• Welcome to the Pipe Organ Forum! This is a part of the open community Magle International Music Forums focused on pipe organs (also known as "church organs"), organists, organ music and related topics.

    This forum is intended to be a friendly place where technically advanced organists and beginners (or even non-organists) can feel comfortable having discussions and asking questions. We learn by reading and asking questions, and it is hoped that the beginners (or non-organists) will feel free to ask even the simplest questions, and that the more advanced organists will patiently answer these questions. On the other hand, we encourage complex, technical discussions of technique, music, organ-building, etc. The opinions and observations of a diverse group of people from around the world should prove to be interesting and stimulating to all of us.

    As pipe organ discussions can sometimes become lively, it should be pointed out that this is an open forum. Statements made here are the opinion of the poster, and not necessarily that of the forum itself, its administrator, or its moderators.

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    Many kind regards

    Frederik Magle


Bach: Toccata & Fugue in D-minor BWV 565 (free) MP3 Download


New member
Did you know that there are only two forum sites I frequent? This, and one about search engine optimization.

I agree with methodistgirl...we'd like to see you, Frederik, on video :) I really love your works!

Daniel, it is really impressive. I think I'd like to have an accordion! Imagine, the sound of a full organ but the size you can carry while playing.

I found other guitar presentations that sounded organlike. Saw what Krummhorn posted the first time here.


New member
Bach's Tocatta & Fugue

I'm trying to download your mp3 file but (yes I have AOL) nothing seems to be happening. Please help.


Staff member
I'm trying to download your mp3 file but (yes I have AOL) nothing seems to be happening. Please help.

Are you on dial-up, dsl or broadband connection?

Sometimes AOL will impose restrictions on the downloading of larger files (this one being 16.4MB) at certain times of the day or night. Have you tried the download during an off peak time?

I was just able to download it again tonight ... I'm on premium high speed cable internet though.


Staff member
was this supposed to download to my computer so i could put it on my mp3 player? cause it didn't...

Hi ... and welcome to MIMF :wave:

If you left clicked on the file, it will just play ... if you wish to save it to your PC, you will need to right click the title in the original post and then select "save link as", another dialog box should open on your PC screen. From there you can change the location where you want this file to go.

I just confirmed that the download still works from that link .. took about 70 seconds to download. :)

Let me know if you experience more problems and hopefully we can help.


Very well performed.. enjoyed your interpetation and registrations too. Love the way you played the ending of the fugue section.

John Watt

My host, Mr. Frederik Magle, thank you for this performance.
For the first time online I'm thinking my studio headphones aren't enough.
I'm trying to imagine the cathedral areas that would differentiate the sound,
more than just simple stereo left and right, or even quadraphonic.
What was nice right away was the quality of the recording, seemingly perfect.
I turned it up loud right away, but grew frustrated with the headphone's limitations.
While I was listening I was thinking that if the recording aspect of this cathedral
was so tightly controlled, maybe you could have had a mike hanging over your
keyboard, so the sound of the keys and your fingers could be put into the mix,
even the stops being pulled, adding percussive elements.

All this is leading up to a question I have for you.
When you were describing your tour in terms of various keyboard mechanics,
you mentioned a delayed timing because of weak pneumatics, and how you coped.
Fretting fingers want to know, when an unexpected swell of sound filled your ears,
how did it make you feel?
Was this something you could be purposeful with, catching some unpredictable sounds,
almost like jamming with yourself?
I would imagine the first time you play the new acoustics would provide almost the
same experience of unexpected sounds.
Considering all the complexities I can't imagine, that a lot of unimaginable sounds.
What a sonic realm to dwell in!
And thinking of that, looking at the Riga Cathedral photo, I'd want the keyboard
to be up front in the middle...
no, no, that's so wrong, I was starting imagine measurements for keyboard placement,
but there are priestly concerns.
If you're responding, Mr. Frederik Magle, where is your favorite keyboard placement?
Up around the choir loft, getting into the vocal mix more easily,
or down amongst the bass so you feel it in your chest?
Those are the only two positions that represent existing ambient choices for me,
and for me that's standing closer to the P.A. or monitors to hear the vocals,
or getting closer to the bass or drums to be more into that mix.

I've been online and emailing but only did the easy build thing and activated a domain
just over three weeks ago. My time on your domain has been so meaningful for me,
that I have put a link to you on my title page. I hope this meets your approval.
May my domain find the same symphonic functionality of yours some day.

Thank you for any effort you may make on my behalf,
as always, John Watt

John Watt

Oh... I was hoping, and I guess I still am.
as always, John Watt

EDIT: I just noticed my posting above shows "Yesterday 01:21"
Today is Nov.22, and I typed that a few days ago.

Frederik Magle

Staff member
Hello John,

Thanks for your feedback and your interesting thoughts on this recording. First of all I must admit that I do not remember much about the technical particulars of this recording from 1993.

