Melba Recordings

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J.S. Bach Organ Sonatas

01/01/2010
Limelight (Australia)
Anthony Clarke
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Australian organist Christopher Wrench, a graduate of the Queensland and Vienna conservatoria, and the Vienna University of Music, brings us the six Bach Organ Sonatas BWV 525-530 in a release marked by Melba Recordings’ usual attention to the finest audio detail. The sonatas were composed over several years from 1722 onwards, although they remained widely unheard until publication 100 years later. They have a constantly lively nature and a beauty of expression which belies early critical writing which claimed they had been composed merely as dry technical exercises in counterpoint and in independence of foot and hand. Although they lack the great rhetoric and drama of the preludes and fugues, they make up for that in their perpetual bright invention.

There’s special interest in the instrument chosen for the recording—an organ known as the Garnisons Kirke in Copenhagen, which contemporary organ-maker Carl Lund completed in 1995 as a reconstruction of the original baroque instrument which dated from 1724 ... its agility and very clear piping sonority has great charm, especially when played with the facility heard here. The recording reveals every detail of the instrument and its special baroque-church ambience.

It has been recorded in 5.1 Surround SACD, but for people not able to benefit from that, it can also be heard in stereo SACD or in conventional CD format stereo. The result in all formats is outstanding.