J S Bach, Bernard Foccroulle - The Great Toccatas

Friday 1st April 1994
J S Bach, Bernard Foccroulle - The Great Toccatas

STYLE: Classical
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Ricercar 134115

Reviewed by John Irvine

Organists not only inhabit a different musical world to the rest of us - often they inhabit a completely different world altogether! Little wonder that pieces for the solo church organ often seem alien and irrelevant to most listeners. Johann Sebastian Bach, however, was not only one of the foremost organists of his day, he was a musical genius in every way and the works he wrote for the organ are loved and cherished today by those who would never normally touch organ music with so much as a barge pole, as much as by those who are out and out organ freaks. Bernard Foccroulle is an organist (in his thirties to judge from his mugshot) who is sensitive to the playing styles and techniques of Bach's day, techniques which are essential to coaxing the very best quality of sound and performance from the ancient cathedral organs used in this recording. In addition to the obligatory "Toccata And Fugue In D Minor" which AeveryoneE will recognise, this collection provides a further four pieces which Bach used in his youth to dazzle and amaze his contemporaries as the Van Halen of the keyboards, in addition to two shorter pieces taken from collections of preludes for beginner organists. All in all an excellent introduction to Bach's organ music and a very good addition to the catalogue of Bach organ discs available.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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