With the second volume of this complete survey of the greatest organ music ever written, we reach the summit of Bach’s output for his own instrument, the Clavierübung, a set of intricate chorale preludes structured as an ‘organ mass’ and bookended by his grandest prelude and fugue, BWV552, with its magnificent French Overturestyle prelude and inexorably pressing fugue known as the ‘St Anne’ to Anglophone listeners on account of the melody’s superficial (and coincidental) similarity to a hymn-tune of the same name.
But Molardi offers much more on this generous selection, which does not slavishly group works according to genre but offers satisfying juxtapositions of style and mood while concentrating on the mature Leipzig period from which derives Clavierübung III, and including more preludes and fugues of proto-Romantic weight of expression, climaxing in the tragic energy of the B minor pair, BWV544, which is fully worthy of its counterpart that ends the first part of the Well-Tempered Clavier. In between come more chorale preludes, mostly withdrawn and reflective in tone.
Molardi plays two instruments of a size and colour that would have been well-known to Bach himself, including a splendid Dresden instrument by the non-pareil of contemporary organ-builders, Gottfried Silbermann. With its modern recording techniques, imaginative programming, virtuosic playing and thoughtful booklet notes by Molardi himself, this cycle promises to be a definitive set of Bach organ works for our times.
- Recorded in Germany in 2013.
- The second instalment of Stefano Molardi’s superb survey of the complete organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach offers an intelligently put together programme (not by genre or BWV number, but rather conceptually around the mood and emotional impact of the works, either by similarity or contrast) , which centres around one of the greatest cycles of the master, the Dritter Clavierübung, a set of chorale preludes structured as an “organ mass”.
- Molardi selected two historical organs which might have been known to Bach, or are at least of the kind he was familiar with: the Silbermann Organ of the Hofkirche in Dresden, and the Trost organ in Walthershausen, Thuringia, Germany.
- Molardi’s style is free and spontaneous, paying full attention to the rhetoric qualities of the works, its depth and emotional impact.
- Excellent and extensive liner notes by the artist, full organ specifications included in the booklet.
- Volume 1, BC 94850, is already available
- Organ registration available by clicking on 'Download booklet' below the cover.