Friday, October 23, 2020

Back to Bach – Orgelwerke

This montage from our Podcast Vault revisits a post from October 18, 2013. It can be found in our archives at


For a few years, we used to feature Podcast Vault podcasts on the Tuesday Blog, and this week's selection was indeed redone in March of 2014. The title I used at that time was "Three Organs and Three Organists" and though the bulk of the musing essentially repeated the original Friday musing, there was a notable exception and let me recycle iy here:

Seeing all these colonnades of bone so methodically ranged about, would you not think you were inside of the great Haarlem organ, and gazing upon its thousand pipes?

This description of the mouth of a whale, quoted from the Melville novel Moby Dick makes a direct reference to the historic Christiaan Müller organ of the St.-Bavokerk in the Dutch city of Haarlem. It is one of the world's most historically important organs, whose original construction dates back 1735-38, thus contemporary to Bach’s lifetime. Dutch organist and composer Piet Kee performs eight short preludes and fugues for organ (BWV 553-560) on this venerable instrument.

Our two other organists - and organs - come from different parts of the Globe; Ian Tracey performs the Passacaglia and Fugue BWV 582 in this montage on the grand Blancfort organ at Our Lady of Incarnation church in Marbella, Spain. Glenn Gould plays selections from The ARt of the Fugue on the Casavant organ at All Saints' Kingsway Anglican Church in Toronto.

The original post (under my old bilingual format) proposed two YouTube clips (on in the French commentary, the other in the English commentary). Today's filler is an altogether different performance of the Art of the Fugue, this one on the Ahrend & Brunzema organ, , Kirche St. Johann, Bremen-Oberneuland by Herbert Tachezi.

I think you will (still) love this music too.

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