Notes and Editorial Reviews
Early - yet highly innovative - Bach in attractive performances, enhanced by the beautiful sound of this Metzler organ.
These 38 chorale preludes come from a collection of 83 pieces compiled in the 18th century by Johann Gottfried Neumeister. The collection eventually made its way to Yale University, where it was discovered by the Bach scholar Christoph Wolff. Bach's preludes are early works, and as Wolff so aptly wrote: 'Already there is innovation. There is a degree of originality and sophistication that is really quite remarkable.'
Herrick gives clear, attractive performances with rhythmic articulation and lively ornamentation. Some listeners may find his playing too calculated and
self-conscious; however, these are sprightly readings, free of excessive mannerisms. The most enjoyable aspect of the CD is the way Herrick gives each chorale prelude its own distinct sound world, despite having only a nine-stop, one-manual Metzler organ. This instrument is one of the most beautiful organs I have ever heard, and Herrick exploits every conceivable combination of stops to achieve a pleasing variety of colour.
The organ is well recorded, too, though some may find it a little too closely miked. The informative booklet includes a list of the stops which Herrick uses for each prelude. To quote from the booklet: 'There is tremendous variety and imagination in this collection, and these little-known pieces surely deserve to be more widely appreciated ... 'This CD indeed succeeds in converting me to these preludes; I'll definitely add them to my repertoire this year.
Christopher Nickol, Gramophone [3/2000]
Works on This Recording
Ach, Gott und Herr, BWV 714 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Christopher Herrick (Organ)
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany
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