horizontal line

Here we have one historic organ in Bach’s region of Thuringia, and two Cambridge organs, both of which incorporate old pipework and cases. all are well recorded, and accompanied by excellent notes on instruments and music.

The juxtaposition of Böhm and Bach in Christ’s programme is well judged, with both free and chorale-based works. a spirited and exciting C major Praeludium of Böhm opens the disc, and a chorale partita by him ends the programme, showing a beautiful range of organ colour. at times i found Christ’s playing rather stilted and lacking in movement – both the chorale BWV 678 and the adagio of BWV 564 show this tendency. To experience the soundworld of a large Thuringian organ, this disc is certainly one to consider: despite my reservations, there is much here to enjoy.

The contrast with Quinney’s performance of BWV 564 is very telling. here, the music moves and has life, a characteristic of this whole recording. i was particularly impressed with the Passacaglia, which Quinney keeps very restrained and delicate in registration until variation 16, when the pleno comes in. here are also fine performances of the three ‘allein gott’ Leipzig chorales and a thrilling, if rather fast, performance of the F major Toccata. an excellent programme, these are fresh and stimulating performances which i would unreservedly recommend. The Trinity Metzler is, as always, superb.

The Goldbergs on organ are often not convincing, but Costin manages to produce a very compelling and musical interpretation, with some ravishing sounds from the Pembroke organ. This is certainly the best i have heard on the organ, underlining the closeness of organ and harpsichord for Bach, and strongly recommended.

DOUGLAS HOLLICK Read the full review on Agora Classica

   Read full review   

To continue reading, please upgrade to a premium account. You will have immediate full access.

Read more classical music reviews online here:

Choir & Organ, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing