Classical Music classical CDs reviewed New CD reviews every day latest Classical CD releases Buy your CDs of the classics here

Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:


Organ Music Volume 12
(Preludes & Fugues BWV 545 & 550; Trio Sonatas 3 & 4; Fantasias BWV 571/2; Toccata BWV 910 (and including some organ works of doubtful authenticity).
Kevin Bowyer
Nimbus NI 5647/8 [62.49+60.38]

Buy through MusicWeb for £16.00 postage paid World-wide.

Purchase button


This is the latest of a comprehensive series of Bach organ music recorded in Odense, Denmark, on a fine, modern 3-manual Marcussen instrument, which has proved highly suitable, equally for the monumental masterpieces and for more intimate pieces. The items are carefully arranged in sequences which make for two satisfying concert programmes. Kevin Bowyer's interpretations of Bach are renowned, and he is also an important champion of the work of contemporary composers, with recommendable recordings including the complete organ works of Jehan Alain and Mandelion, a collection of British organ music of the 20th Century, each on a Nimbus twosome. In an overcrowded field, with a plethora of Bach CDs released month by month, Bowyer's ongoing collection holds its own in a highly competitive market.

A particular interest of this release is the inclusion, and discussion, of a number of works of dubious authenticity, but none the less worth hearing for that. Now that all the established canons of 'great music' and the relatively small number of composers admitted to the arbitrary pantheon, determined by sales promoters, it is disconcerting to have to face scholarly discoveries which disturb cherished beliefs, such as that Bach's most popular organ work, the Toccata & Fugue in D minor, was actually composed by someone else.

Framed by two G major Fantasias, the first of these two CDs has a number of works of doubtful authorship. The chromatic fugue (BWV Anh. 44) is probably by one Kellner and the extraordinary Little Harmonic Labyrinth (BWV 591) may have been by Sorge or Kirnberger. It loses its way in a maze of keys before reaching 'a rather panicky cadenza'. Walther is suggested for the Fantasia BWV 571. The second CD has an interesting Partita BWV 771, consisting in seventeen chorale variations, and it too might have been written by a forgotten minor composer, Vetter; as Kevin Bowyer writes 'this does not detract from the easy relaxed charm' of the music.

This is a worth-while addition to any collection, and no Bach lover should be without some of Kevin Bowyer's recordings of this perennially fascinating music.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers : - The UK's Biggest Video Store

Concert and Show tickets


Musicians accessories

Click here to visit

Return to Index