Bach and Expression: watch an exclusive excerpt
Friday, December 2, 2022
Discover a truly strange baroque organ in the German town of Waltershausen...
The December issue of Gramophone's DVD of the Month is the latest fascinating and beautifully-made documentary from specialists in exploring the music of the organ, Fugue State Films.
Called Bach and Expression, the film takes an in-depth look at the nature, history and performance practice of the composer's organ music, performing significant pieces on specially chosen central German organs. It is described by our reviewer Malcolm Riley as 'another landmark document which should be snapped up by every conservatoire and university music department globally without delay.'
We're delighted to bring you a fascinating excerpt from the film, capturing the presenters' encounter with an unusual instrument, as well as a look at a Bach manuscript.
The film's director Will Fraser explains more:
'In this section from Bach and Expression, Daniel Moult and Martin Schmeding discover a truly strange baroque organ in the somewhat deserted eastern German town of Waltershausen. The organ builder fell out with the church and the result is an organ with such extreme action and dimensions as to be almost unplayable, plus devil’s heads carved into the ends of the keyboards - surely revenge. Yet it has some beautiful sounds. Some of these imitate orchestral instruments, showing the gradual influence of orchestral and chamber music on the organ, are echoed by the music itself. Bach began to write concertos for the organ, and Christine Blanken at the Bach Archiv analyses one of the manuscripts of these new-fangled pieces that brought Italian lightness to central Germany.'
Gramophone readers' special offer
To mark the film being today named as our DVD of the Month, we're delighted that all Gramophone readers can get a 33 per cent discount off Bach and Expression, as well as almost everything else from the Fugue State Films catalogue. Simply visit fuguestatefilms.co.uk/fsf-shop and enter the code gramophone33 at the checkout.
You can read Gramophone's review of 'Bach and Expression' here