J S Bach, Margaret Phillips - J S Bach Organ Works Vol VII

Published Thursday 29th December 2011
J S Bach, Margaret Phillips - J S Bach Organ Works Vol VII
J S Bach, Margaret Phillips - J S Bach Organ Works Vol VII

STYLE: Classical
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Regent REGCD308

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

This is volume seven of Margaret Phillips' on-going and critically well-received cycle of the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach as well as some pieces with a less than certain attribution but certainly from the same era. This double CD features two very different instruments by two of the leading organ-builders of Bach's time, both of which have been fully restored. CD One is played on the 1728 Zacharias Hildebrandt organ in St Jakobikirche, Sangerhausen and CD Two is on the 1735 Gottfried Silbermann organ in the Petrikirche, Freiberg. No doubt organ-spotters will want to read the very thorough and well illustrated CD booklet for more information. Each CD could stand alone as a well-rounded recital and each lasts more than 70 minutes. The sound quality is first class (credit to engineer and producer Gary Cole) and the fact that this double CD is priced as a single disc makes it good value. The repertoire includes the well-known Preludes and Fugues in G major and C minor, and the great Passacaglia in C minor, as well as plenty of less familiar pieces. As has been noted elsewhere on this website Margaret Phillips is one of Europe's most outstanding concert organists and teachers and she does not disappoint on this release. For collectors of Bach and organ aficionados this is a must-hear release but for the general listener it may be a little too specialised although if you like a good tune, well played you will enjoy this.

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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