Mayfair Organ Concerts
The Grosvenor Chapel
South Audley Street, Mayfair, London W1K 2PA
Tuesday 13 August 2019, 1:10
plays music by
J S Bach
influenced by Johann Adam Reincken
Johann Adam Reincken (1643-1722) was organist of Hamburg’s famous Katharinenkirche and a close friend of Buxtehude. This recital is linked to a recital of his music given earlier this year at St George’s, Hanover Square. That recital included his monumental chorale fantasia on An Wasserflüssen Babylon composed around 1650. At around 20 minutes long, it the longest known piece of its type in the whole 17th century North German repertoire. It was known by Bach who, while at school in Luneburg, aged around 15 copied the entire piece out from a copy owned by Georg Böhm. It is believed that he also travelled to Hamburg to hear Reincken play. In 1720, shortly before Reincken’s death, Bach visited Hamburg and improvised a lengthy fantasia on the same chorale in homage to Reincken, who commented: “I thought that this art was dead, but I see that it lives in you”. Bach also transcribed several of Reincken’s instrumental pieces for keyboard.
This recital includes one of Bach’s Reincken transcriptions, a Toccata that is clearly influenced by Reincken’s dramatic style, and Bach’s chorale prelude on An Wasserflüssen Babylon, which includes a very obvious reference to Reincken’s chorale fantasia. It ends with Bach’s giant Fantasia in G minor, which may have been played during Bach’s 1720 visit to Hamburg. The accompanying Fugue is based on a popular Dutch tune and might have been Bach’s homage to Reincken, who was born in The Netherlands.
Toccata in D minor BWV 913
An Wasserflüssen Babylon BWV 653
Sonata in A minor (after Reincken Hortus musicus) BWV 965
Fantasia in G minor BWV 542i
The organ is by William Drake
Admission is free, with a retiring collection