Chiantoni, Alessandro

Bach And Romanticism, Influences, Homages, Reflectionsu

Bachs stature as an organ virtuoso and composer has never been questioned, and did not really need the "rediscovery" which characterized the "Bach-Renaissance", i.e. the Romantic movement initiated by Felix Mendelssohn for the appreciation of Bachs works. This Da Vinci Classics album highlights how Bachs music proved inspirational for the Romantics. The two pairs of an improvisatory piece and Fugue by Bach himself showcase his inventiveness and his skill, his creativity and his mastery of the musical material. These lessons are learnt by the Romantic composer represented here. First among them is Mendelssohn, whose Six Organ Sonatas op. 65 represent a summit of the Romantic organ literature; the sixth, in particular, is evidently a homage to Bach and his music with its superb Chorale Prelude Variations. It is recorded here along with beautiful no. 2, whose gestation spanned over many years. Liszt created his "B.A.C.H." Fantasy and Fugue in various versions, for both the piano and the organ; Jean Guillous "syncretic" version recorded here combines virtually all elements of all versions. Finally, the short Introduction and Passacaglia by Reger demonstrate how the Bach cult was felt in the very last year of the 19th century, and how it was leading the transition between late Romanticism and modernity.

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