Simon Preston

Bach: The Organ Works

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

One of the world's most respected interpreters of J.S. Bach's music, Simon Preston recorded the complete organ works for Deutsche Grammophon between 1987 and 2000 on organs located in England, Germany, Denmark, and Norway. This 14-disc box set in the affordable Collectors Edition series brings together the trio sonatas, the preludes and fugues, the concertos, the orgelbüchlein, the chorales, and the Clavier-Übung, Part III, and also includes the toccatas, fantasias, partitas, and other pieces that appeared on separate releases. Preston's playing is lucid, alert, and incisive, and his choices of stops produce clear tones that make the counterpoint utterly transparent. If one listens to several discs in a row, Preston's consistently bright sonorities and mostly brisk tempos may seem a little predictable, but any perceived lack of variety is certainly compensated by his skill and thorough mastery of this massive body of work. These recordings present the organs in nearly ideal conditions, with superb sound quality in moderately resonant spaces and without the usual blemishes associated with church recordings, such as the noises of the instruments' mechanisms or random background distractions. Because the discs were printed with minimal content information, the booklet must be consulted for identifying particular works and their track listings. Included in the booklet is an essay on Bach's organ music, as well as a helpful alphabetical list of the works with their BWV numbers and the corresponding CDs.

Track Listing - Disc 8

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:20
2 1:10
3 1:40
4 0:44
5 1:23
6 1:12
7 1:37
8 0:39
9 1:10
10 1:12
11 0:40
12 1:57
13 2:31
14 1:43
15 1:15
16 2:18
17 2:32
18 2:08
19 2:40
20 3:34
21 1:22
22 2:22
23 1:13
24 4:40
25 0:54
26 2:03
27 1:20
28 0:47
29 3:45
30 0:37
31 0:41
32 1:17
33 0:44
34 1:10
35 2:26
36 1:23
37 1:34
38 2:04
39 0:54
40 1:59
41 1:15
42 1:50
43 1:37
44 1:48
45 0:46
46 2:37

Track Listing - Disc 11

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:04
2 5:44
3 0:59
4 4:30
5 2:00
6 3:26
7 1:30
8 6:41
9 1:50
10 4:25
11 1:59
12 6:25
13 6:34
14 3:43
15 4:51
16 2:17
17 3:18
18 2:48
19 2:30
Fugue in E flat major, BWV 552
20 6:27

Track Listing - Disc 12

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:56
2 2:20
3 3:39
4 4:43
5 1:45
6 1:16
7 1:31
8 1:15
9 3:17
10 1:23
11 1:31
12 0:49
13 1:07
14 2:39
15 3:14
16 4:22
17 1:05
18 3:25
19 2:15
20 2:59
21 2:28
22 5:01
23 3:52
24 2:57
25 2:00
26 2:31
27 3:20
28 5:36

Track Listing - Disc 13

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:53
2 1:29
3 2:41
4 1:24
5 1:01
6 2:36
7 2:22
8 2:07
9 2:02
10 2:44
11 1:26
12 4:42
13 2:21
14 3:49
15 4:02
16 2:31
17 1:10
18 5:03
19 4:54
20 2:48
21 3:03
22 1:59
23 6:06
blue highlight denotes track pick