J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Works for Organ, Volume III

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Kevin Bowyer
Individual Works:Prelude and fugue in F minor BWV 534
Trio Sonata II in C minor BWV 526
Partite diverse sopra il Corale Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig  BWV 768
Concerto in D minor (after Antonio Vivaldi) BWV 596
Prelude and fugue in A minor BWV 543
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Nimbus
Catalog Number:NI 5290
Year Released/Recorded:1991 1992
Total Playing Time:63'45"
Comments:Todd M. Billeci said:

The Markussen Organ of Sct. Hans Kirke, Odense, Denmark

Overview - Bowyer's cycle, in progress since 1991, features unmannered virtuosity, an organ of striking tone quality and an exceptionally realistic modern recording. Each disc contains a variety of works in the form of a recital, sustaining interest throughout. Bowyer's intriguing registrations distinguish the set.

Disc III - This entry is among my favorite organ discs of all time. It is a tragic and gripping program dominated by minor keys: F minor, C minor, D minor & A minor. Any
major keys occur only in the Sei Gegrüßet  variations! The severe prelude from BWV 534 sets a grim tone from the first track. In addition to the sensitivity Bowyer brings to the passage work, his distinctive registrations are delightful, particularly in the F minor prelude, the Vivace of the Trio Sonata, and the haunting opening of the D minor concerto in which one can hear the air rushing through the pipes like human breath. The Penguin Guide gave this disc **(*) stars and described as the reeds as "grainy." In my humble opinion, that is a lot of nonsense. I return to this disc far more frequently than the entries Penguin Guide awarded three stars or "rosettes."

J Armes said:

While I admire Mr. Bowyer's attempt to provide a very complete set of the organ works of Bach, including those of doubtful transcription, I think there are better choices of organs, and I think there are other players with better technique. Overall, Bowyer's playing is not bad, but he stretches the tempo in some places where it is not applicable. The Prelude & Fugue in F minor is very nicely done except for what I have just mentioned. The registration is very nice, although I think a softer registration for the Fugue would be more appropriate. The other pieces are nicely done, but there is better out there.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Todd M. Billeci
  • J Armes
Date First Submitted:10/24/1998