In search of - The finest recording of.... (BACH/Organ)

treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,617
CH46E wrote: »

This post reminded me that of all of the music I have, I don't recall having much organ music....even though I can really dig some selections out there. This is most definitely one of them. I'd just like to find a really well recorded physical copy.

This was plucked form the "What are you listening too" thread. Went to go do a little research to find out where one could find the best possible recording and most of the links kept bringing me back to the You-Tube above. I am not looking for that. I would like it in a physical media. Preferably in an SACD or Mo-Fi if possible.

I am not interested in "historical recordings". I am wanting the best recording/mastering possible and preferably out of one of the bigger organs of the world.

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Which can be found here >>> https://www.amazon.com/Bach-Complete-played-Silbermann-Organs/dp/B009B1UYOG/ref=pd_sbs_15_7?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B009B1UYOG&pd_rd_r=20ce9407-c56b-485c-809c-e894d0fefb46&pd_rd_w=YG5pI&pd_rd_wg=czV0t&pf_rd_p=7cd8f929-4345-4bf2-a554-7d7588b3dd5f&pf_rd_r=G8JSX46T7ZTXVA9CJQNR&psc=1&refRID=G8JSX46T7ZTXVA9CJQNR

Is a Hybrid SACD set but I don't know enough about classical music or organ works to tell if this song even appears on the album(s).

Can anyone lead me in the right direction or allow me to pick your brain so that I can learn a little bit more about finding what it is I am looking for?

Tom

In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~

Comments

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 25,737
    edited March 1
    Danged Vanilla ate my reply!

    Since that SACD collection claims to be Bach's complete organ works, yes, it should be on there.

    Toccata and Fugue in D minor is -- I dunno -- the Baby Shark of Bach's organ pieces -- by which I mean it is inescapable and an earworm. :p Every decent organist has recorded it. There was a Virgil Fox direct to disk (LP) in the 1970s that probably includes it. I cannot remember if any of Crystal Clear's "Sonic Fireworks" direct to disk albums include it, but if they do, the organ recordings thereupon are absolutely superb.

    The Widor track (e.g.) on this LP is stunning. Actually, so is the Also Sprach Zarathustra 'fanfare' that opens the album. If you've never heard the output of a large cathedral organ's 32 foot pipes (16 Hz), you will on this! :o

    https://www.discogs.com/Richard-Morris-9-Atlanta-Brass-Ensemble-Sonic-Fireworks-Volume-II/release/5220116

    My best advice, FWIW: at some point, you should seek out a decent organist and a nice organ in a good acoustic space and hear it live. :)

    Just youtube-grade audio, but check this out (e.g.)
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,617
    We actually have a really nice one here in Charlotte where Dale Earnhardt's funeral was held. Calvary Church. It is large enough to actually rank in at the 13th largest organ in the world and it sounds MUCH better in person than any recording I have heard from it. Incredible experience.

    rqdigi80m5uf.png

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    http://theatreorgans.com/laird/calvary/

    https://www.danmillermusic.com/calvary-organ.html

    "205 Ranks
    11,499 pipes
    Built by M.P. Möller, 1986 - 1990

    The magnificent pipe organ of Calvary Church is internationally renown as one of “the” organs in history. Built in 1986—1990 by the M.P. Möller Company of Hagerstown, Maryland USA, the Calvary Grand Organ is the thirteenth largest playable organ in the world, and has a replacement value of well over 3 million dollars.

    The purpose and mission of the Calvary Grand Organ is to aid in providing a true worship experience and to help proclaim the message of salvation to all who see, hear, and play it – that the commandment of the scripture will be fulfilled: “Praise Him … with the organ.”

    Carefully planned and designed for the congregation of Calvary Church, the 205 rank organ has 11,499 pipes ranging in size from 40 feet tall to hundreds of tiny pipes smaller than soda straws. Why is the organ so large? First of all, because of the spacious 5,500-seat sanctuary with 2.5 million cubic feet of airspace and excellent acoustics of a reverberation time just less than 3 seconds. Secondly, to fulfill the organ’s multiple ministries: to support strong congregational singing; to sensitively accompany choir and vocalists; to provide a spiritual environment for worship, prayer, communion, commitment; to meet the varied demands of Calvary’s diverse musical styles and literature – from 5th century hymns to Bach and Beethoven to southern gospel to contemporary Christian music; to provide festive music to celebrate weddings and other occasions. By meeting all these needs, the organ automatically becomes a grand concert instrument that can play virtually any composition ever written for the organ.

