Notes and Editorial Reviews
Toccata and Fugue in d,
Fugue in C,
BWV Anh II 90.
Fantasia and Fugue in a,
2 Partitas. 10 Chorales
Gerhard Weinberger (org)
cpo 777 186 (73:01)
No doubt many listeners will be surprised to find the extraordinarily familiar D-Minor Toccata and Fugue leading off a Bach organ program subtitled “Works of
Doubtful Authenticity II,” which constitutes Volume 19 of Weinberger’s complete Bach organ collection for cpo. The unusually extensive program notes will explain the placement of that work and the others on the program in this unflattering category—though it must be stressed that “doubtful” does
mean “spurious”; in a number of cases the attribution to Bach still seems more reasonable than any other, but simply cannot be proven conclusively.
This familiar work provides the most obvious basis for an attempt at a brief comparative evaluation of Weinberger’s general performance style, and here one finds fleet tempos and rapid but flawlessly executed passagework—on the whole, a slightly more extroverted approach than, say, Alain or Hurford. The 1755 Silbermann organ is recorded in an acoustic that strikes this listener as just a tad more distant than the ideal, but not objectionably so (and the extended reverberation at the conclusions of the individual works is delicious).
As already implied, the written documentation is superb, including not only extensive prose notes but a complete specification for the organ and registration details for each piece. The presentation on the disc itself is equally commendable, particularly for the individual tracking of verses in the partitas.
Collectors who have been acquiring the previous installments in the Weinberger cycle will naturally want to add this one as well (at least one more is in the offing). As a stand-alone purchase, its appeal is likely limited to obsessive Bach connoisseurs, given the obscurity of most of the repertoire; but I deem it a thoroughly safe recommendation in either case.
FANFARE: James Carson
Works on This Recording
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