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Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Concerto in la minore BWV 593 da Vivaldi [12:43]
Concerto in re minore BWV 596 da Vivaldi [11:42]
Trio in do minore BWV 585 da una Sonata a tre di Johann Friedrich Fasch [5:43]
Concerto in do maggiore BWV 595 dal primo movimento del Concerto in do maggiore del Principe Johann Ernst von Sachsen Weimar [4:25]
Trio in sol maggiore BWV 586 da Georg Philipp Telemann [4:29]
Concerto in sol maggiore BWV 592 dal Concerto in sol maggiore del Principe Johann Ernst von Sachsen Weimar [8:08]
Aria in fa maggiore BWV 587 da François Couperin: Les nations, Sonade “l’imperiale” [4:22]
Concerto in do maggiore BWV 594 da Vivaldi (Concerto in re maggiore ‘Grosso Mogul’ RV 208) [19:01]
Alessio Corti (organ)
rec. Chiesa di Santa Mario Segreta, Milan, date not known. DDD
CONCERTO CD2006 [70:33]
 


The Bach concerto transcriptions are a fascinating body of music, apart from anything else because of their fascinating variety of sources. And, as so much of the music is Italian, it is interesting to receive this recording featuring an Italian player, playing an Italian instrument: the three manual 1986 Tamburini in the church of Santa Maria Segreta in Milan.
 
Alessio Corti is a former student, and indeed successor as Professor of Organ at the Geneva Conservatory, of Lionel Rogg. Born in Milan in 1967, and prize-winner at several competitions, Corti impresses through his excellently judged tempi which are never too quick. He plays throughout with control, commitment and great musicality. Occasionally clipped endings of figures, or one-dimensional articulation - track 15, right hand at 1:08 for instance - are the exception. Occasionally I find the slower movements lack a certain momentum.
 
I would question a little bit some registration choices. The sound of the plenum with its brash - occasionally stratospheric - mixtures in the not inconsiderable acoustic make initially for arresting listening but after around 20 minutes those mixtures begin to grate. I find it hard not to question any solution where the plenum is used so extensively without the pedal reeds – we wouldn’t do it after all in any other context. I prefer therefore the solution found by Pieter van Dijk on his recordings of the Concertos (Hänssler edition CD 92.095) where the use of the Alkmaar organ’s principals makes for more convincing balances in general between soloists and ripieno. And although the quality of the principal stops in the present recording is good, Alkmaar’s are just untouchable.
 
Another major plus point for Alessio Corti is his use of a 4’ solo in the large C major Concerto, BWV 594. A practice initially proposed in an essay by Luigi Tagliavini, it has the great advantage of preserving the pitch relationship between the soloist and orchestra in Vivaldi’s original score.
 
Corti can’t beat van Dijk’s recording then, but this is well worth tracking down for his consistently stylish and musical playing. The booklet is unfortunately inadequate and contains no photo of the organ.
 
Chris Bragg
 

 



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