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CD Review

Stokowski's Symphonic Bach, Volume 2

  • Fantasia and Fugue in G minor
  • Arioso
  • Wachtet auf
  • Ein' feste Burg
  • Chaconne in D minor
  • Andante sostenuto
  • Preludio in E
  • Aus tiefer Noth
  • Jesu, Joy of Man's desiring
  • My Soul is Athirst
  • Sarabande
  • Aus der Tiefe rufe ich
  • Fugue in C minor
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Matthias Bamert
Chandos CHAN10282 75m DDD
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This disc is a superb collection of pieces that truly transcends the soul. Matthias Bamert has knowledge and flair for Leopold Stokowski's magnificent orchestrations and Bach's singular version is indeed well served by this great conductor.

For me, the shining light of this disc is the recording of the Chaconne in D minor, one of the greatest pieces of music ever written by Bach and superbly transformed in Stokowski's imaginative and plush orchestration. However the little pieces such as 'Wachtet auf' and 'Ein fest burg' also have great beauty and it is a fact that small is indeed wonderful. Bamert puts energy and imagination into the monumental Fantasia and Fugue in G minor but as I said earlier, it is the miniatures that come across best.

Chandos provide the usual plush recording for these monumental orchestrations and those who have already sampled the delights of Volume 1 will definitely need no further prompting to acquire this magnificent disc that enshrines the memory of a fine conductor in the music of one of his favourite mentors.

Copyright © 2005, Gerald Fenech