theBachWorks: Listener Responses

Until the middle of 1995 I gave copies of the tapes only to friends and family.  In May I started this web page, and in July began receiving inquiries about the tapes.  The response from listeners has been enthusiastic and very gratifying.

“...Stunning, Dazzling Successes!”

“the organ works are a triumph on this tape--each one an experience, reflecting in their tonal variety Bach's own endless inventiveness.”

“A tape like this should provide education, in the sense of broadening the listener's horizons, as well as pleasure, & yours does that.” -- Tom, in Brooklyn

I'll probably end up buying them all. Luckily, the project is simply too huge for you to finish it in my lifetime, else you'd break my bank. ;-) -- Jack, in Maryland

On the whole, I enjoyed listening to your tapes very much. They are musical (which many attempted realizations are not), and Bach's music comes through gloriously. -- Paul, in Boston

I very much like the solo pieces, originally for harpsichord. Especially the 'enhancements' (praller, I don't know the English word). They are very realistic, and I'm wondering if you've been adding some 'noise' in the computer timing to keep it from sounding ... well ... computerized. In general on this part nothing but good words. -- Hans, in the Netherlands

Let's hear it for snail mail! It just arrived, and the 6th FS is just drawing to a close.

Ohmygod, "Komm heiliger Geist" just started, I had no idea....

More to come... but many, many thanks!! -- Fred, in New York

Each sound is clearly the product of careful thought and deep musicality, and you have managed to bypass completely the question of whether you're trying to recreate a Baroque aesthetic. Each sound is so evocative to the 20th-century ear -- even to the sly use of long reverberative decays at the ends of pieces, as if there were vast virtual organs with their ranks spread about vast virtual halls...

I wish it were a CD. -- Fred, in New York, a half-hour later

I am really genuinely impressed with this recording. It is one of the better synthesizer recordings I've heard. I was bracing myself for something along the lines of Don Dorsey or Tomita, but found your recordings very tasteful and genuinely musical. Bravo! to you. Your arrangements of the organ works especially were the finest synthesized Bach I've heard since Walter Carlos. Very sensitive and timbrally imaginative. -- John, in San Diego

The most common defect of electronic realizations of music originally conceived for real-time human performance seems to be a machine-like rhythmic consistency that is "inhuman" in every sense of the word. There are very few passages in this tape that sound that way to me. -- Bill, in Pennsylvania

This is a profoundly inspired rendering of the work, and deserves to be put out in CD form. Can you send me volumes 1-3, please? -- Jack, in Maryland

Concerning the style of your performances, I'd say they're much more "keyboard" performances than, say. Wendy Carlos' work. I'm referring here not only to the selections, and the timbres, but also to the overall arrangement, which is not so much orchestral animation (constantly changing colors) as one of stepped levels. I'm missing a technical term here: what I mean is the Baroque practice of using stepped dynamic levels, and switching between instrumental assignments instead of, say, Romantic orchestration.

I wouldn't say that I like one approach more than the other, but yours is certainly "clearer" and closer to the original concept of the music.

-- Herbert, in Germany

I would like to buy your Bach tapes, all 4 of them, and more or less subscribe to your series when new ones come out. The $15 each is a bargain. -- John, in Michigan


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