JS BACH The Complete Organ Works, Vol 7
David Goode has now reached Vol 7 in his series of Bach’s complete organ works, recorded once again on the Metzler organ of 1976 in the chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge. This historically important Swiss-built instrument (with its lack of playing aids, flat, straight pedalboard et al) incorporates the surviving pipework of the two organs built for the Chapel in 1694 and 1708 by ‘Father’ Bernard Smith. With a rich palette of 42 ranks at his disposal, Goode has no difficulty in unfailingly refreshing the listener’s ears, sometimes relying on a single stop to speak unsullied into the gently resonant acoustic.
Whereas some players take a sober and mechanically literal approach to the notes, Goode’s slightly freer shaping is much more engaging, especially in a multi-sectional work such as the Prelude and Fugue, BWV566, which owes so much to Frescobaldi’s and Buxtehude’s models. This is not to say that the playing is aimless; far from it. The Vivaldi concerto transcription is lithe and full of bounce, as is the concluding Prelude and Fugue in G, BWV541, replete with a brief improvisatory flourish towards the end of the Fugue. The Third Trio Sonata trots along quite gently with a central Adagio e dolce movement notable for a beautifully limpid quality, helped by the Tremulant.
A deeply satisfying programme from a player at the peak of his powers.