Franz Liszt: Organ Works Vol. 1 (B-A-C-H)

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Album Name Length Format Sample Rate Price
Franz Liszt: Organ Works Vol. 1 (B-A-C-H) 47:47 $17.98
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# Track Title Length Format Sample Rate Price
1 Franz Liszt: Praludium und Fuge uber das Thema B-A-C-H 9:58 88/24 Album only
2 Franz Liszt: Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen - Praludium nach J.S.Bach 5:03 $2.49 Buy
3 Franz Liszt: Variationen uber "Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen" 12:26 88/24 Album only
4 Franz Liszt: Drei Bach Bearbeitungen: "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" 3:26 $2.49 Buy
5 Franz Liszt: Drei Bach Bearbeitungen: Adagio 2:29 $2.49 Buy
6 Franz Liszt: Drei Bach Bearbeitungen: "Ich hatte viel Bekummernis" 4:24 $2.49 Buy
7 Johann Sebastian Bach: Passacaglia in C minor BWV 582 10:01 88/24 Album only

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B-A-C-H and Liszt — two challenges with their own individual dimensions. The Gewandhaus organist Michael Schönheit, having pledged himself to this Western musical alliance, now presents a fascinating portrait of the historically most significant instrument of the Bach-Liszt tradition. On this album the magnificent Ladegast organ in the Merseburg Cathedral is documented in sound for the first time since its extensive reconstruction.

Many music experts laughed at Liszt when in 1851 he predicted that Bach’s works would “for coming centuries remain an object of admiration and astonishment.” Liszt’s capacity for getting things done was underestimated. He did everything to provide Bach’s works with a magnificent sound stage. His Prelude and Fugue on the tone series B-A-C-H (= B flat, A, C, B) and his paraphrases on individual vocal compositions by Bach were made to order for the Merseburg organ, and the keyboard variations on “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen” were also adapted for this organ and premiered in the Merseburg Cathedral in 1856 together with Liszt’s arrangement of Bach’s “Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir.”

Even today the magnificent baroque front of the organ from the year 1697 commands the Merseburg Cathedral. Towering up into the vault, it fills the space between the towers, while the loft with the choir organ projects forward on the side to the western nave pillars. One of the most impressive romantic instruments north of the Alps is housed behind the baroque front: 5,700 pipes and the old Stahlspiel, in its time one of Germany’s largest organs, built by Friedrich Ladegast (1818-1905).

While still a student Michael Schönheit was a prizewinner at the Leipzig Bach Competition. He received the Mendelssohn Fellowship and succeeded his father as the organist in Saalfeld. In 1986 he became the Gewandhaus organist and a member of the Bach Orchestra, and three years later he received the Leipzig Critics’ Prize. He debuted as a soloist in 1995 with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Kurt Masur. During the same year he began his collaboration with MDG and the planning for the restoration of the Merseburg Cathedral.