Lorenzo Ghielmi

Bach: Leipzig Chorales

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There have been many outstanding recordings of Bach's Leipzig Chorales, his final organ works, but this 2009 recording by Italian scholar and organist Lorenzo Ghielmi is as fine as any and better than most. Combining a superlative technique -- there's nothing here he can't play, with discerning taste -- there's nothing here that smacks of bombast, and a highly developed feel for the idiom, Ghielmi is as deeply under the skin of these pieces as could be desired. Beyond that, the Italian organist grasps the particular spirit of these Chorales and their special status as the composer's last works for the instrument with which he was most closely associated, and his interpretations are filled not just with spectacular virtuosity, but with profound feeling. Ghielmi's moving, almost otherworldly performance of Von deinen Thron tret ich, BWV 668, should inspire listeners to seek out the organist's many other recordings. Recorded in the Basilica of San Simpliciano in Milan, the digital sound is amazingly vivid and overwhelmingly immediate.

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