J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

"The Historical Harpsichord"

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Tom Robin Harris
Instrumentation:Pedal Harpsichord
Individual Works:Trio Sonata #6 in G-major BWV 530
Prelude/Fugue in D-major BWV 532
Prelude/Fugue in G-major BWV 541
Prelude/Fugue in a-minor BWV 543
Prelude/Fugue in e-minor BWV 548
Passacaglia/Fugue in c-minor BWV 582
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Augustana Records/Plectrum
Year Released/Recorded:(c) 1997
Total Playing Time:59' 22"
Comments:David R. MacDonald said:

This recording showcases a Flemish double harpsichord by David R. MacDonald and its matching pedal division with an innovative pedal push-up system by Philip Tyre. The acoustics of the sanctuary in which the recording was made lend a magisterial quality to these grand works. The tonal quality of the manual and pedal divisions is fundamental and resonant. The Flemish double is disposed 2 X 8' and 1 X 4' with buff stops on both eight-foot choirs. The pedal is disposed: 16' Forte, 16' Piano, 8' Triobass, 4' Choralbass with buff stops available for all choirs.

This premiere recording of Plectrum, produced for Augustana Records, is available for $15 plus postage and handling from Runstone Bookstore, (309) 794-7541.

Contact: DRMacDona@comcast.net

Jan Hanford said:

This is a unique and well-done recording. The pedal harpsichord here is truly full-bodied, I've never heard a harpsichord sound so... "rich" is the only word I can think of. The recorded sound is excellent; with a pleasantly subtle ambient echo that does not interfere with the performance.

I was particularly impressed by the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor BWV 582 on pedal harpsichord. Intricacies and details in the counterpoint of this famous work are revealed here that are not always audible on organ performances (particularly ones with a lot of echo). Each of these works is very suited to the pedal harpsichord, making this recording an exciting presentation of this remarkable instrument.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • David R. MacDonald
And from the collection of Jan Hanford.
Date First Submitted:06/20/1998