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Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582

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  • Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582



    Hearing the passacaglia from BWV 582 was what arguably got me started on the organ, and I've heard a lot of recordings. What is the vote here on which interpretation is better -- one in which the pedal and manuals start off on the quieter stops, maybe a flute or two and a 16' in the pedal, and more stops are added as the variations progress, ultimately climaxing in a thundering finale before the fugue; or, playing with all the stops pulled from the beginning, and maybe adding a 32' in the pedal for the ending and pressing down the swell pedal all the way? I personally like the second interpretation (of course, there are more than two ways to play this piece, but those are the main ones that I see).</p>

    </p>

    EDIT: Although, I do like Richter's interpretation as well, before listening to it, I had no idea that the organ produced such a variety of sounds. </p>

  • #2
    Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582



    I'd vote for the somewhat varied registrations. However, I don't like too many. I usually prefer just a few contrasting settings on different manuals. Registration changes that are too varied and extreme just seem to highlight the use of memory pistons.</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>

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    • #3
      Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582

      so nice to read this thread! I agree.. I love to hear the BWV 582 start out soft and slowly progress to full organ only towards the end perhaps, if even then. I recently heard it played live at basically full organ with all mixtures for the entire piece....what a DREADFUL experience that was.

      Biggs has a recording where it is played on a chiffy flute contrasted with another flute....I LOVE that interpretation best.

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      • #4
        Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582

        I think if one wishes to play with a full organ for most of the piece, one needs to at least play with only a few flutes pulled during the variation towards the end with the argeggios. I like Karl Richter's interpretation -- he adds more stops (or at least his stop pulling slave!!!) for each variation, but his changes are logical and sound very nice together.

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        • #5
          Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582



          [quote user="NYCFarmboy"]so nice to read this thread! I agree.. I love to hear the BWV 582 start out soft and slowly progress to full organ only towards the end perhaps, if even then. I recently heard it played live at basically full organ with all mixtures for the entire piece....what a DREADFUL experience that was.

          Biggs has a recording where it is played on a chiffy flute contrasted with another flute....I LOVE that interpretation best.[/quote]</P>


          I am listening, at the moment, to a recording of Michael Murray playing the piece on the Great Organ at Methuen.</P>


          He starts out softly and plays the piece more or less in one long crescendo, which works very well.</P>

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          • #6
            Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582



            [quote user="NYCFarmboy"]so nice to read this thread! I agree.. I love to hear the BWV 582 start out soft and slowly progress to full organ only towards the end perhaps, if even then. I recently heard it played live at basically full organ with all mixtures for the entire piece....what a DREADFUL experience that was.

            Biggs has a recording where it is played on a chiffy flute contrasted with another flute....I LOVE that interpretation best.[/quote]</P>


            I am listening, at the moment, to a recording of Michael Murray playing the piece on the Great Organ at Methuen.</P>


            He starts out softly and plays the piece more or less in one long crescendo, which works very well.</P>


            Actually, he starts the first section soft and gets louder to the end, then at the fugue he starts softly and builds volume again.</P>

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            • #7
              Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582



              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvozjEbsLa8&amp;feature=channel_page</p>

              Hans-Andre Stamm plays bwv582. My favorite version.
              </p>

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              • #8
                Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582

                The only version I can listen to is the one recorded by Marie Rubis Bauer on our cathedral organ. She does a 100% fantastic and perfect performance.<div></div><div>It starts off real soft. the 32' soubass adds enough bass but keeps it soft. Some flutes in the manuals. then it builds to a roaring full organ in a few minutes. </div>

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                • #9
                  Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582

                  Also for the 2nd part. It starts off with a cornet (not the reed the combo stop) and builds up again.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582



                    So far, the two choices offered seem to be either:</P>


                    Funtil the end, then FFF; OR</P>


                    PPP, with a gradual crescendo to FFF at the end.</P>


                    How about:</P>


                    MFat the beginning, with slight fluctuations [P to F] throughout, with a gradual crescendo at the end to FF? This might mean starting with a clear Principal 8' or 8'4' / Pedal 16'8' [4'], to solidly present the opening theme, before showing us how versatile it is?</P>


