Bach's Organ Music: Imaginative, Innovative, and Sublime


As I mentioned in the last blog post, I will continue to lead you through the 2020 Toronto Bach Festival with a discussion of each of the concerts that had been planned, together with some suggested listening links to YouTube. This week we will take a brief look at the rich repertory of organ works, as we imagine the organ recital that John Butt was preparing for us.


One of the founding principles of the Toronto Bach Festival is to give our audiences as complete an understanding as possible of Bach’s achievement as a composer, and so it is essential that we become familiar with music from all of the genres in which he worked: vocal works, instrumental works, and keyboard works. The pursuit of this well-rounded picture is why we always have a keyboard recital at the festival. The works for organ and harpsichord represent a significant portion of Bach's output, and include some of his most inventive creations.


I fervently believe that there is no substitute for the experience of any live performance. One experiences the music and the performance in a specific performance space, and the total effect is something that simply cannot be captured on a recording (although recordings do have their uses, as we all know).  



We are not able to have an experience like this at the moment, but technology will offer us a small compensation, as we delve into Bach's organ works in my most recent blog. 

Please visit my blog to stay in touch with us and to read my most recent instalment. This is the first of several blog posts presenting the concerts of the 2020 festival to you, with suggested recordings of the music we would have been performing, with  comments from me about the programmes and the music. 


Wishing you all the best,



John Abberger

Artist Director


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