Magazine article Czech Music

Johann Sebastian Bach. Great Organ Works

Magazine article Czech Music

Johann Sebastian Bach. Great Organ Works

Article excerpt

Jaroslav Tuma - organ.

Text: Czech, English, German.

Recorded: Nov. 2013, Church of Saint Peter, Bruchsal. Released: 2014.

TT : 73:43, 74:15, 79:02. DDD. 3 CDs

Arta QHP Production 0205.

Releasing a recording of J. S. Bach's great organ works today is a venturous, hazardous even, act. In the infinite ocean of various performances, many of them high-quality, any new recording is exposed to the risk of sinking fast and then--similarly to Bach himself--waiting to be revived by a Mendelssohn. And if someone decides to produce a set of three CDs, he/she should firmly believe that the listeners will be enthralled, and also have at least one ace up the sleeve. In addition to the music by the Leipzig genius, the Arta label has two such aces: the organist Jaroslav Tuma and the organ-builder Vladimir Slajch, two masters who would today seem to be inseparable. Inspiring and influencing each other, they gained acclaim with their joint disc J. S. Bach Orgel-Buchlein (Arta F10156), released seven years ago. Little wonder then that Tuma felt the desire to make ring Slajch's magnificent two-manual organ at the Church of Saint Peter in Bruchsal, Germany, perfectly befitting this type of repertoire. The reasons for the selection of the instrument are discussed in detail in an interview (conducted by Zdenka Brodova) included in the booklet, providing a clue to comprehending the entire project. When it comes to its genesis, Thma states that he has succeeded in approaching "clearer outlines" of the ideal interpretation, yet bearing in mind that music is the art of the present moment. As for the arrangement of the compositions, the album takes the form of three recitals, to which the sonic concept, with a minimum of cuts, is accommodated (this was taken care of by the excellent Ale Dvoiak and Toma Zikmund). The interpretation itself should be the result of a process of seeking, deliberation, rumination about the tempo, articulation, registration ... While so doing, TOma points out that he never ceased to keep in view his main objective: the listener.

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The first tones of the opening piece, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, reveal that the organist heads for his objective in a manner different to that we may have expected. …

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