                    I propose this because a fellow organist once told me that he never starts a "soft piece" with the boxes totally closed. He starts with them 'almost' closed, then near the beginning, he closes them all the way. This seems to emphasize the quietness of the piece. The technique wouldn't work in all cases, but it does work in some.</P>


                    Another related principle... If you want to end big, just before you get there you should do a slight decrescendo. That way, the final increase in volume is more dramatic. Actually, this works for decrescendos, too. Just before the final decrescendo, increase the volume slightly, and the final descent will be more dramatic.</P>

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                    • #11
                      Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582

                      Well brandon, if you have an mp3 i would be delighted to hear it. Is it posted on a website anywhere. If it's not you should definitely upload it.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582

                        [quote user="regeron"]I propose this because a fellow organist once told me that he never starts a "soft piece" with the boxes totally closed. He starts with them 'almost' closed, then near the beginning, he closes them all the way. This seems to emphasize the quietness of the piece. The technique wouldn't work in all cases, but it does work in some.


                        Another related principle... If you want to end big, just before you get there you should do a slight decrescendo. That way, the final increase in volume is more dramatic. Actually, this works for decrescendos, too. Just before the final decrescendo, increase the volume slightly, and the final descent will be more dramatic.[/quote]I'm wonderingif you use expression pedals when playing Bach? I was taught toalways leave the boxeswide open whenplaying baroque music.[8-|] Though of coursethere are times when it is OK to bend the rules...</P>

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                        • #13
                          Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582



                          Mortson978. I will try my best to get the mp3 on here, I have no idea how to. You guys will love it for sure.</p>

                          I also have a Buxtehude CD... this one. I am not sure if you need an account to preview the music. But it will give you an idea of this organs beauty </p>

                          http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.557555</p>

                          here is a review on the CD</p>

                          --&gt;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Georgia, 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 11px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 10px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 10px; ">The organ used here, from Omaha, Nebraska's St. Cecilia Cathedral, has specifications remarkably similar to those of Buxtehude's instrument at the Marienkirche in L├╝beck known as the "Totentanz Orgel", and organist Julia Brown takes full advantage of the brighter flues, rich mixtures, and colorful reeds to give each work a notable presence and well-defined character. I especially enjoyed her unusual choice of flute stops in the Fugue in G major Bux WV 175 and the exhilarating buildup to the conclusion of the great Toccata in F major that ends the program.</span></p>

                          <span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Georgia, 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 11px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 10px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 10px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Georgia, 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 11px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 10px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 10px; ">The reeds are outstandingly good, the Prestants have a fabulous vocal quality; the chorus puts one in mind of Hamburg St Jacobi. This is a genial piece of organ building aided by an excellent sounding room.</span></span></span></p>

                          </p>

                          <span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Georgia, 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 11px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 10px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 10px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; ">Widor-</span></span></p>

                          <span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Georgia, 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 11px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 10px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 10px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; ">http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.570310</span></span></p>

                          <span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Georgia, 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 11px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 10px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 10px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; "></span></span></p>

                          </p>

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                          • #14
                            Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582



                            Soubasse32,</P>


                            No, I usually don't use the expression pedals for Bach. The most common exception would be to state that I don't ADJUST the expression pedals for Bach. There would be some pieces where I would choose a reed, but want it toned down, so I would use it 'with the box closed.' I use 'box open' or 'box closed' just as I would another stop..</P>


                            The comments about crescendo/decrescendo are intended for Romantic and Modern repertoire. Thanks for asking for clarification. The crescendos/decrescendos that I was mentioning for the Passacaglia would be done by changing manuals mostly, with judicious stopchanges to go with that.</P>

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                            • #15
                              Re: Bach -- Passacagalia et Thema Fugatem C moll BWV 582



                              Sorry Soubasse32,</P>


                              I wasn't thinking of the EASY EXPLANATION for my use of expression pedals in Baroque music. I sometimes use them to achieve better balance when I'm registering. [8-|]</P>

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