The extensive Bach family was a dynasty unusually rich in musical talent, counting among its ranks numerous composer–organists active in the Northern European Baroque tradition. This set gathers up the surviving music by Johann Lorenz Bach (1695–1773), Johann Bernhard Bach (1676–1749), his son Johann Ernst Bach (1722–1777), Heinrich Bach (1615–1692) and his grandson Johann Friedrich Bach (1682–1730).
These are no mere shavings from the Bachian workbench – chips off the old JS block – but beautifully crafted works by composers working in the central German-Baroque tradition, each with their own voice. Three versions of ‘Wir glauben all’ an einen Gott’ by Johann Bernard Bach treat the chorale melody to grand and elaborately woven counterpoint. A pair of multi-movement Partitas is attributed to the Bach family without firm evidence of authorship, but they both work through the verses of a chorale melody with the skill and elegance typical of the Bach family’s work as a whole.
Stefano Molardi is a native of Cremona and a recognized organist, harpsichordist, conductor, and musicologist with a number of prestigious awards to his name and a career that has taken him from the Musikverein in Vienna, to Carnegie Hall in New York, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. On this recording he plays the Dell’Orto e Lanzini organ (2003) in the Parish Church of St Thomas, Gesso di Zola Predosa.
Reviewing Molardi’s 3CD album of the complete organ music by two more scions of the Bach family, Johann Christoph and Johann Michael, Fanfare praised ‘assured, stylish performances, warmly recommended.’ ‘Molardi’s ear for the organ’s almost infinite palette of colours and textural combinations is matched by his fleet fingers and feet on the pedals. He tosses off the most technically challenging works with virtuosic dash and panache.’ (Fanfare, Nov/Dec 2014)
This unique recording brings together the complete organ works of several members of the Bach family!
The genius of Johann Sebastian Bach didn’t emerge from nowhere: he was actually a scion of a highly musical family, a branch of the rich, ornate and fruit bearing tree called Bach.
This set presents organ music by uncles and nephews of Johann Sebastian: Heinrich, Johann Bernhard, Johann Friedrich, Johann Lorenz, and Johann Ernst, spanning an era from 1615 to 1777, from strict Baroque counterpoint to the first awakenings of Stile Galante and Rococo.
Played by master organist Stefano Molardi on a magnificent Dell’Orto e Lanzini organ (2003) in Bologna, the details and specifications of which are included in the booklet.