Masaaki Suzuki is a Japanese organist, harpsichordist and conductor, and the founder and musical director of the Bach Collegium Japan. He also teaches and conducts at Yale University and has conducted orchestras and choruses around the world. He was born in Kobe to parents who were both Christians and amateur musicians; his father had worked professionally as a pianist. Masaaki Suzuki began playing organ professionally at church services at the age of 12.
The C minor Passacaglia and Fugue is one of the great masterpieces for the instrument and one which inspired countless responses from composers great and lesser. So it's all the more astonishing to think that Bach wrote it while still a twenty‐something hireling in Weimar, where his Kapell meistership to the Duke ended badly with the composer being clapped in irons for touting his availability for other jobs, frustrated as his ambition was by the restrictions of the position.
"The grande dame of French organists, Marie-Claire Alain recorded the complete organ music of Bach not once, not twice, but three times. This collection is the third recording, made in the late '80s and early '90s, and recorded digitally by Erato. For this version, Alain had access to restored, historic organs, including some that Bach himself would have played…"
In 1900 the Stuttgart Hymnus Boys' choir (German: Stuttgarter Hymnus-Chorknaben) was initiated by the Swabian entrepreneur Paul von Lechler. His models were the Thomanerchor Leipzig and the Dresdner Kreuzchor. (…) The Stuttgart Hymnus Boys' Choir has a broad repertoire of spiritual vocal music, especially music by Johann Sebastian Bach and other baroque composers. Parallel to the concerts the musical-liturgical arrangements of masses have a special meaning. About 170 boys and 30 young men come together to rehearse in Stuttgart weekly, because the choir does not have a boarding school. The singers live with their parents and go to school in their hometowns…
…Harald Vogel is an authoritative proponent and guide through all aspects of this music, and the quality of his playing, and of the recordings and choice of instruments can hardly be faulted. Already recognised as interpretations and recordings without equal, certainly in a complete edition, this set has to be considered the current Buxtehude standard bearer.
The legendary Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire specializes in the 19th century and has turned to recording Bach in his eighth decade, apparently for the first time. All you can say is that it was worth the wait. His Bach is typically restrained, not unaware of the long tradition of Bach piano performances, but decidedly unlike anyone else's approach. In general, Freire is pianistic without applying a lot of pedal.