J.M. Bach, J.C. Bach: Complete Organ Music

J.M. Bach, J.C. Bach: Complete Organ Music
Composer Johann Christoph Bach, Johann Michael Bach
Artist Stefano Molardi organ
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 95418
EAN code 5028421954189
Release May 2017

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About this release

A previous Brilliant Classics release from the organist Sergio Militello (BC94483) offered an attractive taster course to the music of the most distinguished family in music history. Now, having recorded the complete organ works of both the family’s supreme craftsman and genius (BC95105), and a North-German predecessor Johann Kuhnau (BC95089), Stefano Molardi turns his attention to two earlier members of the Bach family who have inevitably been obscured by the shadow cast by Johann Sebastian.

In fact as uncle to JS, Johann Christoph Bach exercised a significant influence over his musical education, as composer, organist and indeed organ-designer. Sacred vocal works such as the Requiem have been revived in recent times, but the scant surviving proportion of his keyboard music has received too little critical attention. They comprise a prelude and fugue, and three cycles of variations on chorales. The ‘free’ pieces reveal an inventive spirit, fantasy, a certain skill in handling counterpoint and the use of expressive devices which show him no less open than his nephew to the exuberant vitality of the Italian tradition represented by Frescobaldi and Monteverdi.

Brother of Johann Christoph, Johann Michael was also father to the Maria Barbara who became Johann Sebastian’s first wife. He too worked in the town of Arnstadt where the 18-year-old Johann Sebastian took up his first post in what is now appropriately known as the ‘Bach Church’. Doubtless J.M. Bach’s production was no less industrious than his brother, if scarcely matching his nephew, but the only extant organ works are chorale settings – 24 of them – which elaborate flowing counterpoint over and around the familiar hymn melodies such as In dulci jubilo and Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ.

On this release, Stefano Molardi plays a finely preserved instrument from 1732-37 by Franciscus Volckland in the Cruciskirche of Erfurt, just a quarter-hour’s car drive from Arnstadt. In considering the fourth volume of Molardi’s Bach survey (BC95005), Early Music Review took note of the Erfurt organ’s striking variety of tone colour, and praised his playing for its ‘considerable clarity’ and lack of histrionics, ‘without extremes of registration or tempi – just what you need for the purposes of study or reference.’

A FIRST RECORDING: the complete organ works by Johann Michael and Johann Christoph Bach! Johann Michael (1648-1694) and Johann Christoph (1642-1703) were brothers, and nephew of the great Johann Sebastian. The daughter of Johann Michael was Maria Barbara, the first wife of Johann Sebastian, and therefore mother of both Carl Philipp Emanuel and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.
The Bach dynasty held a long tradition of composers and performers. Both brothers were firmly rooted in the Central German organ school, with a strong emphasis on counterpoint, while also under the Italian influence of vocal melodies and fluent lines.
The greatest part of both brother’s oeuvre consists of Choralvorspiele, while Johann Christoph wrote some substantial variation cycles.
Played on the historic 1732 Volckland organ of the Cruciskirche in Erfurt, Germany, by Stefano Molardi, one of the foremost organists of Italy, whose Kuhnau recording for Brilliant Classics was longlisted for the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Praeludium E-Flat Major
  2. Fuga in E-Flat Major
  3. Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder
  4. Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder, Variatio 1
  5. Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder, Variatio 2
  6. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland
  7. Meine Seele erhebt den Herren, Versus 1
  8. Meine Seele erhebt den Herren, Versus 2, 3
  9. Herr Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn
  10. Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein
  11. Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein/Es ist gewißlich and der Zeit
  12. Gott hat das Evangelium (I)
  13. Gott hat das Evangelium (II)
  14. Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ
  15. In dulci jubilo, Emans 113
  16. Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der den Tod überwand
  17. O Herre Gott, Vater in Ewigkeit Versus 1
  18. Christe, aller Welt Heiland, Versus 2
  19. O Gott, heiliger Geist, Versus 3
  20. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: I. Aria
  21. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: II. Variatio 1
  22. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: III. Variatio 2
  23. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: IV. Variatio 3
  24. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: V. Variatio 4
  25. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: VI. Variatio 5
  26. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: VII. Variatio 6
  27. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: VIII. Variatio 7
  28. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: IX. Variatio 8
  29. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: X. Variatio 9
  30. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: XI. Variatio 10
  31. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: XII. Variatio 11
  32. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: XIII. Variatio 12
  33. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: XIV. Variatio 13
  34. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: XV. Variatio 14
  35. Aria Eberliniana, Theme & Variations: XVI. Variatio 15
  36. Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein
  37. Helft mir Gottes Güte preisen
  38. Aus tiefer Not
  39. Ein feste Burg
  40. Ich dich hab ich gehoffte Herr
  41. Vater unser im Himmelreich
  42. Es woll uns Gott genädig sein
  43. Allein zu dir Herr Jesu Christ
  44. Wir glauben all an einem Gott
  45. Wir glauben all an einem Gott (II)

