Canto Armonico / Bálint Karosi / Cheryl Ryder / Ulf Wellner

Bach: Clavierübung III - The Chorales

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One of J.S. Bach's most demanding works for organ, the Clavier-Übung III (sometimes called the German Organ Mass) is made of 21 chorale settings of the Lutheran mass and the catechism, followed by the Four Duets, BWV 802-805, and it is framed by the celebrated "St. Anne" Prelude and Fugue in E flat major. This Hungaraton recording by organist Bálint Karosi is notable for its incorporation of the voices of Canto Armonico, directed by Ulf Wellner and Cheryl Ryder, so the listener can appreciate the chorale melodies with the sung texts, and better understand the theological underpinnings of Bach's magisterial organ compendium. Yet the performance is not complete, because the Four Duets have been omitted on the grounds that they are an anomaly, thematically unconnected to the chorales and essentially not intended as organ pieces. So this trimmed-down version of the Clavier-Übung III is a celebration of the Lutheran hymns that informed so much of German music in the Baroque era, and provided Bach with an endless source of inspiration. Recorded in 2013 at Boston's First Lutheran Church, the performance has a warm and vibrant quality, though there is a softening of the organ's sound because of the resonant acoustics.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Praeludium und Fuge, BWV 552
1 8:09
2 2:15
3 1:15
4 1:17
5 1:23
Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit, SWV 420
6 1:16
7 3:10
Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit, SWV 420
8 2:01
9 4:25
Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit, SWV 420
10 1:28
11 5:19
12 0:55
13 3:31
14 1:59
15 4:38
16 1:01
17 0:39
18 4:31
19 1:36
20 1:56
21 1:38
22 3:04
23 5:58
24 1:44

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 0:52
2 1:12
3 5:16
4 6:39
5 1:17
6 4:19
7 2:28
8 1:25
9 1:02
10 6:25
11 2:30
12 4:41
13 0:50
14 3:46
15 4:48
16 3:59
Praeludium und Fuge, BWV 552
17 6:54
blue highlight denotes track pick