Notes and Editorial Reviews
Another milestone in Hanssler's monumental Bach edition, one that is turning up some superb Bach organists
The capacity of an audio CD just about stretches to the complete Orgelbuchlein. My sceptical nature prompts me to wonder whether producers encourage organists to play faster than they would like, to ensure all 45 preludes fit snugly onto just one disc. Certainly I suspect the otherwise level-headed and unflappable Wolfgang Zerer might be being pushed by outside forces to play Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich faster than he would choose in real life, although I generally feel more at ease with his speeds than with Preston's. Koopman gives the impression of total calm and unhurriedness - which is some achievement
bearing in mind he actually gets through the work quicker than either of the others. All three versions have much to recommend them - Preston through DG's outstanding recording of the Soro Abbey organ, Koopman through his matchless gift for communicating the fun and vitality of Bach, and now Zerer with a happy combination of the two. The 1450/1691/1730/1984 Johan of Apingedam/Arp Schnitger/Caspar Schnitger/Jurgen Ahrend organ has many charms, not least in its bubbly flutes and bleating reeds, and is superbly captured in Hanssler's atmospheric recording, while Zerer's immaculately prepared and neatly tailored performances convey the spirit of Bach as vividly as any.
I will certainly add this disc to the others on my shelf, though, not just for the lovely sound of the organ or the delights of Zerer's playing, but for the outstanding documentation that comes with it. Music, interpretations, registrations, organ and player are comprehensively discussed, making this a recording to treasure and maintaining the excellent standards so far set in this gargantuan Bach series.'
Marc Rochester, Gramophone [12/1999]
Works on This Recording
Orgelbüchlein, BWV 599-644 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Wolfgang Zerer (Organ)
Written: circa 1714-1717; Weimar, Germany
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