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SACD Review

Johann Sebastian Bach

The Leipzig Chorales

  • Chorale Preludes
  • Fantasia super Komm, Heiliger Geist, BWV 651
  • Komm, heiliger Geist I, BWV 652
  • An Wasserflüssen Babylon I, BWV 653
  • Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele I, BWV 654
  • Trio super Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend I, BWV 655
  • O Lamm Gottes unschuldig II, BWV 656
  • Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 657
  • Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BWV 658
  • Nun komm der Heiden Heiland II, BWV 659
  • Trio super Nun komm der Heiden Heiland I, BWV 660
  • Nun komm der Heiden Heiland IV, BWV 661
  • Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr I, BWV 662
  • Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr III, BWV 663
  • Trio super Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, BWV 664
  • Jesus Christus, unser Heiland II, BWV 665
  • Jesus Christus, unser Heiland IV, BWV 666
  • Komm, Gott Schöpfer, heiliger Geist III, BWV 667
  • Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit I, BWV 668
Craig F. Humber, organ
Silbermann Organ of St. Petri in Freiburg
Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG9061619-6 2SACDs 106m DDD
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This splendid two-disc set continues to reinforce MD&G's peerless reputation in the organ recordings field. Bach's Leipzig Chorales are amongst his most popular works and although short in the most part, the depth is never far away. Craig Humber's playing is of the highest order and he is right there amongst the best which include Peter Hurford, Christopher Herrick and the great Helmut Walcha.

The real star of this set is however the Silbermann Organ in Freiburg. In fact Humber expounds on the myriad virtues of this splendid instrument in an extensive essay which accompanies the discs and which demonstrates his profound admiration for this particular organ. The sounds and deep fortissimos are especially apparent in the second work on disc, "Komm Heiliger Geist", surely one of Bach's most inspired works for the organ.

MD&G's multichannel DSD recording captures all the sonic splendor of this great organ as well as its more tender moments. Humber's interpretations are right up there with the very best so those wishing to invest in a new version of these chorales should investigate without delay.

Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech.