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Thread: Tell us your favourite Bach organ works!

  1. #1
    Midshipman, Forte
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    Tell us your favourite Bach organ works!

    This must be a popular thread - what's your favourite Bach work (one might add: As of right now)? Choose your favourite prelude, toccata and/or fantasy with or without fugues or your favourite choral setting, or to hell with it - just tell us all about what Bach organ works you have a special feeling for!

    Tough one, I know, but I'll start off: The dorian toccata and fugue is to me one the greatest works of organ litterature. The thematic simplicity and rhythmic drive of the toccata, which is remarkably easy listening compared to a lot of his grand works, and that majestic fugue. Wonderful!

  2. #2
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Praeludium and Fuge in E Flat Major (St. Anne) for Organ - I've always been delighted at how the Fuge begins and develops into the thundrous final theme cadence in the pedal.
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  3. #3
    Commodore con Forza
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    Passacaglia in c (BWV 582)

  4. #4
    Commodore de Cavaille-Coll
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    Favorite Bach organ work...

    Passacaglia & Fugue in c-minor

  5. #5
    Midshipman, Forte
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    It depends on a mood: now I fond of Preludes and fugues in c minor BWV 546, D major BWV 532, Es-dur BWV 552, Fantasia and Fugue in g minor BWV 542, Fugue BWV 577. Passacaglia (with fugue, certainly ).
    My favorites among Bach's chorale preludes are large Kyrie-Christe-Kyrie settings from ClavierUbung III (if to name the whole Clavierubung III is too much), dubious "Aus der Tiefe rufe ich" BWV 745 and more. I like very much chorales from Neumeister's collection.

  6. #6
    Midshipman, Forte
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    yes, very tough question!! anyway, here goes:
    Passacaglia & Fugue BWV 582 is my favourite but I also like BWVs 542 , 552 and 543 very much, especially the fugue of 543. Another piece I have a liking for is BWV 733, played slowly it's very grand, anyone else have any views on this piece?
    Of course, as tom said the Dorian toccata & fugue is very impressive.

    It looks like most people who have replied have fairly similar tastes! hehe

  7. #7
    Commodore con Forza Sybarite's Avatar
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    No points for originality here, but Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565.

    This opens a CD of Simon Preston playing some of Bach's organ music that I have and that I often play on the way to work in the morning on my iPod. On a crowded bus, it's one of a number of pieces that seems to create a bubble of serenity that enables me to arrive at the office in a decent mental state.

  8. #8
    Captain of Water Music Thomas Dressler's Avatar
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    I guess overall I vote for the Dorian Toccata and Fugue, especially the fugue--I think one of the best he wrote.

  9. #9
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Passacaglia and Fugue definitely No.1

    'Great' Prelude and Fugue in a would be a close 2nd
    but the other 'Great' P&F in c min could be an equal 2nd. I was turned onto that one standing next to Daniel Roth while he played it at St. Suplice. How could you not??

  10. #10
    Ensign, Principal Jeffrey Hall's Avatar
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    #1. Passacaglia and Fugue in c, BWV 582 -- I've just been making a MIDI sequence of it this past week. No question about its spot at #1, ever since I first heard it 25 years ago.

    #2. Prelude and Fugue in e, "Wedge", BWV 548.

    #3. Fantasia and Fugue in g, BWV 542. I played this in my last concert. Once the third countersubject enters in the fugue, you can just feel the audience on the edge of its seat!

    #4. Komm, Herr Gott, Heiliger Geist, BWV 651. Why? Because of the superhuman proportions Bach brought to the chorale...as Beethoven would do to the classical symphony. The six solid minutes of Pentecostal imagery, rising from the opening pedal point, makes this for me the greatest of his chorales.

    #5. Toccata and Fugue in d, "Dorian," BWV 538. This seems like a very underappreciated work. Thomas Dressler: I agree. It's truly a superb fugue.

    I'll stop at 5. Of course there are numerous honorable mentions!

  11. #11
    Ensign, Principal Simon Jansfort's Avatar
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    Well, I haven't played so much Bach yet on organ. I used one of his pieces for my exam, but it's quite easy (if any bach is ...)

    It's my favorite for now.
    It's from the 8 small Preludes and Fugues and it's the one in G minor.

    Simon
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  12. #12
    Ensign, Principal Jeffrey Hall's Avatar
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    Simon,

    That G minor sure brings back memories! It was the first "real" piece my first organ teacher introduced me to. After working through Gleason for some months, I was at my lesson one day when my teacher set up the 8-4-2-mixture-reed on the great and pedal and said, "How about trying this one?" Then he launched into the G minor. I still remember the goose bumps and thinking, OK, this is the instrument for me!

    Though I think there is some debate that these pieces are by Krebs...but I don't know what the latest is about that.

  13. #13
    Apprentice, Piano
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    Bach has composed many good works for organ, but my favourite in major is his majestetic E-flat prelude BWV 552 as I have performed many times and the following fugue.
    In minor I chose his e-minor prelude BWV 548 and the following fugue which is very diffucult to play.

  14. #14
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    I love the trio sonatas.

  15. #15
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Aye, they are well in a class of their own really being neither chorale based or prelude, toccata or fugue. They are also rather difficult and excellent discipline to learn.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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