Bach: Complete Fantasies and Fugues
- CDR 90000 012
The longer Cedille Selects track excerpts are designed to provide a representative overview of the recording (not applicable to all albums)
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A major portion of JS Bach's organ masterpieces -- his complete Fantasies, Fantasies & Fugues, and isolated Fugues -- is contained on this CD.
"The fantasies on this recording represent a wide range of composition, from the very freely composed to works that are obviously contrapuntal," writes Schrader in the liner notes.
In this, his second Bach organ recording for Cedille, Schrader returns to the Jaeckel organ at the Salem Lutheran Church in Wausau, Wisconsin. Modeled on the late 17th-century northwestern German organs of Arp Schnitger, it's the sort of instrument Bach knew well and made good use of during his career.
The organ is well suited to Schrader's "unusually light and rhythmically quick pace," writes Joseph Stevenson in Stevenson's Classical Compact Disc Guide (July-September, 1992), in a perceptive review of Schrader's complete Bach Toccatas and Fugues.
Critics have praised Schrader for eschewing the menacing, melodramatic, Phantom-of-the-Opera intonations of other Bach organists. Denver's Rocky Mountain News noted with pleasure the absence of "heaven-storming theatrics"; the San Jose Mercury News said Schrader's "minute rhythmic variations turn these familiar Bach works into a vivid listening experience"; and the Chicago Tribune lauded his "nimble-fingered panache."
"As with his recording of the complete Toccatas and Fugues, Schrader has hit upon a manner of presenting Bach's music (on a well-filled disc: 74:51) that many will find preferable to the recital-style programming favoured by many organists . . . Schrader's Bach is always personally felt and well projected . . . he captures the sense of improvisatory, virtuosic energy that is to be found so plentifully in this music."
Chicago Tribune (www.chicagotribune.com)
"[Schrader plays] with nimble-fingered panache . . . on one of the finest German-style organs in the nation . . . The recording has admirable focus and clarity . . . yet there is no lack of ambiance. Essential for Bach organ fans."
San Jose Mercury News (www.mercurynews.com)
"Cedille . . . has scored a success with Chicagoan Schrader, whose minute rhythmic innovations turn these familiar Bach works into a vivid listening experience."