Notes and Editorial Reviews
Toccata and Fugue in d,
Prelude and Fugue in D,
Passacaglia in c,
Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C,
Fantasia and Fugue in g,
Florence Mustric (org)
MSR 1271 (65:23)
In this collection of Bach
warhorses, organist Florence Mustric provides a mixed bag, performance-wise. Conductor Helmuth Rilling stated a few years ago that at first he responded to Bach’s lyrical impulse. Now, in his old age, he sees the youthful dance impulse underlying all of Bach’s music. Florence Mustric performs on the 1956 Timothy Beckworth organ at the Trinity Evangelical Church in Cleveland, Ohio—a fine example of a modern organ that can approximate Bach’s Baroque sonorities. She opts for the lyrical aspect of Bach’s organ music. In the case of the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and, to a lesser extent, the Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor, her performances lack the rhetorical drive implicit in their opening notes, and her fugues seem to me under tempo. Her rendering of the Passacaglia in C Minor is similarly all too relentlessly slowish. In those big pieces, her tempos seem to be just under those that would make this piece truly compelling. For alternates, go to either Kenneth Boyer on Nimbus (if you can find it), or to Ton Koopman on Hänssler 98:182, or to Paul Jacobs on JAV 145.
It is, however, in the kinder and gentler pieces that round out the rest of this program, especially the joyous Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C Major, that she excels. They are imbued with an all-consuming warmth that I found both delightful and gratifying.
The distortion-free recording is, like her playing, especially cozy, detailed, and airy, from the deepest pedal tones to the top of the treble. As in all serious organ recordings, the instrument’s specs are provided.
FANFARE: William Zagorski
Works on This Recording
Be the first to review this title