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The Bach Gamut Vol 1 / Virgil Fox


Release Date: 07/11/2006 
Label:  Reference Recordings   Catalog #: 107   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Virgil Fox
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Fantasia and Fugue in g, BWV 542. Sheep May Safely Graze. Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C, BWV 564. St. Matthew Passion: Finale. Prelude and Fugue in a, BWV 543. Air on a G String. Prelude and Fugue in D, BWV 532. I Call to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ Read more class="ARIAL12"> Virgil Fox (org) REFERENCE 107 (66:19) Live: San Francisco 9/1976


From Professor Keith Johnson, the man committed to producing state-of-the-art vinyl recordings, who once claimed his company would never succumb to the siren call of CDs, comes this 24-bit HDCD transfer of a live recital given by Virgil Fox on the Ruffatti pipe organ and the Rodgers “Royal V” touring organ in San Francisco’s St. Mary’s Cathedral.


Virgil Fox remains a controversial figure in serious organ circles. Often looked upon as the Liberace of organists, Fox was noted for his flamboyant style and an approach to his craft that often put theatrics above respect for the composers whose music he played. The story, quite possibly apocryphal, is told of a visit Fox paid to the Wurlitzer electric organ factory. VIP that he was, he was conducted on a tour of the facility by the president of the company himself. At tour’s end, Fox was escorted into a sealed, temperature-controlled room that contained a pipe from an actual pipe organ. The president proudly announced that the pipe was used as a standard against which Wurlitzer’s organs were measured. To which Fox replied, “Fancy that, a real organ pipe in an electric organ factory! That’s like finding bird poop in a cuckoo clock!”


Not that Fox ever showed much discernment for the instruments he played on. His was a phenomenal technique often wedded in equal proportion to excess and lack of taste. His last years in particular, devoted to his “Heavy Organ” concerts and psychedelic light shows, were especially sad; though in his defense it could be said that he exposed many young people of that generation (the late 1960s and early 1970s)—even if it was through a haze of pot smoke—to the world of classical music.


This will not be a CD for those who take a serious view of the organ in general or of Bach’s masterpieces for the instrument in particular. But no one can take away from Fox his virtuosity or his showmanship. Nor can anyone take away from this recording its astonishing presence and stunning sound. For an organ spectacular to impress friends and alienate neighbors, recommended.


FANFARE: Jerry Dubins
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Works on This Recording

1.
Suite for Orchestra no 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Virgil Fox (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  Live  St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, CA 
2.
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208 "Hunt Cantata": Schafe können sicher weiden by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Virgil Fox (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1713; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  Live  St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, CA 
3.
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Virgil Fox (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  Live  St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, CA 
4.
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 78, Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Virgil Fox (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  Live  St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, CA 
5.
Orgelbüchlein: Ich ruf'zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Virgil Fox (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  Live  St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, CA 
6.
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Virgil Fox (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  Live  St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, CA 
7.
Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542 "Great G minor" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Virgil Fox (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  Live  St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, CA 
8.
Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Virgil Fox (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  Live  St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, CA 

Sound Samples

Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542: Fantasia
Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542: Fugue
Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542: Fugue (reprise)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata" (arr. for organ): Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Sheep May Safely Graze (arr. for organ)
Toccata, adagio and fugue in C major, BWV 564: Toccata
Toccata, adagio and fugue in C major, BWV 564: Adagio
Toccata, adagio and fugue in C major, BWV 564: Fugue
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 (arr. for organ): St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Finale (arr. for organ)
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543: Prelude
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543: Fugue
Overture (Suite) No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068 (arr. for organ): Overture (Suite) No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: II. Air, "Air on a G String" (arr. for organ)
Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532: Prelude
Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532: Fugue
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644: Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639

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