Bernard Foccroulle

Bach: Complete Organ Works

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AllMusic Review by

Those with more time than money may find this an optimal reference set of Bach's complete organ music. There are organists who have produced more monumental readings of Bach (Helmut Walcha) and livelier ones (Ton Koopman), but those of Belgian organist Bernard Foccroulle are in the main straightforward, clear, and intelligent in terms of long-range structure. The chief attraction here is the scope of the project: Foccroulle made these recordings between 1982 and 1997 (remastering smooths out the sonic developments of the period reasonably well) on a variety of organs, many of them in northern Germany. They correspond as closely as possible to what Bach would have known, but Foccroulle also takes into account that Bach liked novel instruments. The 16 CDs of the set are each devoted to individual organs, and while the booklet gives some attention to the instruments Bach knew at various stages in his career, there's no systematic attempt to fit musical and instrumental chronologies together, or to tie either of them to a genre; each disc offers a self-contained program. This is desirable; few buyers will have time for a 16-disc listening session, but the contents can be sampled in many ways. Best of all is the price of this release by Belgium's Ricercar label: between three and four dollars (or euros) per disc. Competitive all the way around.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
11:06
2
2:22
3
2:23
4
2:34
5
2:42
6
1:56
7
6:41
8
1:23
9
1:54
10
3:05
11
3:11
12
2:40
13
5:48
14
4:20
15
1:22
16
2:19
17
3:45
18
2:24
19
7:12
20
9:19

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:40
2
1:46
3
2:38
4
2:08
5
2:45
6
2:58
7
1:40
8
2:51
9
2:00
10
2:15
11
2:14
12
2:23
13
3:32
14
1:25
15
1:27
16
2:05
17
1:35
18
1:15
19
1:21
20
2:14
21
2:00
22
2:51
23
1:34
24
2:34
25
4:11
26
2:50
27
1:48
28
1:49
29
2:03
30
2:09
31
1:38
32
1:43

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
4:41
2
1:03
3
0:54
4
1:12
5
0:50
6
1:19
7
0:56
8
1:33
9
2:46
10
2:07
11
0:58
12
3:07
13
2:24
14
1:21
15
1:16
16
4:46
17
3:02
18
2:16
19
2:47
20
1:56
21
1:38
22
2:40
23
2:22
24
4:48
25
9:42
26
10:12

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
5:21
2
4:17
3
4:02
4
2:02
5
1:33
6
1:12
7
6:16
8
1:20
9
2:03
10
4:16
11
15:31
12
3:39
13
4:43
14
3:33
15
2:05
16
4:40
17
3:00
18
4:35
19
4:56

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:22
2
1:13
3
1:52
4
0:50
5
0:49
6
1:36
7
1:44
8
0:48
9
1:07
10
1:32
11
0:49
12
2:19
13
2:00
14
1:28
15
1:16
16
2:19
17
2:46
18
1:42
19
2:17
20
3:44
21
1:05
22
2:10
23
1:36
24
4:42
25
0:56
26
1:34
27
1:43
28
1:05
Christ ist erstanden (I), chorale prelude for organ (Orgel-Büchlein No. 29), BWV 627 (BC K57)
29
1:12
30
1:17
31
1:35
32
0:48
33
0:59
34
1:33
35
0:50
36
1:25
37
2:07
38
1:19
39
1:35
40
2:08
41
1:06
42
2:50
43
1:15
44
1:33
45
1:40
46
1:20
47
0:51

Track Listing - Disc 11

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Prelude and Fugue, for organ in E flat major ("St. Anne;" Clavier-Übung III/26), BWV 552 (BC J16)
1
9:17
2
3:41
3
5:17
4
5:10
5
1:16
6
1:23
7
1:31
8
3:24
9
5:22
10
1:12
11
5:23
12
3:27
13
7:39
14
1:59
15
1:34
16
1:24
17
4:22
18
6:10
19
4:27

Track Listing - Disc 12

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:31
2
5:29
3
4:59
4
2:23
5
3:30
6
2:42
7
2:47
Prelude and Fugue, for organ in E flat major ("St. Anne;" Clavier-Übung III/26), BWV 552 (BC J16)
8
6:43
9
5:25
10
8:56
11
2:29
12
12:02
13
4:19
14
2:04
15
13:42

Track Listing - Disc 13

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
7:02
2
7:36
3
3:55
4
4:57
5
3:10
6
3:05
7
2:51
8
4:25
9
3:43
10
9:18
11
4:52
12
3:52
13
7:41
14
6:14
15
5:15

Track Listing - Disc 14

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
7:17
2
4:35
3
2:21
4
11:41
Vom himmel hoch, da komm ich her (II), canonic variations on the Christmas hymn for organ (early version), BWV 769a
5
1:40
6
1:30
7
3:29
8
2:42
9
3:46
10
9:37
11
4:31
12
2:05
13
3:23
14
1:58
15