BACH CAHMAN TRIBUKAIT REVIEW THE AMERICAN ORGANIST
Organ works of J.S. Bach, preformed by Bengt Tribukait on the 1730 Cahman Organ at Drottningholm. Musica Rediviva MRCD 009 [distributedby CMA/Compact Distribution AB, Box 4225, SE.102 65, Stockholm, Sweden; e-mail CDA@cda.se] [Toccata in D Major, BWV 912; Partite diverse sopra il chorale ”Ach was soll ich Sünder machen,” BWV 770; Pastorale in F Major, BWV 590; Toccata in C Minor, BWV911; from Die Kunst der Fuge, BWV 1080; Von deinen Thron tret´ ich hiermit, BWV 668.]
The relativly young Swedish organist on this recording could teach many about the playing of Bach. With resources of only six registers and one manual, on an instrument 270 years old, one is given a fascinating example of what many people may have heard at the time Bach himself was playing. The organ is situated in a less-than-fortunate (one would imagine) ”bird’s nest” alcove in a small chapel intended to be private, in Drottningholm Castle, described as ”a magnificent domed room with four high niches.” The organist is seated immediately facing the entire six registers at the ”back” of the pipe chest, and has one 49-note keyboard. He produces a fascinating group of performances of ”lively” Bach, not ”staid” Bach, and certainly not ”tired” Bach. The connection to the sound is instant, the effect is fresh and clear, and the overall impression is extremely satisfying. Built in 1730 by Sweden’s then greatest builder, Johan Nicolaus Cahman, rather than being restrained by its setting in the room, this jewel is enhanced. It is no doubt best at what is heard here. The result is an almost perfect melding of instrument, composer, and performer, with a solid dose of acoustics in the mix. If one ever doubted the ability of a small instrument to be impressive, the question is resolved here. The ornaments are in perfect taste, neither over- nor under-played. Lines are not lost in layers of sound but revealed with clarity and purity. Anyone fond of the Biggs/Flentrop series will find this a stimulating collection. The recording will probably be difficult to acquire in this country; perseverance is encouraged, and will be rewarded.