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Kimberly Marshall (Organ)

"Bach and the French Influence" from Kimberly Marshall

1

Bach-de Grigny-Couperin-Marchand:
Selected Organ Works

Johann Sebastian Bach:
Prelude in E flat major, BWV 552
Fantasy in C minor, BWV 562
Trio in F major, BWV 587
Fantasy and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537
Piece d'orgue, BWV 572

Nicolas de Grigny:
Fugue a 5
Tierce en taille
Offertoire sur les grands jeux

Francois Couperin:
Excerpts from Messe des Paroisses

Louis Marchand:
Excerpts from Livre Premier

Kimberly Marshall (Organ) [Charles B. Fisk Organ, Stanford University (1984)]

Loft Recordings

2000

CD / TT: 72:13

Donald Satz wrote (March 23, 2002):
Summary: A Disc For All Seasons

The basic theme of this disc is that music of the French Baroque with its emphasis on tone color and timbre influenced the music of Bach, and I doubt that any informed person would disagree with that view. Further, the liner notes to the disc promote the Fisk Organ of Stanford University as one of the few organs in the world which "incorporated salient features of different historical styles into one instrument, creating a historically informed eclecticism". The Fisk Organ is reportedly famous for having two tuning systems: a modified meantone suited for French organ music and a well-tempered system appropriate for German organ music. This must be an organ for all seasons.

Performing on the Fisk Organ is Ms. Kimberly Marshall who earned her Doctorate in Music from the University of Oxford in 1986. Since that time, she has maintained an active career as an organist and research scholar. Marshall has taught at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at Stanford University; her most recent teaching stint is at Arizona State University. Other recordings from Marshall have concentrated on the Renaissance, Bach, and French classical and romantic periods.

I become more impressed with Marshall's performances and the Fisk Organ with each additional listening. She has an elegant and dignified way about her which I find irresistable. However, there's also a high degree of animation in her readings, and the power she invests in works such as the Bach Prelude BWV 552 is admirable. Lyricism holds no problems for Marshall, and she is 'tasteful' in the best sense of the word. I am most impressed with how she glides from the German to French music so naturally. The Fisk Organ also makes the adjustments splendidly; this really is an organ for all seasons.

Below are a some comments I took down while going through the disc:

Marshall plays the Bach works very well. Her style includes much legato in comparison to Bach organists such as Gerhard Weinberger and Andrea Marcon; the result tends toward smooth performances. However, there's nothing 'flat' about them. Marshall is quite animated and expressive; her readings are lovely, heart-felt, and elegant. She can also summon up admirable strength as evidenced by her Prelude in E flat major and the Piece d'orgue. I am most impressed with Marshall's Trio which is abundant in playfulness and optimism. Overall, although Ms. Marshall's performances do not astound me, they are thoroughly enjoyable and appreciated.

The performances of the French works are delightful; Marshall's love for this music clearly is revealed. She delivers great poignancy in pieces like de Grigny's "Tierce en taille" and provides impressive majesty and exuberance to de Grigny's long "Offertoire sur les grands jeux". Couperin and Marchand are equally honored by Marshall who easily takes me to the French Court.

Don's Conclusions: I have a glowing feeling after listening to Marshall that stems from a wonderful organ and performances full of the love and energy of music. The disc is heartily recommended to everyone, and I consider it an essential acquisition for those who appreciate a recording which excels in both Germanic and French Baroque organ music.

Coming up will be a review of Marshall's companion disc titled "Bach and the Italian Influence". More Bach and more Marshall sounds like a fine combination to look forward to. See you soon.


Kimberly Marshall: "Bach and the French Influence" from Kimberly Marshall | "Bach and the Italian Influence" from Kimberly Marshall

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Last update: ýJanuary 17, 2003 ý23:39:03