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Organ Master Series Vol 4 - J.S. Bach / Gillian Weir


Release Date: 02/22/2005 
Label:  Priory Records   Catalog #: 800   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian WeirGillian Welch
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Virtuoso playing from Weir delivers ecstasy and serenity in equal measure.

The 18 Leipzig Chorales are among Bach’s most mature creations with a rich variety of styles and emotions. Filling up the second CD are four free (ie secular) works which show JSB at his most joyful, sublime and brimming with contrapuntal ingenuity.

Gillian Weir’s virtuoso performances are characterised by flowing polyphonic lines and lively tempi which at times veer towards briskness. On its own terms this is perfectly satisfying Bach-playing, but when one hears the creative and imaginative ornamentation of Ton Koopman, Weir can seem rather plain in comparison. Still, she always sounds spontaneous and uninhibited whereas
Read more Christopher Herrick’s slightly excessive articulation can sound a little self-conscious.

The 2000 four-manual Woehl organ was built in an 18th-century Bach style and its forthright tones are entirely appropriate for the music. However, some of the loud ‘organo pleno’ works (Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott, BWV651, for example) are a little congested and unclear. Possibly the recording is too close to the instrument, or perhaps a lighter registration would have made the overall sound more transparent. Both organ and organist are at their best in trio movements and the slower chorale preludes where Weir delivers ecstasy and serenity in equal measure. The fourth trio sonata dances beautifully, while Vor deinen Thron, BWV668 (Bach’s final composition) has a calm, prayerful atmosphere.

Mention should also be made of Weir’s excellent insert-notes where scholarship and the communicative skills of a great musician are together in perfect harmony.

-- Christopher Nickol, Gramophone [6/2005]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fantasia super Komm, heiliger Geist, BWV 651 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
2.
Komm, heiliger Geist, BWV 652 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
3.
An Wasserflüssen Babylon, BWV 653 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
4.
Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
5.
Trio super Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend', BWV 655 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
6.
O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig, BWV 656 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
7.
Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 657 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
8.
Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BWV 658 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
9.
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
10.
Trio super Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 660 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
11.
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 661 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
12.
Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr', BWV 662 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
13.
Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr', BWV 663 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
14.
Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr', BWV 664 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Welch (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
15.
Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 665 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Welch (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
16.
Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 666 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Welch (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
17.
Komm, Gott, Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist, BWV 667 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Welch (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
18.
Vor deinen Thron tret'ich hiermit, BWV 668 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Welch (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
19.
Fantasie in G major, BWV 572 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Welch (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1706; Arnstadt, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
20.
Trio Sonata for Organ no 4 in E minor, BWV 528 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Welch (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
21.
Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 544 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Welch (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 12 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 
22.
Toccata and Fugue in F major, BWV 540 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gillian Welch (Organ)
Venue:  St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 14 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: St Thomas' Church, Leipzig, Germany (06/10/2003 - 06/12/2003) 

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