Journals Higher Education


  • Oxford Bach Books for Organ

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This five-volume graded series of organ music by J. S. Bach provides a wonderful selection of pieces for players of all levels. It includes the essential pieces from all genres, including chorale preludes, preludes and fugues, toccatas, and trio sonata movements, as well as a variety of lesser known works.
Each volume has a general introduction with advice on registration, fingering and footing, touch and articulation, and ornamentation. There are notes on the pieces by renowned Bach scholar Professor Russell Stinson, addressing source issues, structure and symbolism, and, for the chorale preludes, information on the original hymn melody and text on which it is based. Suggested fingering and footing is available as an online resource from the Oxford Bach Books for Organ pages of
The result is an authoritative and fully practical introduction to this cornerstone of the organ repertoire, with pieces presented in a highly practical form for teachers and students.

Modern editions, with their grouping by genre, or by MS and printed collection, present a bewildering variety of choice to both teacher and player, and offer little guidance on how best to structure study of this central repertoire. The Oxford Back Books for Organ are therefore entirely welcome, and in its selection of repertoire the series represents the insight borne of the editorâs enormous teaching experience . . . The editorâs performance notes are a model of good sense and pragmatic scholarship, performing miracles of compression in covering aspects of touch, registration and ornamentation in very limited space . . . This is an impressive collection in both concept and realisation, and even those who think they know their way around the BWV catalogue will find much in it to stimulate and reward, whether as teachers or performers. Stephen Farr, Choir & Organ Jan 15

Compiler and Editor: Anne Marsden Thomas

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