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Christoph Albrecht (Organ)

Bach on Silbermann Organs, Volume 2

1

Organ Works on Silbermann Organs

Third Part of the Clavier-Bung:
Prelude in E major, BWV 552/1
Chorale Settings BWV 669-671
BWV 675-676
BWV 678
BWV 680
BWV 682
BWV 684
BWV 686
BWV 688

Fugue in E major, BWV 552/2
Chorale Settings BWV 716-717

Christoph Albrecht (Organ) [Silbermann Organ of Freiberg Cathedral (1714)]

Berlin Classics

Aug 1970

CD / TT: 71:19

Donald Satz wrote (February 2, 2002):
Summary: Qualfied Recommendation

There's much more to Bach's German Mass than the program provided by Christoph Albrecht such as 21 chorale preludes as opposed to the eleven given by Albrecht. Also, BWV 716 and 717 are not part of the German Mass. The liner notes provide no clue as to the reasons for this particular program, so I'll just go with the flow although there are certainly some disconnects when chunks of music are left out.

From my perspective, the Berlin Classics "Bach/Silbermann Organ" series has been very successful. The artists utilized have with little exception been of the first rank, but it's the Silbermann organs which are the stars of the series. I find them to have a sweet tone which is distinctive as well as a wealth of attractive registrations. Of course, even a Silbermann organ needs an excellent performer who understands the instrument and engineers who know how to get the best sound from the organ.

Concerning the sound quality, it could be better. There are piercing sounds sometimes from the upper voices which are not pleasant at all. However, appropriate audio adjustments including a lowering of volume greatly minimize the problem.

With sound matters out of the way, I can endorse the Albrecht performances. The German/Organ Mass is one of Bach's most inspired and uplifting body of works. Any performance which fully brings out these two qualities wins my affections, and Albrecht delivers the goods.

His style is on the severe side like Suzuki on BIS, but with a softer tone. Albrecht kicks off the proceedings with a majestic and poetic Prelude which bodes well for the rest of the disc. His BWV 678 and BWV 686 are among the most inspiring performances on record. There are a couple of pieces where I feel Albrecht loses a good sense of balance among the voices, but those times are infrequent.

Concerning the competition, Albrecht holds up well but usually has to take a back-seat to the Suzuki performances which have a strength that neither Albrecht nor anyone else comes close to reaching. Considering the Suzuki issue, the incomplete nature of Albrecht's program, and the less than excellent sound, I can't strongly recommend the recording. However, it's certainly an enjoyable set of performances which would tend to particularly appeal to those who like 'Severe Bach'.

Instrumental Works: Recordings, Reviews & Discussions - Main Page | Order of Discussion
Recording Reviews of Instrumental Works: Main Page | Organ | Keyboard | Solo Instrumental | Chamber | Orchestral, MO, AOF
Performers of Instrumental Works: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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Last update: żJanuary 18, 2003 ż01:24:20