The last bars are played Molto adagio , and the piece ends with a minor plagal cadence. The performance time of the piece is usually around nine minutes, but shorter performance times e. The first section of the piece, the Toccata, takes somewhat less than a third of the total performance time. As was common practice for German music of the 17th century, the intended registration is not specified, and performers' choices vary from simple solutions such as organo pleno to exceedingly complex ones, like those described by Harvey Grace.
In the first century of its existence the entire reception history of the Toccata and Fugue in D minor consists of being saved from oblivion by maybe not more than a single manuscript copy. The composition's third century took it from Bach's most often recorded organ piece to a composition with an unclear origin. Despite Mendelssohn's opinion that it was "at the same time learned and something for the people",  followed by a fairly successful piano transcription in the second half of the 19th century,  it was not until the 20th century that it rose above the average notability of an organ piece by Bach.
The composition has been deemed as both "particularly suited to the organ",  and as "strikingly unorganistic". What remains is "the most famous organ work in existence",  that in its rise to fame was helped by various arrangements, including bombastic piano settings,  versions for full symphonic orchestra,  and alternative settings for more modest solo instruments. In , BWV was published for the first time, in the third of three bundles of "little known" organ compositions by Bach.
Peters published the Toccata con Fuga as No. In the early s, Albert Schweitzer collaborated with Charles-Marie Widor to compile a complete edition of Bach's organ compositions, published by Schirmer.
IV, No. For BWV that means staying close to the Ringk manuscript. Consequently, the name of the piece was again given in Italian as Toccata con Fuga , and the piece was again written down in D Dorian i. However, more modern conventions were maintained with regard to using the treble clef in the upper stave and using a separate stave for the pedal.
A facsimile of Ringk's manuscript was published in The first major public performance was by Mendelssohn, on 6 August , in Leipzig. The concert was very well received by the critics, among them Robert Schumann , who admired the work's famous opening as an example of Bach's sense of humor. He used the glockenspiel stop for the Prestissimo triplets in the opening section, and the quintadena stop for the repeated notes in bars 12— The work was first recorded in abridged form as "Toccata and Finale" by John J.
In a concert program, Schweitzer indicated BWV as one of Bach's "best known" compositions, considering it to be a youth work. In early Archiv Produktion releases, the list on the sleeve contained the organ compositions in the order they appeared on the recording without distinction,  in the s BWV became listed first;  but by the s, the font size of BWV was larger than that of the other compositions,  and in the s Walcha's recording of the piece became the only piece by Bach included in DG's Classic Mania CD set with popular tunes by various classical composers.
In , E. Power Biggs recorded the Toccata 14 times, played on different European organs, and Columbia issued those recordings on a single album. Hans-Joachim Schulze describes the force of the piece on a record sleeve: . Here is elemental and unbounded power, in impatiently ascending and descending runs and rolling masses of chords, that only with difficulty abates sufficiently to give place to the logic and balance of the fugue.
With the reprise of the initial Toccata, the dramatic idea reaches its culmination amidst flying scales and with an ending of great sonority. Bach's Toccata and Fugue was not performed on the organ exclusively. The title page of the first publication of the piece already indicated that performance on the piano by one or two players was possible.
Tausig's version of the work was recorded on piano rolls several times in the first decades of the 20th century. In Johann Nikolaus Forkel 's early 19th century biography of Bach , the work is left unmentioned. Forkel probably did not even know of the composition. Hilgenfeldt's biography it is merely listed among the published works.
Hilgenfeldt considers the Toccata and Fugue in F major the most accomplished of Bach's toccatas for organ. In , Philipp Spitta devoted somewhat less than a page to the work in the first volume of his Bach biography.
He assumed the work was written in the first year of Bach's second Weimar period — He saw more north German characteristics Buxtehude's restless style in the form of the Toccata, rather than south German Pachelbel's simple and quiet approach.
