Reviewed by Steven Whitehead
There are several good reasons to recommend this disc although not all of them will appeal to all listeners. Collectors of organ music will appreciate the opportunity to hear a new recording on the magnificent Bernard Aubertin organ of Saint-Louis-en-Ille, Paris which was built in 2004 in German Baroque style. The organist is Margaret Phillips, one of our most distinguished concert organists and an expert in 18th century keyboard music; she is on top form here. Listeners with an interest in Johann Sebastian Bach will find this a fascinating collection. The starting point is Peter William's book J S Bach: A Life In Music, which approaches Bach's life and works by way of the famous Obituary written by Bach's son, Carl Philipp Emanuel, together with one of his pupils, Johann Friedrich Agricola, and published in 1754. It mentions various composers that Bach studied in his formative years and the CD takes 13 representative pieces from seven of them plus a concluding Toccata in E from Johann Sebastian himself. So, in order of appearance, we meet Nicolaus Bruhns (1665-1697), Johann Kaspar Kerll (1627-1693), Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706), Johann Jacob Froberger (1616-1667), Georg Bohm (1661-1733), Johann Adam Reincken (1643-1722), and - of course - Dieterich Buxtehude (1637-1707). The end result is a kaleidoscopic survey of the development of early German Baroque music and even a casual listener will find much to enjoy. For the more serious collector this is indispensable.
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