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Gerhard Weinberger (Organ)

Gerhard Weinberger's Bach Organ Series, Vol. 15

R-15

Bach: Organ Works Vol. 15 (Arrangements for Solo Organ)

Aria in F major, BWV 587 [3:42]
Concerto No. 1 in G major (after Duke J. Ernst), BWV 592 [7:48]
Concerto No. 2 in A minor (after A. Vivaldi), BWV 593 [11:34]
Concerto No. 5 in D minor (after A. Vivaldi), BWV 596 [11:34]
Schübler Chorales:
Chorale Prelude Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 [4:08]
Chorale Prelude Wo soll ich fliehen hin (I), BWV 646 [1:43]
Chorale Prelude Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten (II), BWV 647 [4:03]
Chorale Prelude Meine Seele erhebet den Herren, BWV 648 [2:19]
Chorale Prelude Ach bleib' bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 649 [2:30]
Chorale Prelude Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter, BWV 650 [4:31]
Musical Offering BWV 1079: Ricercare à 6 [8:32]

Gerhard Weinberger (Organ) [Zacharias Hildebrandt, 1743-1746]

CPO

Apr 2003

CD / TT: 62:26

Recorded at St. Wenzel Church, Naumberg, Germany.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com | Amazon.com

Donald Satz wrote (December 1, 2004):
Rating: 3/6 Stars

Weinberger/Bach Series: Gerhard Weinberger's Bach organ works cycle on historical instruments has been somewhat of a mixed bag. Weinberger's general mode of operation is to provide sharply contoured, tremendously powerful and very severe accounts of Bach's organ music. The results are often amazing, but the flip-side is that some interpretations possess deficient lyricism and nuance. All of the above features are present on the new Volume 15, the second volume Weinberger devotes to Bach arrangements. These are arrangements of both the works of other composers and of Bach works from his Cantatas and The Musical Offering. Of course, the famous item on the program is Bach's Schübler Chorales where the recorded competition is immense.

Sound Environment: There is one feature of the latest disc that is relatively new to the series - a sound environment that is overly reverberant and tends to result in spongy articulation from Weinberger. Gone are the sharp contours that have informed his previous volumes, and I think it's fair to say that the Hildebrandt Organ (1743-46) at St. Wenzel needs taming that no one associated with the production accomplishes. A glossy heaviness pervades the performances, and Weinberger's customary sharp punctuation and severity are only partially realized. In essence, what we have here is a soundstage just the opposite of what Weinberger's style requires.

Performance Highlights: The one work where the Weinberger trademark is ever-present is in the Ricercar from The Musical Offering. He gives us a tremendously severe and strong reading from start to finish - forget nuance and subtlety. Weinberger strikes deeply into the psyche and never lets go. Many readers will be put off by such an approach, but this is prime Weinberger for better or worse. Unfortunately, the organ and soundstage on Volume 15 infrequently allows us to hear Weinberger at his most compelling. The sound is also detrimental to the busy outer movements of the concerto arrangements, although the slow middle movements are not as affected because of their starker textures.

Weinberger is rather heavy in the six Schubler Chorales, but his registrations are very attractive and create a fine level of poignancy. But once again, the soundstage tends to veer toward aural mush, obscuring the all-important musical lines.

Don's Conclusions: One of the least rewarding volumes in Gerhard Weinberger's traversal of Bach's organ works. To get the full measure of Weinberger's approach to Bach, I suggest acquiring his Volume 3 that has most of the Orgelbuchlien and Volume 4 that completes the Orgelbuchlien and also has superb performances of the Partitas BWV 767 & 770 and the Fugues 569 & 574. These two volumes are magnificent achievements and make Volume 15 sound like a poor cousin. An aural swimming pool is never favorable, but it is especially damaging when the organist is one who thrives on boldness and sharp detail.

 

Gerhard Weinberger: Short Biography | Recordings of Non-Vocal & Vocal Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Bach Organ Works from Weinberger, Vol. 1 | Bach Organ Works from Weinberger, Vol. 2 | Bach Organ Works from Weinberger, Vol. 3 | Bach Organ Works from Weinberger, Vol. 4 | Bach Organ Works from Weinberger, Vol. 5 | Bach Organ Works from Weinberger, Vol. 6 | Gerhard Weinberger's Bach Organ Series, Vol. 15

Instrumental Works: Recordings, Reviews & Discussions - Main Page | Order of Discussion
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Performers of Instrumental Works: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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Last update: żOctober 2, 2007 ż10:12:48