Bach on Silbermann Organs

BACH 739

Freiberg Cathedral, 1714
Crostau, 1728
Georgenkirche, Rötha, 1721
Grosshartmannsdorf (1738-41)

1: BWV 552: Prelude & Fugue "St. Anne" in E Flat Major
Played by Christoph Albrecht on the Main Organ, Freiberg Cathedral, Saxony

2: BWV 532: Prelude & Fugue in D Major
3: BWV 539: Prelude & Fugue in d minor
4: BWV 549: Prelude & Fugue in c minor
Played by Christoph Albrecht on the Village Organ, Crostau, Saxony

5: BWV 582: Passacaglia & Fugue in c minor
6: BWV 727: Chorale Variation - "Herzlich tut mich verlangen"
Played by Hannes Kästner on the Georgenkirche Organ, Rötha, near Leipzig

7: BWV 538: Toccata & Fugue "Dorian" in d minor
Played by Hans Otto on the Village Organ of Grosshartmannsdorf, Saxony

8: BWV 588: Canzona in d minor
Played by Hans Otto on the Main Organ, Freiberg Cathedral, Saxony

This disc offers several organ works of major significance, and takes the listener on a tour which includes four different organs, all built by Bach's friend and contemporary, the Master Organ-builder Gottfried Silbermann (1683-1753). We begin and end with the great Freiberg Cathedral organ, Silbermann's finest extant instrument, and surprisingly perhaps, only the second one he built - at the age of 28. We then hear three different village organs, and if they all sound very similar this is no coincidence.

Working out of his Freiberg workshops, centrally situated to serve his home state of Saxony, Silbermann confined his projects to the borders of Saxony, thus minimizing transportation costs. He formulated a standard village organ - for it was mostly the villages which he served - of 2 manuals and 20 to 23 stops, aiming for mass-production, or as near as was possible. This provided him with considerable savings on pipe and woodwork construction, savings which he passed on to his customers in the form of the very best materials available and immaculate workmanship - qualities which draw admiration from researchers and restorers even today. In addition he frequently added a free extra stop over and above the contracted specification. Silbermann was a dedicated craftsman - and a good businessman!

Our programme features the great and the quiet - the monumental Prelude and St Anne Fugue, the Passacaglia, the Dorian Toccata and Fugue and the Canzona, contrasting with quieter pieces, Preludes & Fugues and a chorale.

The Freiberg Cathedral Organ is featured in detail on their website.

To learn more about the master Saxon organ-builder, check the official Gottfried Silbermann Museum website:
GOTTFRIED SILBERMANN: Master Organ-Builder of the German Baroque
oder in deutscher Sprache:
GOTTFRIED SILBERMANN: Sächsischer Orgelbauer der deutschen Barockzeit

The Collected Organ Works of J.S. Bach
played on Silbermann Organs

Check the full listing.
A detailed information source on
Baroque Music and Composers
The Baroque Music Home Page

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