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Bach: Toccata & Fugue / Passacaglia & Fugue / Pastorale / Preludes & Fugues (Essential Classics)

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 19, 1991
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Product Details

  • Performer: E. Power Biggs
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (August 19, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B0000027BF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,462 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Bach reigns supreme on the organ, without question. Lovers of music, even lovers specifically of organ music, often have trouble naming any composer of organ music except J.S. Bach. His mastery is undeniable, his legacy amazing, his influence immeasurable. All of his organ works are technical marvels but can also hold deep emotional resonance. The works recorded here are some of the most famous of Bach's: the Passacaglia and fugue, the "Great" prelude and fugue in g, the b minor prelude and fugue, and of course the Toccata and Fugue in d minor. This recording presents material which makes a great introduction to Bach's organ music (which it was for me, several years ago) - but don't be fooled: even if you have much experience with this kind of music the performances recorded here are worth hearing. I happen to think that Biggs is one of the greatest organists of our century, and this recording will tell you why (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - as an organist myself I often follow some of his interpretive choices). His choice of stops is always apt - they provide the proper mood and are always rich in contrast. His sense of tempo is EXCELLENT - I think it is a product of a musical understanding and outlook which are unique to an earlier generation of performers, and which have been lost. He does not force the pacing - rather, he allows the music to speak for itself. His articulation and phrasing are equally good. I could go on, but suffice it to say that his technique is marvelous. The net effect, though, goes beyond all that. As I said, Bach's organ music contains a wide range of emotion (contrary to what many people think).Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
This was the first organ CD I ever bought, and the quality, the beauty so impressed me that I have purchased many, many more CD's by Bach or other composers, and by Biggs and other performers.
Without a doubt, this one is the best. Every time I get a new CD, I still find myself listening to this one again within a few days, instead of the new one.
The other Biggs recording (Amazon number ASIN: B0000026HJ ) is the second best organ CD I have, but this CD towers above even it.
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Format: Audio CD
This is by far the best organ CD I have in my collection of 400+ classical CD's. Biggs is excellent! The strikingly modern (timeless?) structure that is commonly attributed to Bach's organ music comes through admirably here. This is an excellent intro to organ music as well, as it contains most of the best of Bach's organ music (though it lacks the famous Little Fugue). There are no throwaway selections on this CD. It is the most requested CD in my collection!
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Format: Audio CD
This is my first E. Power Biggs recording. As an organist myself, I've heard his name several times, but I'd never been exposed to his performances. Was I ever surprised! This disc is an INCREDIBLE value! Biggs is, without a doubt, one of the finest organists of this century, and one of the greatest Bach interpreters of all time. His readings are unfailingly accurate technically, and full of emotion at the same time. His rendering of the massive "Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor" is amazing and very moving, one of the best recordings of the work to date. The rushing, angry "Toccata" from the famous "Toccata and Fugue in D minor" is accented by his use of the reed stops on the organ, while the fugue comes vividly to life, full of exhuberance beneath Biggs' hands (and feet). The organ itself is a magnificent instrument, full of expressive and dramatic potential. The pedal reed stops, in particular, are powerful and commanding, as they should be. The recording quality is not quite perfect (hiss is evident in some tracks), but Biggs' performances more than make up for that. At a price less than $10, this is an amazing bargain! A must-have for ANY Bach lover, collector or beginner alike!
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By A Customer on March 21, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Biggs command of the Organ is magnificent. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is spine tingling.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a first-rate Sony bargain release featuring the best-known organ works by Bach. This ADD recording has held up fairly well, considering some of the recordings date to 1960. Bigg's organ skills are amazing, and his interpretation of these works fantastic.
The remastering of these recordings is pretty good, if not great (I can still hear more background hiss than I'd prefer). I would have given this recording 5 stars had the disc's remastering matched the results typically achieved by Philips or Deutsche Grammophon. Background noise aside (and again, it's minimal), this is a great disc. And at a great price, I'd highly recommend it.
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Format: Audio CD
The first time I heard Mr. Biggs playing Bach on the Harvard Flentrop organ was back in the 60's on an old analog reel-to reel tape recorder running at 7-1/2" per second! Although the technology of audio reproduction has vastly improved since those days, the wondrous quality of music found in these recordings have never met their match and I seriously doubt they ever will. Of course we'll never know if, in these recordings, this is how Bach would have interpreted his music, but it's fun to think of that possibility whenever I play this CD.
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