Bachs Königin – Organ works (arr. for orchestra by Judith & Tineke Steenbrink)
Pentatone PTC 5186 971 (CD/SACD) 56:42 mins
Violinist Judith Steenbrink and her harpsichord and organist sister Tineke have assembled and transcribed for strings and woodwind several pieces from Bach’s treasury of organ music. In doing so , they have avoided previously well-aired items in favour of less familiar music. Best known in the programme are Nos 2 and 5 of the Organ Sonatas Bach allegedly wrote for his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann, as part of his organist’s training. Their texture lends itself to sympathetic transcriptions, reminding us that, perhaps, not all the music was originally intended for solo organ. Oddly, though, the centrally placed Largo of the C minor Sonata, BWV 526 has been omitted.
Also of interest is the Concerto, BWV 592, transcribed by Bach for solo organ after a violin concerto by the young Prince Johann Ernst of Saxes-Weimar. Here we have a chamber orchestra version, based on the two scores, though with a different slow movement, taken from the D minor Oboe Concerto by Alessandro Marcello, which Bach transcribed for solo organ, BWV 974.
Of the remaining pieces, the most substantial are the celebrated Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582, and the Fugue associated with the ‘Great’ Fantasia, BWV 542. The menu is rounded off with a lively arrangement of the vibrant New Year Fantasia, In dir ist Freude, BWV 615.