Spitta considered the fugue "particularly suited to the organ, and more especially effective in the pedal part. Spitta also detects a rhythmic figure that appears briefly in the concluding part of the work bar which, extensively elaborated, reappears in the keyboard Prelude in A minor, BWV , a work he supposes to have been composed around He considers none of them written before Bach's later Weimar years so closer to than to Up to this point, none of the biographers seem to have given any special attention to BWV If mentioned, it is listed or described along with other organ compositions, but is far from being considered the best or the most famous of Bach's organ compositions, or even of his toccatas.
Top reviews from United Kingdom. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Verified Purchase. First of all a word of warning - if you buy with a Gift Card on Amazon please check carefully how much you have ACTUALLY been charged for Postage and Packing as I was way over-charged at the time I made a batch of purchases at the same time through Amazon which included different Marketplace providers!!!! This is a review for: J.
However, I don't know if it is just me, but do I spot 2 or 3 bum-notes in the recording of the title track?! One person found this helpful. A very good selection of Bach's organ works. A very nice clear recording. Pedal points provide the foundation, strettos engrave recurring design motifs on the architraves that join immense columns of sound, quirky modulations form spandrels at the ends of phrases, blue notes spout from the gargoyles guarding the rails of free-form episodes--episodes that form a fan-vault over the chords; subject and counter-subject weave rood-screens between the main formal sections, the fugue rules square the structure in balanced harmony, and striking modal colors provide illumination through the clerestory windows of Bach's imagination.
The work is unique in many respects, and these unique qualities--for example, the statement of the fugue subject in the pedals is unprecedented in any work of the baroque--have led musicologists to speculate that the work may not be by Bach, or that it is an arrangement drawn from a work for another instrument. But what instrument besides the organ could build a cathedral of sound? Try watching this visualization of the score in a bar-graph video that lets even non-music readers appreciate the hellish difficulty of this score.
Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. NPR Shop. With that in mind, we've dug around YouTube for five frightfully wild versions, from a hauntingly eerie version for glass harmonica to creepy goings-on on a toy piano. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. The site is also available in several languages. Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.
Angela Hewitt returns to her beloved Bach with this stunning disc of some of the great master's most joyous keyboard music. Buxtehude was a master of the stylus fantasticus —a very unrestrained and free way of composing, using dramatic and extravagant rhetorical gestures; the influence of this technique can clearly be heard in the seven keyboard toccatas Bach composed sometime between and Angela Hewitt's Bach playing has won unanimous praise from all quarters for its rhythmic vitality, tonal clarity and poetic warmth.
This is another outstanding issue in what is widely recognized as the benchmark modern recordings of Bach's keyboard works. Buxtehude was a master of the stylus fantasticus — a very unrestrained and free way of composing, using dramatic and extravagant rhetorical gestures. His compositions in this style, often called Praeludium , Praeambulum or Toccata , combined improvisatory passages sometimes using recitative , with stricter, more imitative sections.
In the seventeenth century both Frescobaldi and his student Froberger excelled in this art, the latter writing 25 toccatas for keyboard.
It was almost as though the warm-up that a harpsichordist would go through when sitting down at the instrument, tossing off scales and arpeggios and showing off with a bit of improvisation, gradually evolved into a composition. In , the author, scientist and inventor Athanasius Kircher described the stylus fantasticus in his work, Musurgia Universalis :.
The influence of the stylus fantasticus can be heard in the seven keyboard toccatas of Bach, which were possibly begun as early as , and completed sometime before He himself did not group them together as a collection, and none have come down to us in manuscript. They exist only in copies made by family members and students, showing a large number of variants.
In stock Usually despatched within 1 working day. Add download to basket. Bach To The Future. Olivier Latry organ. Bach played with no hang-ups, using the full resources of a magnificent organ… happily discarding any ideas of authenticity and completely shorn of that kind of hallowed reserve with which soFeb 23, · This is a cathedral organ version of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, i.e. Phantom of the Opera. This is only the first minute or so of the original version, with a little improvisation mixed.