J.S. Bach

01/04/2007
Marc Rochester
Gramophone (UK)

John O'Donnell discusses at length (and with a healthy pinch of salt) the perceived numerological significance of the chorales. His is a very academic and intensively researched approach, highlighted by the uncompromisingly Baroque character of the Melbourne organ (lavish details, including the astonishing claim that it is “one of the world’s two greatest concert hall organs”, are provided in the booklet). His playing is precise and clean, eschews any emotional or interpretative license and emphasises the texture through deliberate articulation … O’Donnell frames the 18 preludes with two major solo works and also gives (after much academic soul-searching in his booklet essay) the Canonic Variations on Vom Himmel hoch

I suspect many will find the textural precision and clarity of O’Donnell … to their taste … the recording … exemplary.