BMC 25


Prelude & Fugue in a-minor, BuxWV 153
Passacaglia in d-minor (Dorian), BuxWV 161
Prelude, Fugue & Chaconne in C Major, BuxWV 137
Prelude & Fugue in g-minor, BuxWV 149
Ciacona in e-minor, BuxWV 160
Prelude & Fugue in f-sharp-minor, BuxWV 146
Lionel Rogg, Wittmayer pedal-harpsichord

Prelude & Fugue in A Major, BWV 536
Fugue in b-minor, BWV 579
Prelude & Fugue in d-minor, BWV 539
Trio in d-minor, BWV 583
Prelude & Fugue in C Major, BWV 547
Lionel Rogg, Feldberg pedal-harpsichord

Total Time: 69:12

We have made several recordings of the pedal-harpsichord, and different performers have all told us the same story: that practice on the pedal-harpsichord demands much more precision than the organ. If this is the case then baroque organists must have been pretty good; since organists always found great difficulty in arranging "pumpers" for organ practice - especially winter practice in unheated churches - the use of pedals added to domestic harpsichords and clavichords would have been invaluable.

Writers on musical instruments right through to the 18th century mention domestic pedal instruments; perhaps the greatest number were to be found in 18th century Germany. JS Bach gave his youngest son three keyboard instruments with pedal boards - without however making it clear whether these were pedal-harpsichords or pedal-clavichords. As practice instruments, it is not surprising that they were found largely in the possession of organists, and, once more conforming with German organ building of the time, they were expected to include the 16' register, as do both instruments recorded here.

If you think that the pedal-harpsichord may not be quite so dramatic as the organ, listen to this CD. Lionel Rogg plays Buxtehude with all the drama demanded by the composer's contrasts of light and shade, calm and storm. He plays the Buxtehude on his own Wittmayer pedal-harpsichord, recorded in his home in Geneva.

The Bach is performed on a larger instrument by Feldberg, recorded at the Oryx Studios in Britain. Lionel Rogg has long specialized in Bach's organ works. Collectors will remember his 18-LP Complete Bach Organ Series recorded on the Metzler Organ, Zürich - and its unanimously rave reviews!

Illustrated article: The Pedal-Harpsichord in Baroque Germany

Baroque Music Library