WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Bach: Orgeltranskriptionen

Liszt / Schaab / Bach,J.s / Schmeding
Release Date: 01/01/2013 
Label:  Ars Produktion   Catalog #: 381090   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Sigfrid Karg-ElertCharles-Marie WidorArno LandmannFranz Liszt,   ... 
Performer:  Martin Schmeding
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  
SuperAudio CD:  $19.99
Low Stock

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Superb release in every regard. An all-round organ hit release.

Martin Schmeding has made numerous recordings for the ARS label, but I’ve come across his name via Cybèle, with excellent recordings including those of Bach and Medek. So, I’m already a declared fan, and this superb recording of Bach organ transcriptions is one I’ve hardly put down for weeks.
For a start, the ARS recording is very good indeed. It’s warm but filled with clarity, and deep without becoming an overwhelming woofer workout. The Stadkirche Karlsruhe-Durlach acoustic is well-nigh perfect, being resonant in proportion with the marvellous 1999 Stumm/Goll organ, whose sound suits these adapted Bach works without imposing
Read more too many idiosyncratic foibles or period-false notes of timbre or tuning.
Do you have doubts about liking Bach, or Bach on the organ? This may be the ideal place to start your exploration. The impression which may linger in some quarters that Bach was more a mathematical counterpoint machine than a red-blooded romantic is blown away by the selection of works here, which to a certain extent represents the importance with which Bach was seen by numerous composers of the Romantic era and beyond. The transcriptions are largely faithful to the essence of Bach’s original works, and there will be few if any shocks for those familiar with the works in this programme. What we have is a kind of transitional absorber between contemporary aspirations for authentic performance, and the kind of music composers of the 19 th and earlier 20 th century felt the need to preserve and express in their own time.
Bach’s own transcription of Vivaldi is familiar enough in the Concerto BWV 596, given a cracking but uncontroversial performance on this recording. The expressive Largo e spiccato is especially gorgeous here, and the lightness of touch in the playing is something which brings out the basic transparency in most of these transcriptions. The other multi-movement piece is also the most recent transcription of the Trio Sonata BWV 1031 made by Martin Schmeding. This is better known to us flute players as one of the sonatas, and hearing the beautiful Siciliano with one pipe per note is a different experience but by no means an unpleasant one.
Heavyweight names such as Liszt, Karg-Elert and Reger seem to promise a rich diet of spectacular organ sounds, but this is by no means the case here. These pieces remain transcriptions rather than arrangements, and Bach is very much to the fore in each case. Hearing the closing chorale from the St Matthew Passion in Robert Schaab’s organ version is another mildly disorientating transplant, but Bach’s genius can stand all kinds of treatment, and while the repetitions lose a little of their content through the lack of a text this remains a moving musical statement which works very well indeed on organ. The restraint of pieces such as Reger’s transcription of the Prelude and Fugue in B minor BWV 867 contrasts well with the lively Sinfonia from Cantata BWV 29 selected by Marcel Dupré. The grand finale is the almost inevitable Chaconne from the violin solo Partita BWV 1004, the gothic overtones of which are emphasised through organ transcription. There have been numerous versions made of this great work, and Arno Landmann may not be the most familiar name amongst greats such as Mendelssohn and Busoni who are associated with the Chaconne, but he was an organist of note in Mannheim, and described as “an unsurpassable organ virtuoso” by his teacher Karl Straube. Landmann’s Chaconne is a colourful transcription and highly effective, though the superhuman feel one has from a good violin performance is always levelled out somewhat by having the piece played on an instrument with such an arsenal of effects at its disposal. Other than the bridge-busting section at 11:15 which brings about a momentary whirlwind of virtuosity, there is little hint of technical boundary-breaking in the actual performance. Where this version wins for instance is in the quasi pastorale effect the central major-key section has from about 7:30, one of several moments of repose which heighten the surrounding turmoil and harmonic drama.
If you look up ‘Bach Organ Transcriptions’ you are likely to find Bach’s own work in this field, and all-Bach commercial releases of transcriptions by other composers seem to be deeply unfashionable, which on this showing is an unfair perception of what such a project can produce. This is an all-round organ ‘hit’ release in my book, combining a well-chosen selection of the sublime music of Bach in a stunning recording and superlative performances. What more can one ask? Volume II perhaps?
-- Dominy Clements, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphonie pastorale for organ (transcription of the sinfonia from Bach's Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 by Sigfrid Karg-Elert
Performer:  Martin Schmeding (Organ)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Venue:  Church, Karlsruhe, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Bach's Memento: 2nd movement, Miserere Mei by Charles-Marie Widor
Performer:  Martin Schmeding (Organ)
Venue:  Church, Karlsruhe, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Chaconne in D minor for organ (arrangement after Bach, BWV 1004) by Arno Landmann
Performer:  Martin Schmeding (Organ)
Period: Modern 
Venue:  Church, Karlsruhe, Germany 
Length: 14 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Einleitung und Fuge aus der Kantate "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis" (Bach) for Organ, S 660/1 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Martin Schmeding (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1860-1866; Germany 
Venue:  Church, Karlsruhe, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 78, Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Martin Schmeding (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Church, Karlsruhe, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Concerto for Organ in D minor, BWV 596 (after Vivaldi) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Martin Schmeding (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Germany 
Venue:  Church, Karlsruhe, Germany 
Length: 10 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Chorale Preludes (6) BWV 645-650 "Schübler": no 1, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Martin Schmeding (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1748-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Church, Karlsruhe, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Wir danken dir, Gott, BWV 29: Sinfonia by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Martin Schmeding (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 08/27/1731; Germany 
Venue:  Church, Karlsruhe, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Sonata for Flute and Harpsichord in E flat major, BWV 1031 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Martin Schmeding (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1734; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Church, Karlsruhe, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Prelude and Fugue for Organ in B flat minor [after Bach, BWV 867] by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Schmeding (Organ)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1916 
Venue:  Church, Karlsruhe, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 9 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Superb Program & Organ September 21, 2012 By L. Wilborn (Richwood, TX) See All My Reviews "I'm completely satified with these organ transcriptions of Bach's works, and the sound is great, too. Highly recommended." Report Abuse
Review This Title