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Bach - Orchestral Transcriptions By Respighi And Elgar

Bach / Respighi / Elgar / Seattle Sym / Talvi
Release Date: 03/27/2012 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572741   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachSir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This exciting disc makes a very welcome return to the catalog on Naxos. The Respighi transcriptions reveal his typical mastery of orchestration, particularly in the larger pieces: the Prelude and Fugue BWV 532 and the great Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor BWV 582. The chorale transcriptions are also very lovely, and include the famous “Wachet auf” (“Sleepers Awake!”) BWV 645. In the Sonata BWV 1023, Ilkka Talvi proves a sensitive and musicianly soloist as well. However, the real treat is Elgar’s arrangement of the Fantasia and Fugue in C minor BWV 537. It’s insane. In the fugue, next to Elgar’s tambourine, glockenspiel, harp glissandos, and looney trumpet licks, Stokowski’s Bach might as well be the work of a period-instrument specialist. Read more It’s wonderful, and Gerard Schwarz gets his players to blast their way through the piece with total conviction. The sonics also constitute one of the better efforts from this source and era (1990). Buy it and love it.

– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Chorale Prelude(s) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 1990 
Notes: Arrangement: Ottorino Respighi 
2. Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in E minor, BWV 1023 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1990 
Notes:  Arrangement: Ottorino Respighi  
3. Fantasy and Fugue in C minor, Op. 86 (Bach, BWV 537) by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1922; England 
Date of Recording: 1991 
4. Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1990 
Notes:  Arrangement: Ottorino Respighi  
5. Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708-1712; Arnstadt, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1989 
Notes:  Arrangement: Ottorino Respighi  

Sound Samples

Bach - 3 chorales, P. 167: No. 1. Lento assai (after J.S. Bach's Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659)
Bach - 3 chorales, P. 167: No. 2. Andante con moto e scherzando (after J.S. Bach's Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn, BWV 648)
Bach - 3 chorales, P. 167: No. 3. Andante (after J.S. Bach's Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645)
Bach - Violin Sonata in E minor, P. 85 (after J.S. Bach's BWV 1023): I. Allegro
Bach - Violin Sonata in E minor, P. 85 (after J.S. Bach's BWV 1023): II. Adagio, ma non tanto
Bach - Violin Sonata in E minor, P. 85 (after J.S. Bach's BWV 1023): III. Allemanda: Allegro moderato
Bach - Violin Sonata in E minor, P. 85 (after J.S. Bach's BWV 1023): IV. Giga: Vivace assai
Bach - Prelude and Fugue in D major, P. 158 (after J.S. Bach's BWV 532): Prelude: Allegro - Meno mosso - Alla breve [Allegro] - Adagio -
Bach - Prelude and Fugue in D major, P. 158 (after J.S. Bach's BWV 532): Fugue: Allegro
Bach - Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, P. 159 (after J.S. Bach's BWV 582)
Bach - Fantasy and Fugue in C minor, Op. 86 (after J.S. Bach's BWV 537): Fantasia
Bach - Fantasy and Fugue in C minor, Op. 86 (after J.S. Bach's BWV 537): Fugue

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  4 Customer Reviews )
 Stokowski did it better August 1, 2012 By Richard Hayes (Charlotte, NC) See All My Reviews "Frankly, I bought the CD on the basis that I enjoy the music of both Raspighi and Elgar. I was disappointed in their orchestrations. I think the Stokowski transcriptions, done while he was director of the Philadelphia symphony, are better, and truer to Bach,s original organ works." Report Abuse
 Livliest Bach Ever? July 24, 2012 By Richard Broadbent (Emmitsburg, MD) See All My Reviews " I bought this disc based on David Hurwitz reivew and am elated with the music. As a fan of Bach, Respighi and Elgar, I've found the combination irresistible. The music is clearly Bach. But with these orchestrations the other composers make it their own too! Particularly with Respighi's transcriptions, one recognizes the tones and colors set by the instruments Respighi was fond of orchestrating his own compositions with. Bach with Resphighi flavor ! Delightful. Most enjoyable. " Report Abuse
 Bach in late Romantic style very well played April 6, 2012 By Steven S. (Moorestown, NJ) See All My Reviews "These are excellent performances of transcriptions, some of which may strike a modern audience as a little strange. They differ from the transcriptions by Stokowski, which I always found fun, engaging and just a little over the top. The orchestrations here can become much more unusual, with for instance, a piano appearing with the orchestra in one of the Respighi pieces, and harp or harps along with big drums, trumpets and perhaps everything else in the Elgar. The arrangements can be quite stirring, but for me the Elgar veers too close to the tasteless, which surprised me. The Respighi has many extended passages of very quiet playing, nicely done, but also not quite what you would expect. That said, there are many salient strengths here, including impassioned and excellent playing. The highlight of the disk for me is the Respighi transcription of the violin sonata, which becomes a kind of Romantic/Baroque concerto, and altogether very unusual. This is a fascinating disc, well worth hearing, even if you may raise your eyebrows every now and then." Report Abuse
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