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Four Great Toccatas & Fugues


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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565: Toccata 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565: Fugue 6:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Toccata and Fugue in F Major, BWV 540: Toccata 9:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Toccata and Fugue in F Major, BWV 540: Fugue 5:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538 "Dorian": Toccata 5:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538 "Dorian": Fugue 7:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564: Toccata 5:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564: Adagio 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564: Fugue 4:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Chorale Prelude: Wir glauben all' en einen Gott, Schvpfer, BWV 680 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Chorale Prelude: Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 753 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Fantasy in G Major, BWV 572 9:00$0.99  Buy MP3 


Frequently Bought Together

Four Great Toccatas & Fugues + Bach: Great Organ Favorites with E. Power Biggs + Bach: Organ Works (Essential Classics)
Price for all three: $20.47

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000026HJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,740 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
This is one of the best CD to hear Bach's organ music.
the Organmeister
The organ , location , acoustics were pretty good for this recording during around the 1960's period.
soundman
Happily, I feel I have the definitive rendition of Bach's Four Great Toccatas and Fugues.
J-Man

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Joe Ekaitis on September 26, 1998
Format: Audio CD
In the heyday of Quadraphonic recording, E. Power Biggs found the perfect place to record the four "Great" Toccatas and Fugues by Johann Sebastian Bach: the Cathedral of Freiburg, with its 4, count 'em, 4 rafter-rattling organs, all of which can be played by one keyboardist at a central console.

The organs have the typical slack-jawed sound of electric action pipe organs, but Biggs gives it all he's got and whips the four instruments into some truly spectacular sonic fireworks. Consider this CD as an addition to a collection that already contains a few typical performances of these works on a Baroque tracker action organ, a new way to hear Bach's experiments with music that moves (specifically from one pipe division to another). Here, Biggs gets to toss the music all over the Cathedral. Particularly enjoyable is the "Dorian" Toccata as each organ emerges from beneath a tangle of notes to be heard over the other three.

While Sony's "a little bit of this, a little bit of that" programming of Biggs's Columbia recordings leaves something to be desired, the sound survives intact.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This recording of Bach's four great Toccata & Fugues is noteworthy for two reasons. First, Biggs' performance in all four is exceptional, leading me quickly from indifference to the two least-known to being a great fan of all of them. Second, this recording, heard in a good pair of headphones, gives you not only left and right stereo but an astonishing sense of forward and back. The way the engineers managed to create this effect, in a way that's easily reproduced without expensive audiophile equipment, is simply amazing.
At the time of this recording, the Freiburg Muenster boasted two large organs in the crossing, a choir organ, and a supplemental set of pipes (mainly trumpets and other ornamental stops) near the main entrance on the nave, all of which could be operated from one console. Biggs handles this awesome array of organ power superbly, choosing his stops for maximum musical -- and spatial -- effect. While the rare effect of playing four organs at once is apparent with speakers, the front/back effect is best heard through headphones.
Despite its age, this recording holds up well to comparison. If you want to split hairs, some recordings of individual Toccatas may be more faithful to a live experience in the lowest bass and harmonics. And if you have been raised on (spoiled by?) subwoofers, there are probably more floor-thumping renditions captured by newer recording equipment. But I have yet to encounter one recording of all four Toccatas which is so much fun to listen to. If you only buy one recording of these pieces, this is the one to get!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J-Man on April 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This recording has a long history for me. It is the first album I ever ordered. I was 12 years old at the time (1977).
I had the stereo pressing and wore it out. I was thrilled when this album was finally issued on CD. Even though I don't have the Super Audio CD version, the original CD release can hold its own against any disc. The Chorale Preludes ("We all believe in one God" and "Jesus, my joy") and the Fantasy in G major - none of which appeared on the original LP release - are also quite enjoyable.

My only complaint is that the original 1974 album cover for "The Four Great Toccatas and Fugues" was not reproduced for the CD release. It does, however, appear on the Super Audio CD.

This is the CD by which I measure all other performances of these works, including earlier recordings made of them by E. Power Biggs. In some instances, I believe that once you're accustomed to hearing a piece performed a certain way, then you will use that approach as your yardstick to measure other performances of that same work. That hasn't applied to me in all cases. I replaced my first recording of Brahms' "Haydn Variations" with a version I heard by a different conductor and orchestra. I made the same switch with Haydn's "Surprise Symphony" a few years later.

Happily, I feel I have the definitive rendition of Bach's Four Great Toccatas and Fugues. Buy it, crank it up and enjoy it!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 1998
Format: Audio CD
This CD mixes two E. Power Biggs recordings - The complete LP release of M32933 and three selections from "Bach Organ Favorites, Volume 5". The four Bach Toccatas and Fugues are played with all of the class and formality that E. Power Biggs has always been known for. The first selection, the D minor, is played at a rather slow tempo, yet is nevertheless stunning when heard on four pipe organs simultaneously. Mr. Biggs recorded this piece many times, but this is rather his best recording of it. The F major Toccata and Fugue was recorded one other time (without the Fugue) by Biggs earlier on "Bach Organ Favorites, Volume 2". Again the playing is a little slow, but the echo effects and the large acoustics of Freiburg make it bearable. The D minor "Dorian" Toccata and Fugue was also recorded earlier by Biggs. I tend to like the earlier version better, however. His tempo in the fugue is ponderous to say the least. The fourth selection is the "Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C major". Biggs recorded this twice earlier. Again, the earlier version tends to have a more determined tempo which I like. The four organs (one Steinmeyer. two Riegers, and one Marcussen) all blend perfectly together. They are all playable from one central console which controls all four organs. Mr. Biggs' arthritis was so terrible at this point that he had to record each line individually and then splice them all together. The final result is passible, yet if you listen closely, you can hear quite a few edits. My hat goes off to a man in his sixties attempting such a feat. It is worth listening to. --MAA27687.907271808/online-4.amazon.com--
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