    To command all the resources of this instrument requires the massive console – five keyboards (manuals) and pedalboard, 306 wooden drawknobs, and around 200 other controls. To the layman, the magnitude of the organ console may resemble the cockpit of an airplane or space shuttle with the array of stops, buttons, dials, lights, foot pedals, knobs, and switches. The Calvary Grand Organ’s handcrafted Honduras mahogany console is one of the largest American-made drawknob consoles.
    "

    They hold monthly free concerts and in about 7 days, it looks like you can stream the next one live.

    https://www.calvarychurch.com/organconcerts

    If ever anyone is in the Charlotte area and would like to attend? Hit me up. I'll gladly go again. It is truly an experience you won't forget.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 25,737
    I know of that organ :)
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 11,295
    Tom,
    I have had some fun with Wilson's recordings. He was a recording engineer before he was a speaker manufacturer

    https://www.wilsonaudio.com/wilson-audiophile-recordings
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    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • GardenstaterGardenstater Posts: 1,022
    txcoastal1 wrote: »
    Tom,
    I have had some fun with Wilson's recordings. He was a recording engineer before he was a speaker manufacturer

    https://www.wilsonaudio.com/wilson-audiophile-recordings

    wow listening to the first one on Qobuz, the Beethoven. Incredible dynamic range. Can't wait to check the other ones out.
    George / NJ

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  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 11,295
    txcoastal1 wrote: »
    Tom,
    I have had some fun with Wilson's recordings. He was a recording engineer before he was a speaker manufacturer

    https://www.wilsonaudio.com/wilson-audiophile-recordings

    wow listening to the first one on Qobuz, the Beethoven. Incredible dynamic range. Can't wait to check the other ones out.

    The story behind David Wilson and his recordings are IMHO very interesting. His Original recordings are RTR. Then the story of choosing his equipment to convert to digital

    You can find this info on YouTube interviews

    Enjoy

    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • Mikey081057Mikey081057 Posts: 7,240
    edited March 1
    More than you asked for but DG has some great recordings

    https://www.deutschegrammophon.com/us/cat/4796018

    There are 50 CD's in this collection< $2/disc
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  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,617
    txcoastal1 wrote: »
    Tom,
    I have had some fun with Wilson's recordings. He was a recording engineer before he was a speaker manufacturer

    https://www.wilsonaudio.com/wilson-audiophile-recordings

    No physical media?

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • JayCeeJayCee Posts: 847
    edited March 2
    Tom,

    I'm not a classical music or organ buff but very much enjoy it. Organ, more so when I've seen or heard an organ. I collected CD/SACD's from many of the cathedrals I toured while living in Germany from 2014-2018.

    I had the privilege of seeing the Müller organ in Grote Kerk, Haarlem, in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, didn't hear it. One of the most impressive cathedrals I've visited and the organ is a masterpiece in art, design and sound.

    Not to give you a history lesson but I was captivated by the fact Mendelssohn, Händel and Bach played this very instrument.

    From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grote_Kerk,_Haarlem
    "The organ of the Sint-Bavokerk (the Christiaan Müller organ) is one of the world's most historically important organs. It was built by the Amsterdam organ builder Christian Müller, with stucco decorations by the Amsterdam artist Jan van Logteren, between 1735 and 1738. Upon completion it was the largest organ in the world with 60 voices and 32-foot pedal-towers. In Moby-Dick (1851), Herman Melville describes the inside of a whale's mouth:

    "Seeing all these colonnades of bone so methodically ranged about, would you not think you were inside of the great Haarlem organ, and gazing upon its thousand pipes?"

    Many famous musicians played this organ, including Mendelssohn, Händel and the 10-year-old Mozart, who played it in 1766. The organ was modified a number of times in the 19th and 20th centuries and most drastically altered in the renovation by Marcussen between 1959 and 1961. Further voicing work was undertaken between 1987 and 2000."


    So, I hope you'll pardon the bit of history you kindly asked not for, but I wanted to give a bit more to anyone else looking at this subject and interested in why I give my recommendation.

    Now, to what you asked for...just so happens I purchased the following CD at the gift shop in the cathedral and it's 100% Bach works. Found it on Amazon and there are only 3 copies in-stock.
    https://www.amazon.com/Bach-at-Haarlem-J-S-BACH/dp/B00BK6HPQA
    dxppdbnja1jo.png

    Just listened to the FLAC rip'd version of the CD as I typed the above and will say it's well recorded. Nice soundstage (front to back/L to R). Very low ambient noise floor and decent dynamic range. Not a massive room shaking bottom end (which I like) but I attribute that to Bach and not the organ. Roon analyzed DR shows "10" but I've had very rare classical recording approaching "20". Note: Take a look at my signature for list of gear to reference/compare yours.

    The organist, Jonathan Dimmock, appears to be experienced and very well regarded. I'd also opine they don't let just "anyone" play the Müller organ.
    https://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Dimmock-Jonathan.htm

    Searched for pro reviews of the CD but nada except a dude on Amazon and I think he sums it up nicely...

