|Todd M. Billeci said:|
Marcussen Organ of Sct. Hans Kirke, Odense, Denmark
Overview - Bowyer's cycle, in progress since 1991, features unmannered virtuosity, an organ of striking tone quality and an exceptionally realistic modern recording. Each disc contains a variety of works in the form of a recital, sustaining interest throughout. Bowyer's intriguing registrations distinguish the set.
Volume IX - The bulk of this two-CD set is dedicated to the Clavier-Übung III and so a large portion maintains a staid and academic tone evocative of the lofty and the spiritual. The bright and virtuosic E-flat major Prelude opens CD 1 winningly. Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der von uns den Zorn Gottes wandt BWV 688 is notably ebullient and articulated. The E minor, G major and A minor Duetti are taken at very rapid tempo and are lots of fun. Interesting uses of registration include the A minor Duetto (played with reed stops) and the famous G minor Fugue BWV 578 - refreshingly given a light and breathy voice, as opposed to the more common blast of
The crown jewel of this disc is the Passacaglia and fugue in C minor BWV 582. Bowyer uses frequent registration changes in the passacaglia to sustain interest. This is among the most transparent and gripping recordings of this piece I have heard, and remains arresting throughout - even in the midst of the long and usually muddily-rendered fugue. The piece is performed at breakneck speed (possibly the most rapid in the discography) showing that Bowyer indeed possesses one of the great techniques in the world. The jaw-dropping virtuosity near the close of the passacaglia should stun non-musician listeners as well as experts. I recommend this recording with great enthusiasm.