> Ewald Kooiman plays Bach Vol 1[KM]: Classical CD Reviews- June2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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  Founder: Len Mullenger

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Complete Organ Works
Volume 1 - The Toccatas

Toccata con Fuga in D minor, BWV 565
Toccata in C major, BWV 566
Toccata and Fuga in F major, BWV 540
Toccata, Adagio and Fuge, in C major, BWV 564
Toccata and Fuga in D minor (Dorian), BWV 538
Ewald Kooiman, organ
Rec: No date specified, Grote of St. Bavorkerk, Haarlem, Netherlands.
CORONATA COR 1213 [61.11]

Ewald Kooiman was born in 1938, and is a well-known scholar-performer of organ music. As an editor, he has published more than forty volumes of organ music, ranging from the 17th to the 19th century. As a performer, he has made some fifty recordings, including this complete set of Bach’s organ works.

Bach is one of the uncontested masters of the organ. The sheer variety of his organ music, coupled with its intensity, makes it the reference for this instrument. Even though other great composers have written for the organ, and are also well known - from Germany alone, one can cite such masters as Buxtehude and Pachelbel - Bach’s music reaches much deeper levels of emotion and spirituality than most others.

In this first volume of Bach’s complete organ works, Kooiman performs five of Bach’s great toccatas. Each of these works is based on improvisation, and much freer construction than other works. Bach wrote several legendary toccatas for organ in his early years, with a great deal of Italian influence, and these virtuoso works show the extent of his ability. The opening Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, probably the most famous of all organ works (for which Bach’s authorship has recently been questioned), is performed here with a great attention to detail and texture, and less to the overwhelming sound one often hears with this work. The same is true for the C Major Toccata, where Kooiman gives an intense performance, with very interesting registration, which allows the subtleties of this piece to be clearly heard.

Bach’s toccatas and fugues can be seen as similar to the prelude-fugue pairs of the Well-Tempered Clavier. The famous Dorian Toccata and Fugue in D minor, which opens with a sixteenth note melody that sounds almost fugal, takes on brilliant colours on this organ. The fugue of this work is one of Bach’s most majestic, and, again, the registration and the excellent sound of this organ do it great justice.

This is an excellent start to what seems to be a wonderful set of Bach’s organ works. The performances are very good, the organ magnificent and the recording flawless. Even though Kooiman is not well-known as a performer, this set certainly deserves the attention of fans of Bach’s organ music.

Kirk McElhearn

Postbus 239
NL-2130 AE Hoofddorp

UK Distribution

Presto Music
11 Park Street
Royal Leamington Spa
CV32 4QN
01926 317025


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