'...a resourceful CD to extend our knowledge of Bach's
seemingly infinite ideas with chorale-based music.'
Bach's captivating qualities -
with BASIL RAMSEY
Drawing entirely from the unique Neumeister collection of 17th and 18th
century chorale preludes - the autograph of which is housed at Yale - has
given Christopher Herrick the opportunity to present 36 of these preludes
as certainly from the pen of JSB. There is a close correlation between them
and the existing Orgelbüchlein, quite apart from specific elements
of compositional technique that are common to JSB and his level of creative
When selection from a group of pieces becomes excessively difficult because
differing virtues clamour for evaluation, there comes the realisation that
choice for one might have less value for others. JSB has that effect upon
performers. It arises again here faced with a group of Bach's unknown chorale
preludes, which should excite the attention of organists who treasure what
they know and keenly anticipate acquaintance with the recently discovered
[listen - track 6, 0:00-0:52].
Christopher Herrick has chosen the smaller choir organ that Metzler built
in 1979 at the opposite end to the main instrument at Stadtkirche in Switzerland's
Zofingen. Thus the colours endemic to these preludes are in glittering array,
sometimes in delightful contrasts, and sometimes rich and powerful [listen - track 14, 0:00-0:55].
There is no feeling or evidence of a cosmetic exercise to justify a risk
with little-known and perhaps second-rate music by Bach. Hyperion has produced
a resourceful CD to extend our knowledge of Bach's seemingly infinite ideas
with chorale-based music. Christopher Herrick projects the pieces with his
secure and imaginative approach to the organ and its repertory.
Copyright © 12 August 2000
Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK
CD INFORMATION - HYPERION CDA67215
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