> Ewald Kooiman plays Bach Vol 3 [KM]: Classical CD Reviews- June2002 MusicWeb(UK)






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Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Complete Organ Works
Volume 3 - Trio Sonatas and Fantasias (II)

Fantasie und Fuge in G minor, BWV542
Trio Sonata No. 4 in E minor, BWV528
Fantasia (Concerto) in G major, BWV571
Trio Sonata No. 5 in C major, BWV529
Pièce d’Orgue (Fantaisie) in G major, BWV572
Trio Sonata No. 6 in G major, BWV530
Ewald Kooiman, organ
Rec: August 1991, Grote of Mariakerk, Meppel, Netherlands.
CORONATA COR 1413 [71.24]

This third volume in the Kooiman/Bach series includes some of Bach’s finest works for organ. These Trio Sonatas 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.

As in the first volume of the trio sonatas, Kooiman plays at relatively slow tempi, which better highlights the subtle interplay of the voices. The middle movements are intense and lyrical, but at times these slow tempi seem to betray the spirit of the sonatas. At times, the fast movements seem a bit lacking in energy, while the slow movements tend to sound much more appropriate.

This disc also contains three fantasias, the long BWV 542, which is a fantasia and fugue full of energy, and gives the organ a chance to speak out brilliantly. This is the only "big" piece on the disc. The trio sonatas and the other fantasias are all more sedate. Kooiman sounds right at home in this piece, with a great deal of vigour and energy.

One comment about this disc and the other one of the Trio Sonatas. The 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.

As for the first volume of the sonatas, Kooiman seems to be struggling with two distinct styles of music. In the slower movements, his subtle playing fits perfectly, but in the faster movements of the trio sonatas he seems to be out of tune with the music. The one "big" work on this disc, the G minor Fantasia and Fugue, is brilliantly played, however, and it seems that this performer is more at home in this type of music than the more intimate works.
Kirk McElhearn


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01926 317025

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