Bach: Complete Organ Works Vol 8

Bach: Complete Organ Works: Vol 8
North German influences
Pieter van Dijk
DMP Records, DVH 140417. 2CDs 81’20+81’00

Recording, or playing, the complete Bach organ works is a milestone in any organist’s life, but the are many issues to consider. These include the choice of organ/s and the programming of individual recitals or CDs. One organist who has negotiated these issues very successfully is Pieter van Dijk, organist of the prestigious St. Laurenskerk in Alkmaar, Professor for organ at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hamburg, and the artistic director of Organfestival Holland. His recorded Complete Organ Works has reached Volume 8, which is reviewed here. I understand that there will be two further double CD releases within the next year or so to complete the edition, and subscriptions are offered. I will give a brief outline of some of the earlier CDs, but I think this volume should be of particular interest to organ lovers as it deals with the early North German influences on the young Bach and includes several lesser-known works.

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St. Lambrechter Orgelsommer 2015

St. Lambrechter Orgelsommer 2015
Manfred Novak, Pieter van Dijk, Peter Planyavsky organ
Ad Artem Musicae AAM 002-2015. 78’23

As well as the CD demonstrating the 2003 Westenfelder organ in the Abbey of Sankt Lambrecht, Austria (reviewed here), Ad Artem Musicae has also issued a CD of live recordings from four of the concerts in the 2015 St. Lambrechter Orgelsommer. Each concert features some contemporary music, and three of the four also have pieces for, or with, another instrument or a choir. The first and last recitals feature the Abbey organist, Manfred Novak. In the first he combines with Wolfgand Fleischhacker, playing saxophone and clarinet. In the final sequence of pieces, he is joined by Hansgeorg Schmeiser playing flute.

The opening piece is the Fugue from the Praeludium and Fuge in C (BWV547). This is one of the few Bach Prelude and Fugue pairs that were clearly intended to be performed together (most are found separately in the sources, and were put together, sometimes rather arbitrately, by much later editors), so the fugue played Continue reading