J S Bach: Leipziger Choräle, BWV 651 667

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Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Artists: Manuel Tomadin (organ)
The C minor Passacaglia and Fugue is one of the great masterpieces for the instrument and one which inspired countless responses from composers great and lesser. So it’s all the more astonishing to think that Bach wrote it while still a twenty-something hireling in Weimar, where his Kapellmeistership to the Duke ended badly with the composer being clapped in irons for touting his availability for other jobs, frustrated as his ambition was by the restrictions of the position. He had, however, managed to overhaul the organ of the court chapel in 1712–13, by collaborating with an organ-builder friend by the name of Trebs; both men had had plenty of experience upgrading instruments elsewhere, and it showed both in the colourful specification of the new instrument and the music that Bach was thereby able to write for it – none more spectacular than the spectrum of registers which the successive variations of the Passacaglia seem to cry out for. Bach also wrote plenty of ‘bread and butter’ chorales while in Weimar, of course, and later elaborated them, as was his wont, in Leipzig; here’s a rare chance to hear the original versions.

This recording of the famous “Leipziger Choräle” of the organ master Johann Sebastian Bach presents the original version of these works, written by Bach earlier, in his Weimar period. The versions differ mainly in terms of ornamention, the Weimar version being more flourishing and elaborate, with hints of the rich French ornamentation style.

Manuel Tomadin is Young ECHO Organist of the Year 2012, having won the ninth Internationaal Schnitger Orgelconcours during the Orgelfestival Holland in June 2011 in Alkmaar. He was born in 1977 but has already made recordings on various instruments of historical importance; he enjoys a high reputation among the organ fraternity.


00:00:00 Johann Sebastian Bach: Fantasia super Komm, Heiliger Geist, BWV 651a for full organ
00:03:22 Johann Sebastian Bach: Komm, Heiliger Geist, BWV 652a for two manuals and pedals
00:14:02 Johann Sebastian Bach: An Wasserflüssen Babylon, BWV 653b In five parts, for two manuals and double pedal
00:19:35 Johann Sebastian Bach: Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654a for two manuals and pedals
00:27:20 Johann Sebastian Bach: Trio Super Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend, BWV 655a for two manuals and pedals
00:31:37 Johann Sebastian Bach: O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig, BWV 656a
00:39:59 Johann Sebastian Bach: Nun danket alle Gott BWV657 for two manuals and pedals
00:44:37 Johann Sebastian Bach: Fantasia, Andante and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 542, 583: Fantasia
00:50:35 Johann Sebastian Bach: Fantasia, Andante and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 542, 583: Andante
00:56:26 Johann Sebastian Bach: Fantasia, Andante and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 542, 583: Fugue

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