Bach – Isoir / Transcriptions

Michel Bouvard, François Espinasse organs
65:20
lo dolce vita LDV26

The French organist André Isoir, who died recently, was noted for his J.S. Bach recordings. Two of his former students, themselves organists of renown, have recorded this disc of his solo transcriptions made from a variety of well-known Bach works including cantata and Mass movements, orchestral suites and concertos. That there seems little or no difference between the two performers here is a tribute to their acknowledged debt to their teacher. Both play with rhythmic vitality and very sympathetic registrations on an organ by Georg Westenfelder in Fère-en-Tardenois, inaugurated by Isoir in 1991. It is ideally suited to these transcriptions and expertly recorded with great clarity. Transcriptions have long been an essential part of the organist’s stock in trade and these are very effective re-interpretations of works which were themselves refashioned and reimagined by the composer. As a collection it would probably be one to dip into from time to time, rather than listening right through, but it is certainly a very enjoyable disc.

Noel O’Regan