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Bach, J.S.: Organ Works Original recording remastered

14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, April 14, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bach, J.S.: Organ Works by Helmut Walcha [Organ]

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Helmut Walcha was the great German organist of the '50s and '60s. He recorded the more of less complete Bach organ works twice for DG, once in mono and then again in stereo. This sampler disc of both cycles (mostly in stereo) represents his sober but intensely musical style at its very best. Walcha was not one to draw attention to his physical infirmities, but the fact that he was blind really does seem to give some of his performances an extra spiritual dimension. His complete stereo cycle has been reissued, but not in the United States, so grab this while you can. --David Hurwitz

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Performer: Helmut Walcha
  • Composer: Bach, Johann Sebastian [Composer]
  • Audio CD (April 14, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000613W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,129 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I first heard these recordings in a boxed set of records that my dad owned (and still owns) when I was a child. I could not have wished for a better introduction to Bach's Organ Works. Helmut Walcha plays the pieces on this compilation with an honesty and passion I have yet to hear matched in other performances of the same works. He doesn't "cheat" or take shortcuts as I have heard so many other organists do with these works. He clearly enjoys the music on a deep level (Walcha was considered an authority on the works of Bach), and this shines through in his performances. The version of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is without question one of the best performances you will ever hear of this classic piece.
Not only is Mr. Walcha's performance superb, but the organ used is one of the best in the world - The Great Organ in St. Laurenskirk. Never have I heard a fuller, richer dynamic range in a pipe organ.
It was these performances that inspired me to take up keyboard myself. In short, this CD is a must-have for any serious organ and/or Bach enthusiast. I also highly recommend the double-CD set also available (just do a search for Helmut Walcha in the Classical Music section here), as it not only contains other works from this collection but also showcases another superb pipe organ on the second CD.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By James J Taratunio on April 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
...then you MUST add this recording to your collection.
I have been enthralled with the Toccata and Fugue in D minor since my childhood. I majored in Music in college and reviewed the many recordings of this work through the vast music library in my university. No other artist, other than Helmut Walcha, has been able to capture the dramaticism and romanticism of this haunting masterpiece of organ music. His interpretations are breathtaking and throughout the piece, from disonances to resolutions, he has you perched on the edge of your seat.
I have listened to Richter, to Biggs and to Fox. They have not been able to bring the life to this piece that Helmut Walcha has taken from his soul and poured onto the registers of the magnificent instrument he plays, the pipe organ, the King of Instruments.
I personally have seven recordings of this piece within various media. I started in college over 25 years ago by specially ordering the Archiv recording from Germany. I have since added several cassettes and finally a few CD's recently, all of which contain, among other pieces, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Do not deprive yourself of this unique recording of perfection.
Again, if you love Bach Organworks, you MUST have this recording for your collection...or your collection will be sorely incomplete. I invite you to feast, enjoy and share it with those you love who appreciate good music.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Gomez Pardo HALL OF FAME on August 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Bach organ music luckily has some great performers : Karl Richter , Albert Schweitzer , Edward Power Briggs and Helmut Walcha .
The intense chromatism and the whole commitment of Walcha makes of his Tocatta and Fugue in D minor one of the most remarkable versions I have heard . After you listen it you can consider he was a true pupil of the Leizpig court . His sound is so fresh and idiomatic , but filled with conviction . He never will dissapoint you .
And forget his special condition. Walcha was a supreme master of Bach.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Bach listener on May 29, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is in response to the music fan from Saanichton, B.C., Canada: I was surprised to read about you having grown to love Helmut Walcha playing Bach by having listened to a boxed record set from your dad as a child. Same for me. My dad owned the DG/Archiv set of records. I grew up in th vicinity of Hamburg/Germany in the early 70s and was glued to the record player. Bach's organ works played by Helmut Walcha had an almost hypnotising effect on me and they still have to this day. The typical harmonial, almost mathematical variations of Bach's organ works in their sheer complexity are astounding to any new and seasoned listener. In my opinion, the organ works in this CD particularly illustrate why Bach was compared to the mathematician Godel and the famous artist Escher: "Godel, Escher, Bach : An Eternal Golden Braid" by Douglas R. Hofstadter (Paperback - January 1999).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brucknerian2006 on June 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This cd introduced me to some of Bach's amazing organ works. I used to believe organ music was not really worth hearing, HOW wrong was I! This cd contains some of Bach's finest music. First off in my opinion Bach is the pinnacle of pure art/architectural music. His constructions are beyond words, and represent the totality of musical beauty and perfectness of form.

This organ music can be monumental and powerful, and also sublime, peaceful and with a great sense of the individual. The organ is a truly marvelous instrument, capable of a singing quality and also capable of loud/strong orchestral-like sonority.

If you have never heard Bach's organ compositions or organ music in general GET THIS ALBUM.

Walcha's playing is superb, and one gets a sense that he really knows and loves the music.

LONG LIVE J.S. BACH!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 19, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Walcha excels all other interpreters of Bach's organ music. This sampler has both familiar works such as the Toccata and Fugue in d-minor as well as one of two of the rarely heard but spectacular Chorale-Partitas. I love the flying theme of the second Schubler Chorale. Marvel at the production by a single performer of all the music contained in the Trio Sonata no. 1. You must immerse yourself in the Lutheran musical idiom to truely enjoy this music: do it!
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