Harriet Clifford

Masaaki Suzuki plays Bach Organ Works, vol. 3 – Organ CD Review

10:58, 14th November 2019

Masaaki Suzuki plays Bach Organ Works, vol. 3
Masaaki Suzuki, Silbermann organ, Freiberg Cathedral
BIS-2421 [79:07]

This is the third volume in a very well received series of recordings from Masaaki Suzuki who has, of course, developed a terrific reputation as a conductor for his interpretations of Bach cantatas.

I suspect the relatively harsh temperament of the Freiberg organ has influenced the choice of repertoire here, with all the significant works in C major or minor (including the Passacaglia & Fugue) alongside other chorale-based pieces in closely related keys.

Some of the registrations are unorthodox; however, the overall combination of detail and colour from the Silbermann organ is divine, and the pitch (well over a semitone sharp) makes for an eerie quality at times.

Suzuki’s performances are at times quite measured, even understated, although that makes the moments when flair shines through all the more exciting. Overall it is the magisterial sense of the architecture of the large-scale works that is particularly to be admired.



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