Here Stefano Molardi adds to his definitive survey of Bach’s complete organ music an extensive assortment of chorale preludes, concertos after other composers and some of the largest works in the great composer’s sizeable organ repertoire.
Rather than organising the music by collection, Molardi provides great variety in his recording by juxtaposing the delicacy of
works like the Trio in D minor BWV583 with the imposing Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV538 and a selection of chorale preludes from the Orgelbüchlein (small‐scale works, many under one minute in duration). The brilliant Pièce d’orgue BWV572 and the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C BWV564 show off Bach’s compositional finesse in the French and Italian styles respectively. The fascinating Canonic Variations BWV769a (recorded here in the Leipzig manuscript version) were written as a kind of ‘entrance exam’ for the highly‐regarded Mizler society; Bach proves his ability in a rigorous
mathematical structure which remains musically exciting. Molardi plays the Zacharias Hildebrandt organ of the St. Jacobikirche, Sangerhausen, which has a close affinity with Bach’s organ music: the composer was friendly with
Hildebrandt, who lived in Leipzig from 1734. The thrilling sound and variety of tonal colour offered by this instrument allows us to hear the music as closely as possible to how Bach himself might have known it.
This third instalment of Bach’s complete organ works presents a fine and balanced selection of the intimate and the magnificent: Chorale preludes alternate with some of the most glorious and substantial organ works ever written: Toccata & Fugue in D minor, Pièce d’orgue BWV572 and the Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C major. For this recording organist Stefano Molardi chose a superb historical instrument, the Zacharias Hildebrandt organ (1728), in the St. Jacobikirche, Sängerhausen, Germany. Bach knew Hildebrandt well, and Molardi’s performance on this organ gives a particular “authentic” thrill to this recording. Stefano Molardi is unquestionably one of Italy’s foremost organists, scholar and conductors. His playing however is far from academic: lively phrased, with brisk tempi and articulations he shares the joy, wonderment and love for these eternal masterpieces!
Booklet contains excellent liner notes, biography and full information on the organ’s specifications.
Recorded in 2013 on an historic instrument.
Volumes 1 (BC 94850) and 2 (BC 94792) also available.