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Bach: Organ Concertos / Hurford, Hickox, Northern Sinfonia


Release Date: 10/29/2008 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 425479   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Hurford
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Sinfonia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Bach's well known frugal practice of recycling existing works has given credence to the recovery of a number of 'lost' concertos, but none for the organ, the instrument with which he lived intimately for so much of his life; none, that is, until now. Two of the items in this recording are not described as concertos: the Sinfonia to Cantata No. 29 is already a concertante piece, with obbligato organ—so far so good, but BWV1045 is another matter. Bach began what appears to have been intended as a violin concerto but abandoned it after writing 50 bars; R. J. Schureck, the arranger of the music on this recording, suggests that this may have been due to the difficulty of balancing one violin against a large ensemble (a strange lapse of judgement Read more by one so skilled as Bach) and has made a notional re-working and completion of the movement with the organ in the soloist's place of honour. The three 'organ concertos' have been assembled from a variety of movements taken from cantatas and harpsichord concertos, the familiarity of which provokes the recurrent thought 'Right song, wrong singer!'.

Schureck, also the annotator, gives the musical and chronological reasons for his reconstructions; if he is correct (which we shall never know) then Bach is entitled to another entry in the 'Book of Musical Records', displacing Handel as the first composer of an organ concerto. In this situation we can, not for the first time, do no more than decide whether the end-product carries conviction; it can never be certified as 'authentic', but does it sound as though it might be? The sustaining power of the organ and its ability to hold its own at all times, clearly superior to those of the harpsichord, lend enough credibility to make these adaptations acceptable in their own right, not least in the slow movements. Hurford's discreetly registered organ is kept in excellent balance with the Northern Sinfonia. These are not instrumentally 'authentic' performances, but they are clean and spirited ones, played with a light enough touch and excellently recorded; above all, they are entirely enjoyable.

-- John Duarte, Gramophone [12/1990]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Organ no 2 in D major [reconstructed by R. J. Schureck from BWV 49, 169 and 1053] by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
2.
Concerto for Organ no 1 in D minor [reconstructed by R. J. Schureck from BWV 146 and 1052] by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
3.
Concerto for Organ no 3 in D minor [reconstructed by R. J. Schureck from BWV 35 and 1059] by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
4.
Sinfonia in D major, BWV 1045 [fragment] by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1743-1746; Germany 
5.
Wir danken dir, Gott, BWV 29: no 1, Sinfonia in D major by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Leipzig, Germany 

Sound Samples

Organ Concerto No.2 in D - Reconstructed/ed. Schureck from BWV 169, 1053: 1. Allegro
Organ Concerto No.2 in D - Reconstructed/ed. Schureck from BWV 169, 1053: 2. Siciliano
Organ Concerto No.2 in D - Reconstructed/ed. Schureck from BWV 169, 1053: 3. Allegro
Organ Concerto No.1 in D minor - Reconstructed and edited by Dr. R. Schureck after BWV146,1052: 1. Allegro
Organ Concerto No.1 in D minor - Reconstructed and edited by Dr. R. Schureck after BWV146,1052: 2. Adagio
Organ Concerto No.1 in D minor - Reconstructed and edited by Dr. R. Schureck after BWV146,1052: 3. Allegro
Concerto for Harpsichord, Oboe, Strings, and Continuo in D minor, BWV 1059 - Organ Concerto No.3 in D minor (version by R.J.Schureck): 1. Allegro
Concerto for Harpsichord, Oboe, Strings, and Continuo in D minor, BWV 1059 - Organ Concerto No.3 in D minor (version by R.J.Schureck): 2. Adagio
Concerto for Harpsichord, Oboe, Strings, and Continuo in D minor, BWV 1059 - Organ Concerto No.3 in D minor (version by R.J.Schureck): 3. Presto
Sinfonia in D, BWV 1045 - Edited Dr. R. C. Schureck
Cantate No.29 "Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir", BWV 29 - Edited Dr. R. C. Schureck: 1. Sinfonia

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Excellent choice for Organ lovers July 24, 2012 By R W Phillips (Hampstead, NC) See All My Reviews "I love to hear an organ, and especially a piece by Bach. This was all I expected and more. An excellent choice for me." Report Abuse
 Good, but a little more Organ please! July 19, 2012 By Wil L W. (Richwood, TX) See All My Reviews "I enjoy this CD. Wonderful to hear these works transcribed for organ. I would like to have had the organ recorded just a bit more prominently, otherwise the sound is good. Recommended." Report Abuse
 Excellent CD June 6, 2012 By john Barone (Saint Paul, MN) See All My Reviews "It is refreshing to hear some 'Bach Organ Concertos'. Though Handel gets all the credit for inventing the format, Bach was ahead of him in creating organ solos in concerto-like contexts. It may be a matter of adding one to one and getting three, but what a wonderful sum this is. Performance practice notions may have come a bit further since these 1990 interpretations, but the flavor here is still fresh and engaging, never a drag. Enjoy!

"
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