J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

J.S. Bach: The Ultimate Organ Collection

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Anthony Newman
Individual Works:Toccata & Fugue in Dmin, BWV 565
Fantasy & Fugue in Gmin, BWV 542
Prelude & Fugue in Cmaj, BWV 545
Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in Cmaj, BWV 564
Toccata & Fugue in Fmaj, BWV 540
Pssacaglia & Fugue in Cmin, BWV 582
Toccata & Fugue in Dmin, BWV 538
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Excelsior
Catalog Number:EXL-2-5221
Year Released/Recorded:1994
Total Playing Time:72:31
Comments:George M. Zhukov saidL

I have found this recording enjoyable on several levels:
1) Anthony Newman wrote a great book that I used for my AP Music Theory Term Paper on Bach, and a recording of such merit only elevates my respect for the man.
2) His choice of stops is quite beautiful, especially in Fantasy and Fugue in Gmin, and Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in Cmaj.
3) Nice performance of the Passacaglia (my favorite organ piece).
4) This CD was $3.99.

Bottom line: if you're short of cash and cannot afford the Peter Hurford box set, this recording will serve you well those times when you crave that Godly organ sound.

Eldred Marshall said:

Mr. Newman's recording certainly captures the eye of a Bach afficionado, but his eratic style, lack of balance between the manuals and the pedals, and excessive rubatos detract (perhaps unintentionally) from the beauty of the music. His style does the most harm to his fugue performances. He seems to care less about clarity and balance, and more about effect, thus rendering the fugues muddled and uninteresting. However, his version of the F-major Toccata is certainly livlier than E. Power Bigg's 1964 edition; his cadenzas in the Passacaliga give the oft-traveled road new lights; his pedaling is spotless; there are good qualities to admire. However, for anyone who has never heard any of these pieces before played in a more conventional fashion should not buy this recording, no matter how cheap it sells for.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • George M. Zhukov
  • Eldred Marshall
Date First Submitted:01/24/1999