Bach: Organ Works, Volume 3 – Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542; 3 Chorale Preludes on “Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland”, BWV 659-661; Pastorale, BWV 590; Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 547; Canonic Variations on “Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her”, BWV 769a; Prelude and Fugue in G, BWV 541

Reviewed on Wed 16 Dec, 2015

The shimmer and tonal breadth of the Metzler organ of Trinity College, Cambridge is beautifully recorded, never sounding harsh or unyielding in Quinney's hands ... Quinney's complete Bach cycle is setting the bar very high indeed.

This is an exhilarating release with several highlights, chief of which is a superbly paced reading of the well-known Fantasia and Fugue in G minor. I defy anyone not to feel excited by Robert Quinney's performance; I felt as if I was hearing this work for the first time. Here and elsewhere, the shimmer and tonal breadth of the Metzler organ of Trinity College, Cambridge is beautifully recorded, never sounding harsh or unyielding in Quinney's hands. Two slight criticisms: the technically challenging final variation on “Vom Himmel hoch” does sound a little unfocussed at times, while the change of registration midway through the BWV 547 Fugue (at the point at which the subject appears in the pedals for the first time) feels unnecessary – the music unfolds perfectly well without it. Notwithstanding such comments, it is clear that Quinney's complete Bach cycle is setting the bar very high indeed, and this release is warmly recommended.
–Chris Achenbach