J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Organ Works, Vol. 1

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Harald Vogel
Individual Works:Fantasie in G (Piece d'Orgue), BWV 572
Pastorella, BWV 590
Vom Himmel Hoch, BWV 700 & 701
Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C, BWV 564
Gelobet seist du, BWV 722 & 723
Wir Christenleut', BWV 710
In dulci jubilo, BWV 729
Sarabanda con Partite, BWV 990
Fantasie in c, BWV deest
Praeludium and Fugue in g, BWV 535a
(early version from the Moeller manuscript)
Record Label:Deutsche Harmonia Mundi
Catalog Number:5472 77202 2
Year Released/Recorded:1992
Total Playing Time:70:49
Comments:1992 Juergen Ahrend Organ, of the Basilica of "San Simpliciano", Milan, Italy
An interesting recording by my former teacher. The organ is easily Ahrend's finest new organ thus far. The plenum is a little bright, but the flutes, reeds, and (yes Virginia) strings are beautiful and colorful. The registrations utilize the organ's color palette. The Pastorella is especially beautiful. The Pastorella proper is played on the fabulous RP 8' Dulcian. The Allemande is played on HW Spitzflo"te and BW Holzflo"te 4's. The Aria is played on the HW Viol di Gamba (!), to which the 4' Spitzflo"te is added for the final Gigue. The various little chorale preludes and the Sarabanda con Partite provide other colorful registrational opportunities.
The playing, for Vogel, is a little on the relaxed side; however, this is a feature common to all of his recordings which doesn't do justice to his dynamic live playing. However, his touch is supple and he plays with rhythmic drive. The Romanesque basilica in Milan provides a warm and gracious acoustical atmosphere. If anything, more room could have been featured in this recording. I suspect, in fact, that the close mic placement also adds to the overly- bright character of the organ's plenum.
All in all, this is a lively and rich recording, full of lovely sounds and thought-provoking performances. Worth the price for the razzle-dazzle pedalling in BWV 564 alone.
Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Lee Nunley
Date First Submitted:12/24/1995