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J.S. Bach: Toccata and Fugue BWV 565

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Customer Reviews

Excellent recording, deep full bass notes

I find most organ recordings lacking in clarity and in fullness of the lower octaves. I prefer a closer organ sound with less room interaction. This recording is one of the best on iTunes in that regard, but while there are others with good clear organ sound this is the only one with fulfilling low notes and good reproduction of the 16'+ pipes. The bass is actually a little over-hyped for my taste, but in this case I'll take a little too much over barely any at all.


i've heard some pretty bad versions of bwv 565, but this wasn't one of them. great!

Phenomenal recording of pieces often done haphazardly...

First of all, this organist is good. His playing, his registrations, etc. are all phenomenal.

Second of all is the organ. In a way not true for pianos or other instruments of standardized design, every organ has such a distinct personality that which one you choose to use for a recording is a big decision. The acoustic of the space, the mic placing and the instrument itself all figure in so drastically to the sound of a recording that the planning stage of of organ recordings is an art in and of itself.

Whoever made the call on where to record this album - Preston, a producer, or anyone else - deserves much more credit than they got, because this instrument and the recording quality is one of the best I - in my opinion - have ever heard. With a good recording, a good player and a good organ, what you get should be something on par with the richness and dynamic/timbral variation of a full orchestra. So often, though, you get the stereotypical organ sound: Flat, generic, loud, intimidating, and altogether uninteresting. It's given Bach the reputation of being cold, academic and boring, which he isn't at all when done well.

This album is just a breath of fresh air. Everything sounds so alive, crisp and clear. The playing is wonderful, the instrument is wonderful, the recording is wonderful.

If you don't trust me on that, just download the last track on the album - the St. Anne Fugue in E flat major. It may be my favorite piece by Bach, and it shows off a lot of variety in the organ's sound, as well as Preston's versatility.

Altogether, just wonderful. I'll be looking for more Preston, and definitely trying to find out what organ he recorded this on.


Born: August 4, 1938 in Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Simon Preston has established a career as both a virtuoso organist and conductor (mainly) of religious choral music. He has also composed music, though his works have yet to gain a foothold. Preston is an expert on organs as well, affecting replacement of the traditional cathedral-style organ at Christ Church, Oxford, with a Rieger organ from Austria; he was consulted on the replacement of organs at the concert hall at St. John's, Smith Square, and at Tonbridge School. Preston has developed a broad...
Full Bio

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J.S. Bach: Toccata and Fugue BWV 565, Simon Preston
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Feb 02, 1990

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