The fourth volume in Stefano Molardi’s authoritative collection of J.S. Bach’s organ works, this four-CD release brings together some of the German composer’s most famous music. Chief among these is the Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV565; with its unforgettable opening bars – doubled in the octave – flourished chromaticism, pauses and arpeggios on the diminished seventh, the piece has consistently drawn much critical attention. Some scholars have debated whether it was originally written for the violin, thanks to its astonishing virtuosity and use of parallel thirds and sixths, and others have questioned whether the composition was even penned by Bach himself.
Also included on this release are the ‘Neumeister’ chorales; assembled by Johann Gottfried Neumeister in the 18th century, the collection wasn’t actually published until the 1980s, with the result that these little-recorded preludes still have plenty of room for a new interpretation.
Most impressive of all is the range of styles Bach covers in his organ works; from the northern toccata style – which the composer began to utilise after a stay in Lübeck – a working of several intricate fugues finished with a toccata-style coda, to the mid-German Sangerhausen style, featuring unusually dissonant harmonisations.
Stefano Molardi has chosen the Thielemann organ in Gräfenhain, Thuringia, especially for this release; dating from the 1720s and therefore from the time of the composer himself, its captures the spirit of the great composer’s age, lending a certain authenticity to the performances and allowing for a vast range of styles both grand and intimate.
This 4th and last instalment of Bach’s Complete Organ Works by Stefano Molardi contains some of the most famous organ works by the master: the iconic Toccata & Fugue in D minor BWV 565, the complete Neumeister Chorales, and suitably finishing with one of the most shattering and original organ works ever written: the monumental Passacaglia in C minor BWV 582.
The performances by Italian master organist Stefano Molardi have gained great international acclaim, most recently highly praised in BBC 3 CD Review. Playing on historical organs from the time of Bach (here on a magnificent 1720 Thielemann organ in Gräfenhain, Germany) he combines his scholarly historical knowledge with his deep understanding of the underlying human emotions of these eternal masterpieces.
The booklet contains excellent liner notes, as well as the full specifications of the organ used.
Recorded in Gräfenhain, Thuringia in September 2013
Contains detailed notes for every CD by the performer
Contains an organ specification
Detailed organ disposition available for each track at www.brilliantclassics.com.