Disk 2

  1. Aria variata: I. Aria
  2. Aria variata: II. Variatio 1
  3. Aria variata: III. Variatio 2
  4. Aria variata: IV. Variatio 3
  5. Aria variata: V. Variatio 4
  6. Aria variata: VI. Variatio 5
  7. Aria variata: VII. Variatio 6
  8. Aria variata: VIII. Variatio 7
  9. Aria variata: IX. Variatio 8
  10. Aria variata: X. Variatio 9
  11. Aria variata: XI. Variatio 10
  12. Aria variata: XII. Variatio 11
  13. Aria variata: XIII. Variatio 12
  14. Aria variata: XIV. Variatio 13
  15. Aria variata: XV. Variatio 14
  16. Aria variata: XVI. Variatio 15
  17. Nun lob mein Seel den Herrn
  18. Nun freut euch lieben Christen
  19. Nun laßt uns Gott dem Herrn
  20. Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein
  21. Durch Adams Fall
  22. Es ist das Heil uns kommen her
  23. Ich ruf zu dir Herr Jesu Christ
  24. Auf meinen lieben Gott
  25. O Herre Gott, dein göttlich Wort
  26. Herr Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn
  27. Dies sind die heiligen zehn Gebote
  28. Wo Gott zum Haus nicht gibt sein Gunst
  29. Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden
  30. Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin
  31. Komm her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn
  32. Der du bist drei in Einigkeit
  33. Allein Gott in der Höh sei Her
  34. Mag ich Unglück nicht widerstahn
  35. Dies sind die heilgen zehn Gebot
  36. Auf meinen lieben Gott
  37. Nun laßt uns Gott dem Herren
  38. Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt
  39. Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz
  40. Von Gott will ich nicht lassen
  41. Er spricht der Unweisen Mund wohl

Disk 3

  1. Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn
  2. Allein Gott in der Höh sei Her
  3. Herr Jesu Christ dich zu uns wend
  4. Liebster Jesu wir sind hier
  5. Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns halt
  6. Erhalt uns Herr bei deinem Wort
  7. Kommt her zu mir
  8. Wär Gott nicht mit uns dieser Zeit
  9. Ach Gott und Herr
  10. Jesu der du meine Seele
  11. Erbarm dich mein o Heere Gott
  12. Ach Herr mich armen Sünder
  13. Gott sei gelobet und gebenedeiet
  14. Jesus Christus unser Heiland
  15. Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern
  16. Ich dank dir lieber Herre
  17. Aus meines Herzens Grunde
  18. Ich dank dir schon
  19. Christ der du bist der helle Tag
  20. Warum betrübst du dich mein Herz
  21. Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns halt
  22. Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist
  23. In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr
  24. Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, Versus 1
  25. Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, Versus 2
  26. Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, Versus 3
  27. Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (I)
  28. Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (II)
  29. Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein
  30. Komm, Gott Schöpfer, heiliger Geist
  31. An Wasserflüssen Babylon
  32. Wenn Gott vertraut, hat wohl gebaut
  33. Sarabanda variata: I. Sarabanda
  34. Sarabanda variata: II. Variatio 1
  35. Sarabanda variata: III. Variatio 2
  36. Sarabanda variata: IV. Variatio 3
  37. Sarabanda variata: V. Variatio 4
  38. Sarabanda variata: VI. Variatio 5
  39. Sarabanda variata: VII. Variatio 6
  40. Sarabanda variata: VIII. Variatio 7
  41. Sarabanda variata: IX. Variatio 8
  42. Sarabanda variata: X. Variatio 9
  43. Sarabanda variata: XI. Variatio 10
  44. Sarabanda variata: XII. Variatio 11
  45. Sarabanda variata: XIII. Variatio 12