Masaaki Suzuki was an organist before he was a conductor, and his recordings of Bach's organ works have made a delightful coda to his magisterial survey of Bach cantatas with his Bach Collegium Japan. This selection, the second in a series appearing on the BIS label, gives a good idea of the gems available. You get a good mix of pieces, including a pair of Bach's Vivaldi transcriptions. Fans of Suzuki's cantata series will be pleased to note the similarities in his style between his conducting and his organ playing: there's a certain precise yet deliberate and lush quality common to both. And he has a real co-star here: the organ of the Kobe Shoin Women's University Chapel, built in 1983 by French maker Marc Garnier. The realizations of Bach's transcriptions of Vivaldi concertos fare especially well here, with a panoply of subtle colors in the organ. Sample the first movement of the Concerto in D minor, BWV 596, with its mellow yet transcendently mysterious tones in the string ripieni. BIS backs Suzuki up with marvelously clear engineering in the small Japanese chapel, and all in all, this is a Bach organ recording that stands out from the crowd. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 541|
|Concerto in D minor, BWV 596, after Antonio Vivaldi (RV 565)|
|Chorale partita on 'Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig' or 'O Jesu, du edle Gabe', BWV 768|
|Concerto in C major, BWV 594, after Antonio Vivaldi (RV 208)|
|Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 547|