Best List 1/2015
of the German Record Critics


For 300 years, Johann Sebastian Bach’s works have been subjected to every conceivable kind of arrangement, but their quality has not been affected in the slightest. Especially not, of course, when they are arranged for the instrument that always played a special role for the old master, the organ. He himself began by transcribing the well-known Schübler chorales into an organ version; in the early 20th century, composers such as Charles-Marie Widor and Sigfrid Karg-Elert made use of the possibilities of Romantic organs for impressive new versions of various Bach evergreens, from the St Matthew Passion to the famous violin Chaconne. For the first time, all four organs in Freiburg Cathedral could again be played simultaneously from one console for this recording; Gerhard Gnann succeeds in unfolding their impressive sonority with Bach in full splendour.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Präludium und Fuge für Orgel in d-Moll /
Prelude and Fugue for organ in D minor
1. Präludium / Prelude – aus: / from:
Sonate für Violine Solo Nr. 1 g-Moll /
Violin Sonata No.1 in G minor, BWV 1001
(arr.: Emmanuel Le Divellec)
2. Fuge d-Moll / Fugue D minor – aus: / from:
Praeludium et fuga, BWV 539
Sechs Choräle verschiedener Art / Six Chorales
of Various Kinds (Schübler-Choräle / Schübler
3. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 3:52
4. Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 646 1:34
5. Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten,
BWV 647
6. Meine Seele erhebt den Herren, BWV 648 2:07
7. Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 649 2:32
8. Kommst Du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter,
BWV 650
Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937):
aus: / from: Bach’s Memento (1925)
9. Marche du veilleur de nuit
Choralbearbeitung aus der Kantate /
Chorale arrangement from the cantata BWV 140
„Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme“
10. Pastorale
3. Satz aus der Pastorale für Orgel / 3rd movement
from the pastoral for organ, BWV 590
11. Mattheus-Final
Schlusschor aus der Matthäus-Passion / final
choir from the St Matthew Passion BWV 244
„Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder“
Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933):
12. Air:
2. Satz aus der Suite D-Dur / 2nd movement
from the suite D major, BWV 1068
Choral-Improvisation und Fuge für Orgel op. 65 /
Chorale Improvisation and Fugue for organ, Op. 65
nach Bachs Motette / after Bach‘s motet BWV 225
„Singt dem Herrn ein neues Lied”:
13. Choral / Chorale 4:36
14. Fuge / Fugue 2:59
Arno Landmann (1887-1966):
15. Chaconne d-Moll / Chaconne D minor
4. Satz aus der Partita Nr. 2 d-Moll für Violine
solo / 4th movement from the Partita no. 2
D minor for violin solo, BWV 1004
Gesamtspielzeit: 1:12:55
Tracks 1-8 are performed on the nave organ.
Gerhard Gnann plays the four organs of the Freiburg Münster.


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