Of the six sets of variations on Lutheran chorale melodies attributed to Bach, two are omitted from this disc. Allein Gott in der Hoh sei Ehr' is now known to be partly or wholly by A. N. Vetter while Simon Preston included the great canonic variations on Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her in an earlier Bach disc for DG ((CD) 427 668-2GH, 3/90). It's a pity that he didn't permit himself a little duplication (theoretically there is room on this disc) for his playing here is at its very best; and Simon Preston's best in Bach is truly formidable.
The organ (a 1627 Lorentz, reconstructed by Marcussen) makes some delightful sounds. At heart it's a most gentle creature and Preston reveals to us some of its charms with registrationsRead more planned with exemplary care and very little repetition. We encounter a captivating reed, as delicate as the finest porcelain miniature (Var. 3 of O Gott, du frommer Gott), the purest of flutes lovingly embraced by a subtle tremulant (Var. 8 of the same work) and a whole host of simply magical colours. Frequent use of 16-foot manual stops compensates for the lack of pedals in most of these variations (perhaps in Ach, was soll ich Sunder machen? this does produce a little too much deadweight). Only in the final variation of Sei gegrusset do we encounter full organ; a sound as stirring and red-blooded as any organ could hope to muster.
Such a concentration on small sounds as well as a wide overall dynamic range has certainly tested the DG engineers' skills. But they have achieved an outstanding result; a model of organ recording, clearly focused organ sound with an ideal acoustic backdrop. I found a slight upward adjustment of the volume control revealed some particularly vivid results but at normal levels even the softest stops could be heard with impressive clarity.
Partite sopra "O Gott, du frommer Gott", BWV 767by Johann Sebastian Bach Performer:
Simon Preston (Organ)
Period: Baroque Written: circa 1700; Lüneburg, Germany Date of Recording: 09/1989 Venue: Soro Abbey, Denmark Length: 14 Minutes 49 Secs.
Very Pleased -- RecommendedFebruary 21, 2013By W. Wilborn (Richwood, TX)See All My Reviews"I'm very pleased with this CD of four of six of Bach's Chorale Partitas. The playing is delightful and satisfying. Recommended for those interested in Bach's organ Chorale Partitas."Report Abuse