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J.S. Bach Organ Sonatas

01/08/2010
The American Organist
Unknown

Australian organist Christopher Wrench tackles these tricky trios with agility, grace, deftness, clarity, crispness, control and style. He states: ‘From the moment I first played the Lund reconstruction of the Garnisons Kirke organ...I dreamt of recording the Bach Organ Sonatas on the instrument. With my strong interest in informed performance practice, there was no doubt in my mind that the tonal freshness of this particular instrument and the exceptional agility of its mechanism would provide a superb medium for the realisation of Bach’s music vision.’ Wrench plays the fast movements with perky pluck, the slow movements with graceful lyricism. All are well articulated. The anapaestic rhythms are performed in a sprightly manner, particularly remarkable in the third movement of the D minor Sonata in which the voices dart to and fro in uncanny mercurial swirls of sound, yet clean as a whistle. With only a few exceptions, Wrench chooses registrations in which both manual parts are homogenous in colour and dynamic (for example, two principals or flutes of nearly identical colour and weight), rendering the counterpoint and interplay of voices with absolute clarity and intelligibility. Registrations are printed in the accompanying booklet, which also provides a fine essay on the provenance of the Sonatas (in English, German and French) by Marc Rochester. These are exceptional performances on an outstanding instrument.