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Bach: The Works For Organ Vol 12 / Kevin Bowyer


Release Date: 08/15/2000 
Label:  Nimbus   Catalog #: 5647   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Not all by Bach, but nevertheless great music here given strong, if restrained performances.

This volume presents a pleasing and satisfying mixture of familiar and unfamiliar works. Some of the pieces may not be by Bach, but that doesn’t matter – it’s all wonderful music!

Bowyer’s straightforward approach to Bach makes for comfortable listening. At all times there’s subtle, unobtrusive articulation which doesn’t draw attention to itself. After hearing the two settings of Von Himmel hoch, or the fugues, one feels that his clear, unaffected playing is preferable to the self-conscious phrasing of other British organists. Also noticeable is the finely judged rubato.

However, some listeners may
Read more find Bowyer’s playing too impersonal and restrained. In the Toccata in F sharp minor, for example, one might long for the declamatory flair that a harpsichordist would bring to this dramatic music; or one might wish for a more liberal use of ornamentation. In the C minor Fantasia, BWV562, though, Bowyer shows what he can achieve: expressive ornamentation is plentiful, and the final semiquaver flourish is strongly delivered. One wishes he had been just as responsive to Bach’s imaginative harmonic colouring, but instead we get a rather matter-of-fact performance of the Kleines harmonisches Labyrinth. Also, it’s a pity that his penchant for rapid tempos seriously detracts from the impact of the Fantasia in G, BWV572, the Allabreve in D, BWV589, and the Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV550.

Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy here. The two trio sonatas are beautifully played with excellent pacing and shapely phrasing in pedal lines. The slow movements unfold calmly and naturally, and the outer movements have a lovely buoyant pulse. The D minor Sonata is the less successful of the two, due to some brisk and curt ornamentation in the Adagio and grotesque use of the en chamade Trompet in the last movement. However, I liked the use of notes inegales in the first movement, and I also liked the inventive chorale variations on the second disc. Bowyer evidently enjoyed the Aria variata on CD 1 too; there’s a sense of fun here, which also extends to his informative booklet-notes. As expected, Nimbus’s recording is first-class.

-- Christopher Nickol, Gramophone [11/2000]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fantasie in G major, BWV 572 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1706; Arnstadt, Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
2.
Trio Sonata for Organ no 4 in E minor, BWV 528 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
3.
Fantasie in C major, BWV 570 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1707; Arnstadt, Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
Notes: This selection shares a track and timing with BWV 946. 
4.
Fugue in C major, BWV 946 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
Notes: This selection shares a track and timing with BWV 570. 
5.
Toccata in F sharp minor, BWV 910 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1710 ; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
6.
Aria Variata in a, BWV 989 "In the Italian Style" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1714; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
7.
Fuga chromatisch bearbeitet in G major, BWV Anh. 44 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
Notes: This work may have been composed by Johann Peter Kellner or Johann Christoph Kellner. 
8.
Kleines harmonisches Labyrinth, BWV 591 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
9.
Fugue in G minor, BWV 131a by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
10.
Allabreve in D major, BWV 589 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
11.
Fantasie in G major, BWV 571 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
12.
Vom Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her, BWV 700 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1708; Arnstadt, Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
13.
Vom Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her, BWV 701 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739-1742; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
14.
Wir Christenleut, BWV 1090 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
15.
Wir Christenleut habn jetzund Freud, BWV 710 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
16.
Capriccio in E major, BWV 993 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1704 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
17.
Fantasie and Fugue in C minor, BWV 562 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
18.
Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr', BWV 771 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
19.
Trio Sonata for Organ no 3 in D minor, BWV 527 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
20.
Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 550 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1708 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 
21.
Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 545 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kevin Bowyer (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St. Hans Church, Odense, Denmark 

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