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In recent years, newly-discovered sources confirm that J.S. Bach studied with Böhm between 1700 and 1702, when the latter was organist and director of music at the Johannis Church, Lüneburg. Previously, Böhm had spent most of the 1690s in Hamburg, where Arp Schnitger had recently completed his monumental four-manual organs in the Nicolai and Jacobi churches. For this recording, Hans Davidsson plays on the now famous Schnitger-style organ, tuned at A465 and quarter-comma meantone temperament, the result of a research project at GOArt, University of Gothenburg. No autographs of Böhm’s music survive, and most of his extant music, consisting of praeludia and chorale-based works, stems from central German sources, most likely transmitted initially by Bach. This first ‘complete’ recording is research-based, involving a critical study of all manuscripts and editions, and informed by north German and French performance practices. Davidsson’s playing is rhetorical and colourful, making the most of the plethora of wonderful tonal combinations available on Schnitger organs. Some of the praeludia differ markedly from the established editions, suggesting that the music is far from ‘fixed’. Unfortunately, details of the organ and the registrations (advertised in the liner notes as ‘on-line’) were not available at the time of writing.

DAVID PONSFORD Read the full review on Agora Classica


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