Two great organists on two famous organs - and then Bach! Leo van Doeselaar and Erwin Wiersinga approach the Saxon master in an interesting and original way, and the fact that the two titular organists at their Martinikerk in Groningen have at their disposal one of the most important baroque organs from the workshop of the jubilarian Arp Schnitgers makes this new publication a current as well as exciting experience.
Arrangements are on the program. And arrangements of arrangements, because Bach himself was not afraid to adapt his own works and those of his colleagues for his own purposes. The famous prelude to the Partita in E major for solo violin thus turned into a festive cantata overture - including timpani and trumpets. This baroque splendour of sound almost calls for implementation on the Great Organ of the Martinikerk, which houses Schnitger's only surviving, powerful 32´ principal register in the mighty pedal towers.
Four-handed (and bi-footed), both titularists present the monumental opening chorus of the cantata "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" , whose strict contrapuntal structure is most advantageously accentuated in Sybolt de Jong's arrangement. Gustav Leonhardt's harpsichord version of the famous Ciaccona for solo violin, which Doeselaar extends on the one-manual baroque choir organ from Le Picard's workshop with numerous register changes by a multi-coloured dimension, is a perfect example of this.
Vivaldi's lively Concerto in B minor for four violins reshaped Bach for four harpsichords. Wiersinga plays Guy Bovet's organ version of this unusual transcription - and thus shows not least the outstanding quality of an instrument whose beginnings date back to the middle of the 15th century. Elaborately produced for multichannel playback on Super Audio CD, this new release is a delight with its three-dimensional, high-resolution sound, which allows the spatial distribution of the two instruments to be experienced embedded in the cathedral sound of the Gothic church.