Tuesday, March 10, 2015

J.S. Bach - Ton Koopman‎ - Organ Works

This is a past Tuesday Blog from Mar-10-2015 . 

Over the course of a forty-five-year career Ton Koopman has established himself as a leader in the “authentic” movement. He trained in Amsterdam, where he studied organ, harpsichord and musicology and was awarded the Prix d'Excellence for both instruments. 

From the beginning of his musical studies he was fascinated by authentic instruments and a performance style based on sound scholarship and in 1969, at the age of 25, he created his first Baroque orchestra. In 1979 he founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra followed by the Amsterdam Baroque Choir in 1992.

As an organist he has performed on the most prestigious historical instruments of Europe, and as a harpsichord player and conductor of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir he has been a regular guest at prestigious venues in Vienna, London, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Rome, Salzburg, Tokyo and Osaka.

Koopman's extensive and impressive activities as a soloist, accompanist and conductor have been recorded on a large number of LPs and CDs for labels like Erato, Teldec, Sony, Philips and DG, besides his own record label “Antoine Marchand”, distributed by Challenge Records. 
According to his discography, he has recorded either complete or significant portions of the entire J. S. Bach organ catalog for his own label and for others. It turns out that Koopman was very unfortunate with his attempts at producing a series of recordings of all Bach's organ works. Two series (for Deutsche Grammophon and Novalis) were broken off before their completion, and the successful third attempt (for Teldec) disappeared quickly from the market before it had time to establish itself.

Today’s offering from my personal collection of vinyl records features Koopman on the restored Rudolf Garrels Organ of the Grote Kerk, Maassluis, Netherlands in the early 1980’s and is from the ill-fated DG project, issued under Archiv Produktion, a label begun in 1947, devoted mainly to early and Baroque music, which has evolved as the premier label for period or authentic performance.

Rudolf Garrels built the organ in the great church of Maassluis in the years 1730-1732. It was a gift of Govert van Wijn, a rich citizen of Maassluis, ship owner and former treasurer of the fishery committee. The organ was first used on the 4th of December 1732, the day on which Govert van Wijn turned 90. This makes it an instrument of Bach’s era. However, in the course of time the organ of Maassluis could not be spared from changing musical tastes of several organ builders and organists. Jacobus Robbers (1772-1773), Andries Wolffers (1789-1801), Abraham Meere (1805), Jonathan Bätz (1840), Michael Maarschalkerweerd (1881) and two generations of Van Leeuwen (1938-1965) restored the organ according to their own view. A first restoration, intended to go back to the original situation of 1732, took place in the years 1956 until 1965. It soon appeared that the organ required a more radical revision. In 1975 the former churchwardens took the decision to begin a solid restoration and to restore the Garrels-organ into its original splendour so that it could be preserved for the posterity.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major BWV 564
Toccata and Fugue in F Major, BWV 540
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 538 »Dorisch« 

Ton Koopman, Organ
Recorded in Maassluis, Grote Kerk, 1983. 
Organ built 1730-1732 by Rudolf Garrels.
Label: Archiv Produktion ‎– 410 999-1 
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album