Mehmet Okonsar | J.S. Bach Toccatas BWV 910-916

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J.S. Bach Toccatas BWV 910-916

by Mehmet Okonsar

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): complete seven Toccatas BWV 910 to 916 for the Harpsichord, performed on the piano.
Genre: Classical: Bach
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1. Toccata No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 913
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12:56 $0.99
2. Toccata No. 2 in E Minor, BWV 914
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7:08 $0.99
3. Toccata No. 3 in F-Sharp Minor, BWV 910
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11:08 $0.99
4. Toccata No. 4 in G Minor, BWV 915
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8:42 $0.99
5. Toccata No. 5 in D Major, BWV 912
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14:15 $0.99
6. Toccata No. 6 in C Minor, BWV 911
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10:21 $0.99
7. Toccata No. 7 in G Major, BWV 916
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8:08 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The seven Toccatas BWV 910-916 are youthful creations. Even however we not able to date them correctly, their overall style concurs with this often taken assumption.

The Toccatas G major, G minor and E minor were originally the works of a 23 or 25 years old Bach, then organist at the service of the Prince of Saxe-Weimar.The ones in D major and D minor is usually authored by an even younger Bach, possibly around 1705-17081709-1712 is usually the obscure dates for the Toccatas in F-sharp minor and C minor.

The Toccatas, as many times with Bach, were not published in his lifetime.The Bureau of Musique of Leipzig launched basically one, the D minor Toccata within the early nineteenth century.

"To touch" ("toccare" in Italian) stands out as the root of the music genre "Toccata". It refers to a piece for a piano musical instrument often entire of virtuosity demonstrates and of a free form.

Gabrieli, Andrea (c.1520-1586) and/or Merulo, Claudio (1533-1604) are many times cited as being the authors of the primarily branded "Toccatas". On the other hand, Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) raised the (free) musical form to its highest before Johann Sebastian Bach.

In reality no musical instrument has been specified by Johann Sebastian Bach for the public performance of his Toccatas. We all know that in addition to the church organ and the "clavicembalo" the composer was performing on the Clavichord, an musical instrument he cherished particularly. Even however, the radiance and the majesty of all those Toccatas require the "clavicembalo".

My choice of the piano for my compact disc is motivated with the sizable dynamic range and the comprehensive impacts disseminated all through those musical works.

"Bach-Extravaganza" could very well have got been a flashy title for J.S. Bach's Toccatas (BWV 910-916), if such things have been existing then. This is often "unleashed" Bach. Fantastic piano works, free from any variety of teachingly (i.e. "The Well-tempered Clavier", the "Art of Fugue" etc.), formal (i.e. sonata, variations etc.), stylistically codified (i.e. "Allemande", "Gigue", "Sarabande" etc.), church-related or court-related constraints. Those musical works can only be compared to the composer's Fantasias and the like a comparison will be to the benefit of the Toccatas.

Johann Sebastian Bach allows here free run to his musical inventiveness. The Toccatas represent for us a true testimony of what contain made the Leipzig Cantor improvising on keyboards forever a massive achievement.

Works pursue related designs. The virtuosity beginning really a good deal much like the "Chromatic Fantasy", various slow parts with astounding chordal and melodic elaborations mixed with enlivened "free" form fugues.


The Toccata N.1 in D minor BWV 913 was the first one publicized in the early nineteenth century. It has two fugues. Its introduction section is significantly less cadenza-like when compared to others, nonetheless it retains the overall part of a "rhapsody". A brilliantly expressive slow section, with four parts comes prior to the earliest radiant fugue. The second slow portion is more expressive than the earliest. A single concise motive is processed with an un-ending flow of modulations which displays it in pretty much every lighting and shadowing imaginable. The brilliant last fugue concludes the music composition.

The Toccata N.2 in E minor BWV 914 is possibly crafted around 1707-1710, this is the shortest Toccata. The brief introduction in a free-prelude design precedes the initial light "fugato". The Adagio is presented like a recitative with concise only instrumental proceedings in a very improvisatory design. The virtuoso fugue which follows is contemplated by some scholars as being originally conceived for the organ.

From probably between 1079-1712 this Toccata N.3 in F-sharp minor BWV 910 is a sizable piece, comprised of five movements with two fugues. The "usual" free-form introduction leads directly to one of the most sublime pages among all Toccatas. The significant section in 3/2 time is intense and resplendent. Its chromatically descending thema sustains this melancholic movement. This theme is actually a Passacaglia or "basso continuo" thema which is made the main melody here. The pioneer fugue: "Presto e staccato" displays an incredible imitative polyphony work and craftsmanship. The moderate tempo section in between the two fugues emerges as a meditative interlude. It connects with the final fugue of an exuberant character and the Toccata ends with arpeggios not as opposed to the introduction.

We meet here in the Toccata N.4 in G minor BWV 915 with some "piano" and "forte" indications on the manuscript. This introduction in 24/16 time makes the frame for the entire piece to reach. Another unhurried movement in 3/2 time, grave and majestic brings the very first fugue in B-flat major which concurrently presents two themes one with disjoint motions and the other proceeding by close steps. A few measures stretched, recitative-like movement separates the two fugues. The ultimate fugue is in "Gigue" form. Either edited as 12/8 or "C" time (with dotted values to be read as a ternary time).

It is customary to date this Toccata N.5 in D major BWV 912 1705-1708, before Bach coming at the Court of Saxe-Weimar. The piece opens with rapid scales and arpeggios. The initial "Allegro" which follows is at the same time jokingly and pompous. A dozen bars of transition brings a late double "fugato" and is followed by a movement: "Con discrezione", a very "rubato" section. The last section is a double fugue in 6/16 time. Again the "Gigue" idea is present all throughout this rapidly peaced fugue.

A "Chromatic Fantasy"-like, common beginning opens this vast Toccata N.6 in C minor BWV 911 which presents, in my opinion, one of the most striking fugues in the collection. The Adagio is grand and noble, virtually spiritual in character. The comes the very tricky but joyful fugue.

The opening of the Toccata N.7 in G major BWV 916 is less improvisatory but more like a Concerto first movement. The music instrument and the virtuosity of the performer is shining all though the section. A charming melodious section follows. Even though it is not as elaborated (polyphonically speaking) as the other leisurely movements of the series, this E minor section is indeed magnificent. The closing fugue is less elaborated than the previous ones in the series, but again, incredibly alluring as well.


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