Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bach JS - The Art of Fugue - Helmut Walcha, organ 2CD

Bach JS - The Art of Fugue - Helmut Walcha, organ
Organ | Eac, flac, cue | log, cover | 2 CD, 754 MB
April 10, 2007 | Archiv | RapidShare

I first heard this same version of Art of the Fugue on an LP (showing my age unfortunately). It has been remastered and released along with several other selections. Astounding is one word that comes to mind. Magisterial is another. Authentic is yet another.

Helmut Walcha was the blind genius who recorded Bach's entire organ output FROM MEMORY. That feat in itself deserves a medal of some kind. I've heard the Art of the Fugue by string quartet, violin, harsichord, piano, guitar, and my favorite, organ. (Perveresly, I'd love to hear it on one of the French Cavaille-Coll "symphonic" instruments.) Despite all the hogwash about Bach's intentions that it was written without a particular instrument in mind, it is hard to believe that someone could hear this recording and not be absolutely convinced that the organ, HIS instrument, was the one he had in mind.

The phrasing, held notes, pedals - all point to an organistic setting. It is true that neither tempi nor registration accompanied the manuscript but Bach did not always include both for many of the "great" preludes and fugues. One of the best features of the LP version was the large pamphlet of notes including themes. In the sheet music edited by Walcha he "finishes" the final fugue and one wishes that were included here - even over the protests of purists--Amazon

CD Content

CD 1

Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080

CD 2

Prelude and Fugue, for organ in C major, BWV 547
Trio Sonata for organ No. 1 in E flat major, BWV 525
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue, for organ in C major, BWV 564
Trio Sonata for organ No. 6 in G major, BWV 530

Read more about Helmut Walcha here


  1. thanks. I was introduced to Bach organ works by Walcha and I always liked his playing.

  2. Damned if I can find the links!



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