J.S. Bach Organ Sonatas

John Maidment
Organ Historical Trust of Australia (Australia)

Far from being a mere didactic exercise, the Bach Organ Sonatas, popularly known as his Trio Sonatas, make appealing listening and have, indeed, in recent years, been transcribed for combinations of orchestral instruments.

Christopher Wrench plays the entire six Sonatas on a new instrument at the Garnisons Kirche, Copenhagen built in 1995 by Carsten Lund and a historical reconstruction of the 1724 instrument by Schnitger pupil Lambert Daniel Karstens. Its clear and articulate sounds are ideally suited to the compositions, where the delineation of the musical lines is immensely important.

The works are performed with great authority and attention to detail. The Sonatas are a joy to listen to, either singly or as a whole, and are a reflection of Bach’s extraordinary contrapuntal competency in this genre.

The recording quality is, as one expects from the recording company, exemplary, and the notes, written by Marc Rochester, give scholarly background to the recording. The whole is very nicely produced with an integral booklet and card cover – rather more attractive than the traditional ‘jewel case’.