    "5.0 out of 5 stars A Very HIgh Quality and Gratifying Recording
    Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2013
    Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
    I am neither a professional organist nor a professional musician. On the other hand, I have listened intently to classical organ recordings for the last 45 years. In my opinion, Jonathan Dimmock's recording, Bach at Haarlem, excels in four important respects. The instrument is simply gorgeous. The space in which the instrument is located is acoustically splendid. Jonathan Dimmock's performances of Bach are especially gratifying in a tempo sufficiently deliberate to enable one to savor his carefully and expertly selected registrations and the rich harmonic structure of Bach's compositions for the organ. Fourth, this CD strikes me as an expert, high quality recording. All of the rich harmonic patterns of these organ compositions by Bach are fully audible, enhanced by Dimmock's thoughtful registrations which also reveal the splendor of this instrument. Although I have other recordings of Bach's complete organ works which I like very much, I have never listened to one of them as often as I have listened to Jonathan Dimmock's CD of Bach at Haarlem.Bach at Haarlem --dsmessner "


    Again, hope you don't mind my typical "TLDR" posts as @Viking64 lovingly suggests. I'll close w/a few pics from my viewing of the cathedral/organ.

    John

    fkees32jsuzu.jpg
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    b2omza5itiiv.jpg
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    iihhstlmmrly.jpg
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  • michaeljhsda2michaeljhsda2 Posts: 1,985
    My favorite
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  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,617
    I like it. A lot! Can you get it on physical media?

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • michaeljhsda2michaeljhsda2 Posts: 1,985
    Yes, Jaycee has a link to the CD from Amazon in his post.
    SDA SRS 1.2TL's
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    SDA 2B TL's w/RD0198-1's
    Yaqin MC-30L integrated tube amp
    Yaqin MS-20L integrated tube amp
  • JayCeeJayCee Posts: 847
    edited March 2
    JayCee wrote: »
    Not to give you a history lesson but I was captivated by the fact Mendelssohn, Händel and Bach played this very instrument.

    Correction. I was thinking 'bout Bach when I typed the above. Not Bach but Mozart.

    @treitz3, if you're open to other composers besides Bach I have another suggestion from my travels. I spent a bit more time listening to a few of my organ CD's and found another that is also well recorded and I've actually listened to the organ in person during an hour long performance.
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  • JayCeeJayCee Posts: 847
    Yes, Jaycee has a link to the CD from Amazon in his post.

    @michaeljhsda2, I lost Tom....my post was TLDR. Yours was direct and to the point. Apparently Tom likes video over long winded Pokies. LOL :D
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  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,617
    Tom likes what he asked for in physical media.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,617
    I went through 10-12 CD's/SACD's/specialty recordings tonight and none of them offered me what was presented.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • JayCeeJayCee Posts: 847
    Good luck on your quest....
    Speakers: Polk1.2tl's (Uber Mods) Pre/Amp/DAC: PS Audio BHK Signature & 250, DirectStream Cables/IC's: MIT S1Bi-Wire/S1 Balanced +Avel Lindberg 1000VA "Dreadnought" Power Conditioner: Core Power Technologies Deep Core, EQUI=CORE 1800 Power Cords: Core Power Technologies Gold, DH Labs Power Plus DIY w/Neotech NC-P301 & P311ends FLAC Streamer: Roon ROCK on wifi'd NUC⟿Ω☯☥☮⟿🔊♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,617
    Found it. While it is not the same performance, it is the same song and very well recorded on a DDD Redbook CD. I found it on Telarc's Collection Volume 7 CD. Song #9. Toccata from Toccata and Fugue in D minor apparently off of a Murray Organ.

    Had it all the time. DOH!

    uacs2besgxdr.png
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    This CD also has one of my favorite reference recordings. That being song #1. "Olympic Fanfare" by Kunzel and the Cincinnati pops.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,617
    Found an even better recording with a better performance. This is another one I had lying around for years but never listened too.

    https://www.discogs.com/Bach-Baroque-Masterpieces/release/14662122

    It's part of a set of classical performers and I was very surprised at how well this was recorded. Better than the Telarc! I have a plethora of classical music, as I have been buying classical music over the decades, figuring that one day I would appreciate it and that I wouldn't have to pay premium prices for some of the selections I have acquired because they were rare or OOP.

    Now that my system has evolved to where it's at, classical music has the potential to be just as enjoyable as any of my other material. Yesterday, while listening to this song and some others off of this CD, I was thinking as I was listening that I hadn't felt that relaxed in a while.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • CoolJazzCoolJazz Posts: 555
    Mr. Tom,

    Don't overlook Reference Recordings Pomp & Pipes. I've used a couple of the cuts from it as great organ demo's for many years.

    https://referencerecordings.com/recording/pomp-pipes-dallas-wind-symphony/

    I believe is was the Grainger and the Widor cuts that were my go-to's. Good stuff!

    I may have to try out a couple of the others recommended here too. Thanks!

    CJ

    A so called science type proudly says... "I do realize that I would fool myself all the time, about listening conclusions and many other observations, if I did listen before buying. That’s why I don’t, I bought all of my current gear based on technical parameters alone, such as specs and measurements."
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