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Bach: Organ Works / Karl Richter


Release Date: 03/08/2005 
Label:  Dg The Originals Catalog #: 000403302   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 4 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


There’s no shame in detesting organ music, even if some of Bach’s greatest works were written for the instrument. Nor is there anything wrong with wanting only a selection, rather than springing for a massive box. Finally, even if you love this stuff, you should own this collection. It’s just wonderfully fun. Most of the popular pieces are here: the big toccatas/preludes and fugues (in D minor, the “Dorian,” and the St. Anne); the C minor Passacaglia and Fugue; the Fantasie and Fugue in G minor, and about half a dozen others. Richter plays three of the six trios, three chorale preludes (including “Wachet auf”), plus two of the big early chorale partitas (variation sets based on a well-known chorale
Read more tune).

The success or failure of any organ recital depends as much on the organ as on the organist. Richter chooses two: a wonderful modern instrument in the Jaegersborg Church in Copenhagen, and the very well-known Silberman organ in Freiberg Cathedral which dates from Bach’s time. These give you the opportunity to hear a wide range of tone colors and timbres, and Richter takes full advantage of all of the possibilities. His performances are lively and spontaneous in a way that completely rids the music of those creaky, baroque cobwebs that make you wonder if people who like this stuff aren’t just a bit “off” mentally, if you know what I mean.

The opening of the Toccata and Fugue in D minor offers a case in point (sound clip No. 1): no Phantom of the Opera psycho-killer waiting in the wings here–just honest, vivid music making of striking power and imagination. And the sonorities that Richter chooses in the trios are simply magical (second sound clip). Pure, three part counterpoint has seldom sounded so otherworldly. The sonics, dating from 1964-9, were really demonstration quality for their day, and they still are. You’ll love this very generously filled 3-disc set, even if your friends may start thinking you a tad strange.

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

1. Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1967 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 10 Minutes 25 Secs. 
2. Trio Sonata for Organ no 1 in E flat major, BWV 525 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1969 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 12 Minutes 14 Secs. 
3. Trio Sonata for Organ no 5 in C major, BWV 529 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1967 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 17 Minutes 15 Secs. 
4. Chorale Preludes (6) BWV 645-650 "Schübler": no 1, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1748-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1967 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
5. Chorale Preludes (6) BWV 645-650 "Schübler": no 6, Kommst du nun, Jesu, BWV 650 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1748-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1967 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
6. Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1967 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 7 Minutes 32 Secs. 
7. Canzona in d, BWV 588 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1715; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1969 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 6 Minutes 0 Secs. 
8. Partite sopra "O Gott, du frommer Gott", BWV 767 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1700; Lüneburg, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1969 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 14 Minutes 10 Secs. 
9. Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538 "Dorian" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1978 
Venue:  Cathedral, Freiberg, Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 35 Secs. 
10. Partite sopra Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig, BWV 768 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1700; Lüneburg, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1978 
Venue:  Cathedral, Freiberg, Germany 
Length: 19 Minutes 27 Secs. 
11. Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1708; Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1964 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 8 Minutes 57 Secs. 
12. Trio Sonata for Organ no 2 in C minor, BWV 526 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1964 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 11 Minutes 21 Secs. 
13. Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1964 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 9 Minutes 49 Secs. 
14. Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542 "Great G minor" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1964 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 12 Minutes 37 Secs. 
15. Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, BWV 552 "St Anne" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1967 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 15 Minutes 3 Secs. 
16. Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548 "Wedge" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1967 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 12 Minutes 53 Secs. 
17. Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 544 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: BY 1967 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 13 Minutes 47 Secs. 
18. Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 546 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Date of Recording: BY 1969 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 12 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: ?Weimar, Germany (1708 - 1717). 
19. Toccata and Fugue in F major, BWV 540 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Date of Recording: BY 1967 
Venue:  Jaegersborg Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 13 Minutes 29 Secs. 
20. Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708-1712; Arnstadt, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1978 
Venue:  Cathedral, Freiberg, Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 27 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565: Toccata
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565: Fugue
Sonata No.2 in C minor, BWV 526: 1. Vivace
Sonata No.2 in C minor, BWV 526: 2. Largo
Sonata No.2 in C minor, BWV 526: 3. Allegro
Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532: Prelude
Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532: Fugue
Prelude And Fugue In A Minor, BWV 543: 1. Prelude
Prelude And Fugue In A Minor, BWV 543: 2. Fugue
Prelude (Fantasy) and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542 - "Great": 1. Fantasy
Prelude (Fantasy) and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542 - "Great": 2. Fugue
Prelude and Fugue in E flat, BWV 552: 1. Prelude
Prelude and Fugue in E flat, BWV 552: 2. Fugue
Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548: 1. Prelude
Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548: 2. Fugue
Sonata No.1 in E flat, BWV 525: 1. (Allegro moderato)
Sonata No.1 in E flat, BWV 525: 2. Adagio
Sonata No.1 in E flat, BWV 525: 3. Allegro
Sonata No.5 in C, BWV 529: 1. Allegro
Sonata No.5 in C, BWV 529: 2. Largo
Sonata No.5 in C, BWV 529: 3. Allegro
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 ('Sleepers, awake')
Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter, BWV 650
Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654
Prelude And Fuge In B Minor, BWV 544: Prelude
Prelude And Fuge In B Minor, BWV 544: Fugue
Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 546: 1. Prelude
Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 546: 2. Fugue
Canzona in D minor, BWV 588

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