However, regarding placing a mic near the manuals (keyboards) to add the sound of the keys, I think that would create an "artificial" sound. The sound of the organ itself (especially one as large as the Riga organ) is so powerful that even the organist himself cannot hear the sound of the keys except for the soft passages, and that from a distance of no more than 80-90 centimeters. Not to mention the audience sitting at a distance of approx. 15-80 meters from the organ (in Riga). Adding keyboard sounds in to the mix would be artificial, you cannot hear them in the church. What you can sometimes hear in Riga - in the soft passages - is the sound of the huge and complicated tracker action system, but that does not come from the console alone, but all the way from the console to the chests, and would thus not gain anything from a mic directly over the manuals.

With that said, it's an interesting idea for experimentation. Artificial is not necessarily bad :) and I do get the idea of the "percussive" effect, though I'm not sure it would add anything musically to a recording of "traditional" music like the Toccata & Fugue,. etc.

Regarding the delay in pneumatic organs, indeed it can be a challenge. (There was no delay in Riga, btw, since it's a mechanical "tracker" action instrument) but challenges are there to be overcome. The pneumatic delay is most problematic when playing together with other instruments. When playing solo, and if the delay is not too long, the brain has the ability to compensate in advance. You can also do that when playing with others, but it takes more effort.

A normal delay from a pneumatic organ is not long enough that it can be used purposefully, however some organs have distant divisions, in certain cases up to 200 meters away from the console (St. John the Divine in New York springs to mind), and there you will have to play very purposefully "on" the delay. Yes, you could describe it as "jamming with yourself".

Finally, the ideal placement of the console is simply too impossible for me generalize about. It will be individual from each organ, depending on the placement of the organ (in regard to the surroundings), the pipes, and the console in regard to each other. No two organs or spaces are alike (and one must remember, when it comes to pipe organs, the "space" and the instrument cannot truly be separated - at least not successfully). But I will say, very generally, that I would prefer the sound by the console to be as close in balance as the one heard by the audience as possible, without sacrificing the feel of contact with the instrument.

Best regards,

John Watt

Mr. Frederik Magle! Thank you, for getting into it with me.
You've given me a few new things to think about, but what I can't imagine,
is the "feel of contact with the instrument". That's what I live for on guitar.
And I can be playing where my fingers have no relationship to the sound.
Before your reply, I wasn't even thinking of a cathedral organ in those terms.
It must be the history, all the movies, and the lack of anything like that here,
for me to have developed such a distant concept of their working sound.
The fact you are as loud as you describe is surprising to me.

No use aerating my thoughts before they find some musical experience,
but I'm definitely not going to think I'm on my way to impressing you,
with the Thomas Organ I bought. My forum use here inspired that.

But that's okay, I'm still listening within my own quiet reverie.
My new musical ambition? Sitting beside a console to experience the sound.
thanks again, as always, John Watt
Last edited:

lover of music

New member
Mr. Magle, Sir, I am presently revelling in your downloaded recording of Bach's Toccata and Fugue - simply glorious. I understand completely your admonition to go to Riga Cathedral to hear the full glory of the Walcker organ. My wife and I have just returned from four days in Riga where we were lucky enough to spot that there was to be a New Year's Eve concert, "With Organ Sounds the Year Bids Farewell", with ten organists playing ten pieces written by a chorus of composers from Clerambault (d1740) to Hesford (d1996). Despite my not being too well on the evening, we made our way to the cathedral, and am I glad that we did!! I listened, enthralled, as the sound ebbed and flowed around us in the wonderful sound-box that is Riga Cathedral. Providing the 'cherry on the cake' was Telemann's Sonata Concertante for trumpet and organ. The trumpeter I know nothing of, but after listening to some of the most sublime playing, with notes that seemed not to die in the upper realms of the cathedral, I shall make it my business to explore the name, Gatis Gorkusa.
I have just stumbled across your site whilst researching Riga Cathedral. I am 74 and a confirmed music lover, and will follow this site and your music with great interest.


Frederik Magle im i'm a yr yonger than you but im also very farway your skill. Is there room for me to improve i only do basic Congregation accampaniment!!!!!!
You're surely Given the Lord . all Glory be to Him above!!!!!!!



WOW!!! Frederik :grin:, That's just brilliant. I am a beginner in Classical Music as I enjoy and brash and powerful sounding piece. As I live in Australia I would jump at the chance to go to Riga. As far as I know that organs do require a healthy compressor with strength and quiet!! Is that a problem with organs of today? :confused:


Hello anthill and welcome to the forum
Trust you will continue to enjoy the experience


Georgia Terrapin

New member
Thank you, Mr. Magle

Thank you so much for the download. I am not a musician and I don't have any training in the art and science of music. I only know that this piece must be especially tough, technically and artistically. My wife and son have studied music, and my son's birthday falls on Hallowe'en. This piece is one of my favorites among every type and genre, and it holds a special place at this holiday.

You're very kind to share your art with us. I'll pass the site information along to my son -- I imagine you'll soon have new members.