Bach: The Works For Organ / Kevin Bowyer [MP3 Format]

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This set is in MP3 format at 320 kbps.
These eight discs are equivalent to the 17 volume CD series. You will be able to transfer the files directly to your iPod or MP3 player or play the discs on your computer, most DVD players and the latest generation of in car players. The notes to accompany the original CD release of this series are written by Wilfrid Mellers, Jonathan Baxendale and Kevin Bowyer. These texts are reproduced in their entirety and form an extended essay of 42,000 words which is included on Disc 8. It is formatted as a pdf file ready for printing on standard A4 paper. Also on Disc 8 is an excel spreadsheet listing the pieces in 3 ways: by track number, by title and by BWV number.


Following the success of Nimbus' re-release of their set of Haydn symphonies, conducted by Adam Fischer on MP3 CDs, Nimbus now comes up with another bargain in this format. This 8-CD set of Kevin Bowyer's recordings of Bach's organ works covers nearly 31 hours of music, and is presented in 320 kbps MP3 files. (For those who are interested, the files are encoded with LAME 3.97, using - preset insane). In our review of the Haydn symphonies, reviewer Dominy Clements compared some of the original CDs and the MP3 files, and concluded, "To be entirely honest, I couldn’t really spot any advantages or disadvantages in either in terms of absolute quality." I will echo his comments, having compared the MP3 files of this set to a few of the original Nimbus CDs. Not only do these MP3 files sound excellent, but very few people could reliably spot which files were which in a blind test.

It’s worth noting that Bowyer’s set, at nearly 31 hours, is close to twice as long as most of the other “complete” sets of Bach’s organ works. This is because he plays a number of spurious and mis-attributed works, as well as some works that are generally not played on organ, such as the Toccatas BWV 910-916. So what about the performances? They are generally considered to be one of the finer series of Bach's organ works. I have a number of sets of Bach's organ works, and this one stands out by virtue of the fact that all the music was recorded on a single organ (Sct. Hans Kirke, Odense, Denmark). Many, if not most, other sets are recorded at a variety of locations. Here, the organ itself is beautiful, and the recording is spacious but without too much reverberation. Bowyer's choice of registrations, tempi and phrasing are attractive throughout. You seriously couldn't go wrong with this set, at a price below that of two audio CDs.

-- Kirk McElhearn, MusicWeb International

Product Description:

  • Release Date: April 01, 2010

  • Catalog Number: NI1721

  • UPC: 710357172120

  • Label: Nimbus

  • Number of Discs: 8

  • Composer: Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, Christian Friedrich Witt, Henry Purcell, Johann Christoph Bach, Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, Johann P. Kellner, Johann Pachelbel, Johann Sebastian Bach, Justin Heinrich Knecht, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

  • Conductor: Alice Joensen

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Det Fynske Kammerkor

  • Performer: Kevin Bowyer