Prelude, Toccata, Fantasia & Fugue for instrumentenes dronning

06.02.2022

Det er vanskelig og tenke seg noe mektigere enn Bachs kraftfulle orgelverk når preluder, toccataer, fantasier & fuger drar seg til via instrumentenes dronning. Det føles som hele universet spiller med, og overtoner sender kaskader av dirrende klangflater ut i rommet - så du kjenner katedralen rister i grunnvollene. 

I denne delen av Bachs orgelverk vil det her i ukronologisk orden deles slike opplevelser hvor orgelkraft, interpretasjon, lyd og bilde greier å gjenspeile noen av disse kvalitetene.

Bach gjør alt større, dypere, tettere og mer mangfoldig. Han overvelder med fantasi og kvalitet i et kompositorisk mesterskap. Han er teknisk og intellektuelt utfordrende gjennom sin kompleksitet og perfeksjon. Han er en europeer slik han smelter sammen det beste av tysk, fransk og italiensk tradisjon. Han beveger oss med vitalitet og kraft og følelsesdybde. Han er universell og når inn i ulike religiøse og kulturelle miljøer, også islam og buddhisme.

- Fra Torkil Baden sin nye bok "Bach og hans orgelunivers"

BWV 542 Fantasia & fugue i g-moll -Leo van Doeselaar

The Fantasia and fugue in G minor, performed by Leo van Doeselaar for All of Bach, is one of the few organ works that can accurately be dated. Bach performed this work in Hamburg, where the post of organist at St Jacob's Church became vacant in 1720. During a recital lasting over two hours, he demonstrated his skills as an organist and struck his audience dumb. One member of that audience was the former organist Reincken, the eminence grise of the Hamburg music scene, who praised Bach's improvisational art as follows: 'I thought this skill had died out, but I see it lives on in you'.

 "The Fantasia is a very free composition with incredible dissonances and an incredible rhetoric." Organist Leo van Doeselaar talks about the Fantasia in fugue in G minor, which he performed for All of Bach.

Kilde: All of Bach

BWV 544 Preludium und fugue in h-moll - Alexander de Bie

The dramatic Praeludium und Fuge in h-moll, played by Alexander de Bie (19), during livestream concert "Met Bach het jaar uit" in the Westerkerk Amsterdam, 30-12-2020

BWV 546 Prelude and fugue i c-moll - Ton Koopman

The most important manuscript of this Prelude and fugue in C minor, performed by Ton Koopman for All of Bach, was written by Johan Peter Kellner (1705-1754). He grew up and worked his whole life in central Germany, where he got to know Bach, whom he greatly admired. It is thanks to pupils and admirers like Kellner that much of Bach's music has survived at all. The most important manuscript of this Prelude and fugue in C minor was written by Kellner. 

However, this also leads to questions, as is often the case with music we do not have in Bach's own hand. Everyone agrees that the monumental prelude is 100% Bach. It forms a stylistic and thematic entity. But opinions are somewhat divided about the fugue. That central section where the theme disappears (and where all the counterpoint even evaporates briefly) - is it really by Bach? Could Kellner have tinkered with the fugue? Or could the fugue be his composition entirely? In any case, we know he did have Bachian improvisation skills. Once, Kellner was sitting at the organ when Bach happened to enter the church and he improvised a fugue on the spot, on the German note names B A C H (B-flat, A, C, B).

"Johann Sebastian Bach thought Zacharias Hildebrandt was the best organ builder. This organ in Naumburg was approved and inaugurated by Bach." Organist Ton Koopman talks about the special Hildebrandt organ in the Stadtkirche St Wenzel in Naumburg, on which he played during recordings for All of Bach.

BWV 565 Toccata & fugue i d-moll - Jürgen Wolf 

It's possibly the most recognizable organ work of all time: Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565. Here, Bach's tour de force is being played by Jürgen Wolf on the church organ of Leipzig's Nikolaikirche. The performance took place at a commemorative concert held on October 9, 1999 - exactly ten years after the 'Monday Demonstration'. On October 9, 1989, some 70,000 citizens overcame their fear of the authoritarian regime to demonstrate for freedom and more democracy in Leipzig - the second largest city of former East Germany. The peaceful, large-scale demonstration is considered a key historical moment which, in combination with other events, led to the fall of the Wall a month later on November 9, 1989. 

It is not known precisely when Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750) wrote the Toccata and Fugue in D minor. At times, it was even questioned whether it was written by Bach at all. Most researchers now assume, however, that the organ classic is the work of a young Bach, composed in Arnstadt between 1703 and 1707.

Jürgen Wolf is a German organist, conductor and composer. From 1993 to 2019 he was cantor of the St. Nicolas Church, Leipzig. Since 2019, Wolf has been active primarily as a guest conductor. During his studies, Jürgen Wolf was already intensively involved in historical performance practice, with a special focus on the interpretation of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.