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CD Review

Johann Sebastian Bach

Organ Works

  • Chorale Prélude "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme", BWV 645
  • Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582
  • Chorale Prélude "Erbarm dich mein o Herre Gott", BWV 721
  • Fantasie in G Major, BWV 572
  • Chorale Prélude "Mensch, bewein dein Sünde gross", BWV 622
  • Toccata in C Major, BWV 564
  • Chorale Prélude "Dies sind die heil'gen zehn Gebot", BWV 678
  • Prelude & Fugue in E Flat Major, BWV 552
David Hamilton, organ
Organ of The Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh
Divine Art DDA25088 76m DDD
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This beautifully-recorded CD shows David Hamilton in his element playing the works of the master on one of the most exquisite sounding organs I have heard of late. The richness yet at the same time simplicity of sound is particularly noticeable in the imposing Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582 which I could not stop playing over and over again.

The short pieces are also highly evocative especially the opening "Wachet auf" and BWV 678 which although brief are informed with much zest and rarefied beauty. Hamilton uses the Kirk organ's tonal palette quite magically and Divine Art's recording is admirable in its clarity and homespun acoustic.

You may perhaps find bolder-sounding versions of these works with Peter Hurford (Decca) or Helmut Walcha (DG) not to mention Christopher Herrick's admirable series on Hyperion but Hamilton is the real deal if you want to listen to a truly original Bach recital. His notes are also detailed but easy to read and this is all part of a package which is most strongly recommended to the organ and Bach enthusiast.

Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech.