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Bach: Trio Sonatas For Organ / Robert Quinney


Release Date: 10/11/2011 
Label:  Coro   Catalog #: 16095   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Robert Quinney
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Among Bach’s organ works none are more purely enjoyable to listen to or embody the spirit, the voice(s), the vitality inherent in the instrument more than the six Trio Sonatas. Although I prefer the somewhat brighter, “flutier” sound and generally quicker tempos of Lionel Rogg, who performs on the historic Silbermann organ at Arlesheim, Switzerland (Harmonia Mundi), Robert Quinney (currently the sub-organist at Westminster Abbey) gives solid and informed interpretations of these formidably difficult works. (Apparently Albert Schweitzer—who as an organist and Bach scholar certainly knew his Bach and his organ works—is said to have claimed that anyone who masters the trio sonatas has achieved the height of technical virtuosity. If you can Read more find it, there’s a wonderful old EMI recording of Schweitzer playing Bach—no trio sonatas, however!)

Quinney performs on the Frobenius organ of Oxford’s Queen’s College, in Quinney’s words not a “historically accurate instrument for Bach”, but nevertheless possessing “exquisite voicing, superb mechanical action, and modest size.” Quinney employs these features mostly very effectively, especially in the last two sonatas, where both the playing and registration choices are freer and more imaginative. Quinney’s performance of the C major sonata most thrillingly captures those traits mentioned above—vitality, spirit, and pure enjoyment. In other places—the opening E-flat sonata, the first movement of the D minor, most of the slow movements—tempos just seem too slow, the registration choices too “plain”. The E-flat sonata is one of the most exuberant creations in the organ repertoire, but here that joyful edge is off. Overall, however, Quinney must be commended—and should be listened to—for his impressive technique and his mostly successful management of Bach's particular demands regarding time and space (Schweitzer--and Einstein--would have approved!), captured in excellent sound (never an easy thing with organs and organ venues).

-- David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Trio Sonata for Organ no 6 in G major, BWV 530 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Robert Quinney (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
2. Trio Sonata for Organ no 5 in C major, BWV 529 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Robert Quinney (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
3. Trio Sonata for Organ no 4 in E minor, BWV 528 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Robert Quinney (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
4. Trio Sonata for Organ no 3 in D minor, BWV 527 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Robert Quinney (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
5. Trio Sonata for Organ no 2 in C minor, BWV 526 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Robert Quinney (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
6. Trio Sonata for Organ no 1 in E flat major, BWV 525 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Robert Quinney (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 

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