J.S. Bach Organ Sonatas

Christopher Cook
Focus (Australia)

Rare indeed is the person not familiar with Bach's Toccata & Fugue, and various other of his more famous trademarks. Sonatas 1-5 are made up from material Bach recycled from earlier works and number 6 is completely original. In this style, deriving from the two violin and cello trio, the organist's two hands and feet each take an independent part.

Australian organist Christopher Wrench has recently issued this fine CD from a recording of the Six Trios for 2 Claviers and Pedal which he completed in Copenhagen's Gamisons Kirke in July 2003.

While this is a superb organ for these works, it is perhaps also a statement that Australian artists can live at home and record overseas; a subtle twist on the usual ‘live overseas and drop in periodically to remind people they're still nominally Australian’, which is the commercial reality for artists.

One feels it unnecessary to write of Wrench that the playing is first class; but of course it is. The interpretation is free, but without affectation; each of the three lines is carefully "sung"; and one perceives that Wrench has lived with these works for a long time - not in a sense of staleness, but more of a revered and almost deliberate intimacy ... The registration is varied, within the range of the genre, and the excellent, comprehensive cover notes, detail the stops used for each movement ... This recording is warmly recommended to readers. The unpretentious bravura and warmth displayed here by this fine, established Australian artist will amply reward your investment.