrinations of Geraint Jones, who died this year, introduced him to the organs of the German master Arp Schnitger; his enthusiastic reports back to England, and BBC broadcasts, helped inspire the neo-classical movement among British organ builders. Jones famously chafed in the harness of the ‘authentic’ movement: ‘My devotion to these old organs,’ he said, ‘has nothing to do with the authenticity craze now bedevilling music. It is due simply to the fact that for the first time I was able to hear what was written on the page.’

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This engaging ‘Tribute to Geraint Jones’ features music by Bach (chorale preludes, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor), Haydn and Liszt (Prelude and Fugue on BACH) from HMV and BBC recordings made at Amorbach, Ottobeuren and Steinkirchen in the Fifties. An article by Catherine Ennis and an entertainingly provocative essay by Jones add up to a fascinating lesson in history and musical style. Sound and performance are much as one would expect from vintage broadcasts, especially when, as Jones remarks, ‘there were no playback facilities nor possibility of editing’. Graeme Kay