> Ewald Kooiman plays Bach Vol 2 [KM]: Classical CD Reviews- June2002 MusicWeb(UK)






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JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
Complete Organ Works
Volume 2 - Trio Sonatas and Fantasias (I)

Trio Sonata No. 1 in E flat major, BWV525
Fantasia in C minor, BWV562
Trio Sonata No. 2 in C minor, BWV526
Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV537
Trio Sonata No. 3 in D minor, BWV527
Fantasia in C minor, Anhang 205/Anh. II 45
Fantasia in C major, BWV570
Ewald Kooiman, organ
Rec: March 1991, Grote of Mariakerk, Meppel, Netherlands.
CORONATA COR 1313 [65.56]


This second volume in Ewald Kooiman’s traversal of the complete Bach for organ includes some of the composer’s finest works for the instrument - three of the six trio sonatas Bach composed around 1730. These works each contain three movements, and are among Bach’s subtlest compositions for organ. They are not meant to be played with large, forceful registrations - in fact, if played in this manner, their detailed counterpoint would be lost in the reverberation. Played in three parts - that is with each hand playing one voice and the feet playing the third - these works are brilliant examples of both technical and melodic mastery.

Kooiman plays these sonatas at relatively slow tempi, which better highlights the subtle interplay of their voices. The haunting middle movement of the first trio sonata takes on an almost lugubrious sound, yet never gets too dark. However, at times these slow tempi seem to betray the spirit of the sonatas. The third movement of the first sonata sounds a bit slow, compared to the middle section. I tend to appreciate this movement when it is played with a more lively tempo. The same is true for the other sonatas - at times, the fast movements seem a bit lacking in energy, while the slow movements tend to sound much more appropriate. This is unfortunate, for with more energy in the fast movements, this recording would be excellent.

The fantasias on this disc give a fine counterpoint to the delicate harmonies of the trio sonatas. Fantasias are free, unfettered works, where, as their name suggests, the composer is free to use all of his imagination. Some of these fantasias are short - BWV 570 is merely two and a half minutes long - but they contain a concentrated dose of Bach’s genius. The fantasias on this disc are all works played relatively slowly, and fit well with the trio sonatas, being at tempi that correspond roughly to their middle movements. In addition, three of them are in C minor, and one in C major, giving them a tonal relationship.

One comment about this disc - the trio sonatas are recorded with all three movements on one track, which prevents the listener from putting on a specific movement of these works. While this is not often a problem, it can be annoying to some who occasionally want to listen to just certain movements.

The organ used for this disc, and the excellent recording, fit very well the intimacy of the trio sonatas. This second volume of Ewald Kooiman’s complete series of Bach’s organ works shows that this set is off to a good start. Overall, the selection of works on this disc is quite effective, though the tempi for the fast movements of the trio sonatas leaves something to be desired.
Kirk McElhearn


CONTACT DETAILS
KM-Records
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UK Distribution

Presto Music
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Royal Leamington Spa
Warwickshire
CV32 4QN
01926 317025

info@prestoclassical.co.uk

 


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