20 October 2015

A Marvelous Musical Moment

I just stumbled across by far one of the best renditions of JS Bach's BWV 565 ever, and performed brilliantly on perhaps the most impressive sculpture organ of our time, the Organ St. Bavo Haarlem.

Diane Bish's performance of J.S. Bach's BWV 565 on the Christian Müller organ at St. Bavo in Haarlem, The Netherlands is, perhaps, one of the most beautifully and historically accurate interpretations of Bach's masterpiece that my ears have encountered -- despite the annoying background hum contained in the video.

The stunning beauty of the organ and Bish's command of such a magnificent instrument, as well as Bach's onerous musical talents, was an unexpected moment of pure bliss in an otherwise hectic week (and life)! The candles burning while she played was the perfect finishing touch on a visually delightful masterpiece — simply #amazeballs #awesomesauce #goodness!

Bravissima, Bravissima, Bravissima Ms. Bish -- both on her performance and choice of instrument for such a wonderful and timeless work of art, in all respects!

The organ itself was built by Amsterdam's Christian Müller between 1735 -1738. The organ's casework — some 90 feet high and 50 feet across — was aesthetically perfected, embroidered with intricate carvings and shining gold leaf, by Jan van Logteren.

The Müller organ is situated in St. Bavo's church, located at Grote Markt 22, 2011 RD in Haarlem, Netherlands. It has imposing 32 foot pedal towers, an amazing 64 stops, and three manuals with 118 ranks that provide 62 distinct voices. It was once considered the largest organ in the world for quite some time and currently ranks as the world's 208th largest organ. The playing action is, as originally designed, by direct trackers, and stop control is by hand.

I've always said that pipe organs are both musical instruments and works of art — something most modern organ-builders unfortunately fail to heed. But the historical organs — and Müller's in particular — are some of the greatest and most attractive accomplishments mankind ever created.

For your enjoyment, I've dug up a full 75 minutes of musical enjoyment on this magnificent masterpiece:

My friend +Xander Rühl has the privilege of living nearby this amazing and wonderful masterpiece of all-encompassing art, and has spent part of the summer offering guided tours of the church and this most amazing work of art — I'm jelly! :p
The stunning 1738 Christian Müller organ at the Grote of Sint-Bavokerk in Haarlem.
Posted by Xander Rühl on Tuesday, October 20, 2015