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Knud Vad: Bach – The Organ Works (18 SACD box set, ISO)

Knud Vad: Bach - The Organ Works (18 SACD box set, ISO)
Knud Vad: Bach - The Organ Works (18 SACD box set, ISO)

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Knud Vad
Super Audio CD
Number of Discs: 18 Hybrid SACD – DSD box set
Format: ISO
Label: Membran Music
Size: 67.4 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

Knud Vad was born in 1936 and was educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Additional studies with Anton Heiller in 1960 and 1964. In 1964 Knud Vad was appointed organist at Soro Monastery Church, and in the following years he built up the musical life for which Soro is so well known today. In 1975 he started performing the organ works by Bach at the famous Marcussen organ in Soro Church and has repeated this since then with five-year intervals. In connection with the last performance in 2000 he has just now concluded the recording of Bach’s organ works (including the Neumeister chorals) at the Soro organ (the first recording with the same organist at the same organ in Denmark).

Knud Vad: JS Bach: Organ Music Complete: A Starter Set, A Keeper Set – High Rez Sound To Boot…

Well this nicely boxed set arrives as a nice Holiday Season Surprise … overflowing with the complete JS Bach organ music on eighteen super audio discs from label, Membran. The Membran folks have a habit of releasing music in affordable super audio, interpretations ranging from solid to better.

Danish/Scandinavian player Knud Vad is performing on a suitable organ, and the sound is warm, detailed. The set is full of those many unique organ pipe colors which always seem orchestral in their range and variety, without actually ever being the same as a modern full orchestra produces. Surely this is the King of Instruments, released from its trite horror-music film soundtrack connotations.

The entire organ output of JSB is too much to digest in one sitting; and many of the works are more familiar, less familiar, depending. That obvious qualifier aside, the set just keeps on giving as I play through the discs. KV as a player seems to adopt mainstream tempos, based on how long his particular instrument needs in order to speak clearly and effectively in its venue. (He’s on the Marcussen organ at the Soro Monastery Church in Denmark; built in 1942, and crucially, voiced according to discovered specifications that date from about 1542.) Inevitably, one gets an organ in its hall, inseparable. In this instance, the venue offers just enough reverberation to gather and reflect the organ sound without any blurring or acoustic artifacts. The sonic focus is squarely on the organ and the music; and the high resolution means you are there, again with overpowering impact that involves both warmth and detail.

Besides the eighteen super audio discs, the Membran folks have also take some pains to package the set in an attractive way; including a full booklet of about two hundred pages or so, with pictures, organ specifications, and brief commentaries on every single work in the set. The set book speaks four languages, English, German, French, and Spanish. A listener would welcome such thoroughness, even at full price; at the budget SACD price that Membran involves, the achievement stands out even more strongly. Quite a value. (If you dig a little, you may find even greater price reductions in various outlets.)

The main drawback, no doubt, is that many folks like their JSB performed on a variety of suitable, interesting organs. But as a sole choice, the Marcussen is hardly down wind. All in all, thanks very much, Santa …. and whether you weigh this Membran option as a starter set or something farther, I think it stands up tall.


17 thoughts on “Knud Vad: Bach – The Organ Works (18 SACD box set, ISO)”

  1. Whatever, thank you very much. This is, for many people, the most idiomatic interpretation at the organ of Bach . Despite Walcha, Richter, Preston… And the organ catalog of JSB is one of the Great Works of the Music. So, you post is welcome, welcome, welcome. Thank you again, Whatever.

  2. Hello everybody!

    First of all, thank you very much for this outstanding upload. It’s more than great!But..sorry for my ignorance I have download the first package but I neither don’t know what is the file MCH nor how can I open the files.

    I would be infite grateful if someone could help me.

    Thank you in advance

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