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An impressive display

John O'Donnell plays Bach on the Ahrend organ in Monash University, Australia, reviewed by BASIL RAMSEY


Tall Poppies    TP166

Bach for Christmas. John O'Donnell, Jurgen Ahrend Organ, Monash University. © 2003 Tall Poppies Records

John O'Donnell presents an impressive display for his group of chorale preludes and the Piece d'Orgue [listen -- track 1, 0:00-1:23] on a well-chosen neo-classic instrument -- a 1980 Ahrend organ. Nearly thirty shortish pieces are a challenge to play with the qualities that reveal the tiny kernel of each. Bach can be played at times with a reverential awe that tends to choke the wonder of his creative power. But there is no trace of it here [listen -- track 11, 1:07-2:10].

Copyright © 29 November 2004 Basil Ramsey, Essex UK

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Bach for Christmas

TP166 DDD Stereo 73'44" 2003 Tall Poppies Records

John O'Donnell, Jürgen Ahrend Organ at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

J S Bach: Pièce d'Orgue BWV572; Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her BWV700; Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her BWV738; Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her BWV701; Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her BWV606; Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her BWV769; In dulci jubilo BWV608; In dulci jubilo BWV729; Christum wir sollen loben schon BWV696; Christum wir sollen loben schon BWV611; Pastorella BWV590; Puer natus in Bethlehem BWV603; Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar BWV607; Wir Christenleut BWV710; Wir Christenleut BWV612; Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ BWV697; Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ BWV604; Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ BWV722; Der Tag, der ist so Freudenreich BWV605; Jesu, meine Freude BWV610; Jesu, meine Freude BWV713; Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich BWV609; Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich BWV732; Wie schön leuchtet uns der Morgenstern BWV739

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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular series of shorter CD reviews