This is acclaimed organist, composer, and recording artist Hans-Andre Stamm performing at the historic, world famous Trost mechanical (tracker) action organ of the Evangelical Lutheran City Church (Stadtkirche) of Waltershausen, Germany. This
is a period instrument that Bach himself knew and likely played which has been kept in original and fully playable condition. It's the largest mechanical action organ in Thuringia, the region of east-central Germany where Bach was born and lived his
Prior to its appearance nothing as powerful as this music had ever appeared before in the written repertoire [See blog, Bach d minor, Parts I-V]. This is a bold work written by a musician heavily influenced by the north German multi-sectional
"stylus phantasticus" form and whose independent mastery is evident. The likelihood that any other German organist at the time, save for the young J.S. Bach, could have conceived something of such unprecedented force, energy, and strength is remote.
It is thus believed to be a youthful work which, in its original form, was produced some time during Bach's Arnstadt years (1703-1707).
Although the tempos used in this video may be faster than some may prefer, the listener will note the excellent
camera work and that 16' tone was drawn on the main manual the entire time, the 32' reed (Posaunen-Bass) was also kept drawn throughout save for the central fugal section up to the pedal solo, no other registration changes were made from start to finish, the
sound was varied almost exclusively by changing manuals, the German chorus reed stops of Bach's time were tame and not dominating, a blend of all 5 types of touch (legato, non-legato, marcato, staccato, and imperceivably broken) were employed, and that thumbs
were at times used on the sharps. One also notes that thumbs at times were used on the sharps and the left hand line in the exposition of the fugue by being played broken allowed the right hand line to come through and be more evident.
This is an enegetic, convincing, and revealing performance of this famous work which repays careful study. We offer our compliments and sincerest thanks to Mr. Stamm for making this instructive recording and posting it on YouTube for public viewing.