Magazine article Czech Music

Johann Sebastian Bach Orgel-Buchlein BWV 599-644

Magazine article Czech Music

Johann Sebastian Bach Orgel-Buchlein BWV 599-644

Article excerpt

Johann Sebastian Bach Orgel-Buchlein BWV 599-644

Jaroslav Tuma -- organ.

Production: Vitezslav Janda, Jaroslav Tuma.

Text: Cz., Eng., Ger.

Recorded: 4/2004, Church of St. Peter, Bruchsal. Released: 2007. TT: 84:08. AAD. 1 CD ARTA F10156 (distribution 2HP Production).

Jaroslav Tuma [see CM 1/07] is tireless in his production of all kinds of recordings. This new recording is part of his series of Bach titles--the last was a double version of the Goldberg Variations played on both harpsichord and clavichord. Tuma performed the complete Bach works for organ in the years 1990-93, and part of this project has been recorded and released by Suraphon. His new move to Arta is evident just in the external design of the disc, which is clean and modern but also dignified. The album, consisting of Bach's Orgel-Buchlein or little organ book, seems to me to be conceived as a "story" on several different levels. The biblical narrative, starting with Advent and ending with Whitsun, with stops at Christmas, the New Year, Epiphany and Easter, interacts with the purely musical techniques of contrast, colour, dynamics and gradation. All the way through, however, thought is given to the text of the different chorales. Maybe this was not the intention, but Tuma's project can be read in this way too. And the fact that the performer has succeeded, and that the whole thing holds together, is remarkable given that it consists of scarcely two-minute "crumbs"--a whole forty-five fitted into the album With any organist the first consideration is the instrument itself. …

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