B-A-C-H: Anatomy of a Motif - Johnson

B-A-C-H: Anatomy of a Motif - Johnson

Chandos  CHSA 5285 (2 discs)

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Instrumental

Bach: Contrapunctus XIV, BWV 1080, Ricercar à 6, BWV 1079
Mendelssohn: Organ Sonata in D minor on the Chorale 'O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden' (realised Rudolf Lutz 2007-08)
Schumann: 6 Fugen über den Namen 'Bach'
Brahms: Fugue, WoO 8
Liszt: Präludium und Fuge über den Namen B-A-C-H
Reger: Fantasie und Fuge über B-A-C-H
Karg-Elert: Passacaglia and Fugue on B-A-C-H

Simon Johnson (organ of St Paul's Cathedral, London)

In musical notation in Germany, the letter ‘h’ is used to represent the note b natural. So, the name ‘Bach’ forms an elegant phrase of two pairs of falling semitones. This proved an inspiration to Johann Sebastian, whose musical ‘signature’ appears again and again throughout his extensive output. Two shining examples are included on this album – the ‘unfinished fugue’ Contrapunctus XIV à 4 from Die Kunst der Fuge (as completed by Lionel Rogg) and the exquisite Ricercar à 6 from Musikalisches Opfer. Bach’s signature – as well as musical invention – has directly influenced scores of other composers down the years, as evidenced by the works included here, from Mendelssohn to Karg-Elert. The organist and, from 2008 until 2021, Assistant Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral, Simon Johnson has used his knowledge and insight to construct this programme to demonstrate the extraordinary range and scope of the cathedral’s organ. Expertly recorded by the Chandos technical team, this album provides an outstanding testament to this fine instrument and to the unique acoustic of the world-renowned cathedral in which it sits. Recorded in surround-sound and available as a Hybrid SACD.

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