CDE84545 J. S. Bach Organ Favourites arr for Woodwind Quintet - Israel Wind Quintet

J. S. Bach Organ Favourites arr for Woodwind Quintet - Israel Wind Quintet

J. S. Bach Organ Favourites arr for Woodwind Quintet - Israel Wind Quintet

Product Description

Organ Favourites arranged for Woodwind Quintet by
Mordechai Rechtman

Uri Shoham - Flute Eliahu Thorner - Oboe
Richard Lesser - Clarinet Meir Rimon - Horn
Mordechai Rechtman - Bassoon

Concerto No. 2 after Vivaldi BWV 593
Chorale prelude: Vor deinen Thron tretich BWV 668
(Before thy Throne I now appear)

Fughetta on: (super) Dies sind die Heilgen zehn Gebot BWV 679  
(These are the Holy Ten Commandments)

Chorale prelude: Nun Kommder Heiden Heiland
BWV 659   (Come, Saviour of the Gentiles)

Prelude & Fugue in D Minor (the Fiddle) BWV 539

Choral Preludes:
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott BWV 720
(A mighty fortress is our God)

Wir glauben all an Einen Gott BWV 681
(All believe in one God)

Wachet Auf, Ruft uns die Stimme BWV 645
(Awake, the voice is calling to us)

Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 625
(Christ lay in bonds of death)

Ach Bleibbei uns, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 649
(Abide with us, Lord Jesus Chri

Sound Sample
Why Arrangements?

Any woodwind quintet ensemble who tries to build a musically well-balanced concert programme

based on only original works for the group, soon realises the impossibility of doing so. Apart from

the music of the 20th century masters like Hindemith, Schoenberg, Barber and Milhaud, none of the

great masters of earlier periods wrote any works for this ensemble, although this combination of

instruments has existed since the end of the 18th century. It is therefore of great importance that we

have an expert like Mordechai Rechtman, who by his arrangements of masterpieces written

originally for all kinds of combinations of instruments, enriches the repertoire immensely to the

benefit of all woodwind quintets.


The Chorale Preludes for Organ by Bach are one of the composer's peaks of human expression. Max Reger called them: “Symphonic Poems in Miniature". The relationship between the music and the text in a chorale prelude is what gives meaning to this small composition.

The great researchers compete with each other in the praises they heap on Bach's Chorale Preludes. Albert Schweitzer outdid them all: "Bach determined and also achieved the ideal chorale prelude. The process is the simplest imaginable, while, at the same time, the most perfect and complete. Nowhere else does the Dürer-like character of Bach's music show up as in these miniature Chorale preludes. With the concise theme of the counterpoint motif alone the composer expresses everything, so that the relationship between the composition and the text, whose name is a headline for the work, is divulged in all its clarity".

The organ performed a dual function in the Lutheran Church service. The first to introduce and present various sections of the text; the second to play a chorale and blend with the singing of the audience or the church choir. The Chorale Prelude served, in the liturgy, as an instrumental introduction to the chorale sung by the choir. It served this liturgical function well because it presented the melody, which was usually a Soprano "Cantus Firmus," making for easy listening and also easy to remember.

The Chorale Preludes preceding the Bach era had more or less a set form. The melody, whether simple or ornamental, was placed either in figurative harmony or in counterpoint, while the other themes moved in opposition with independent rhythms and motives of their own. Generally, each line of the chorale was emphasized by a short imitation performed by the remaining voices.

Three definite styles of chorale preludes developed in the pre-Bach period. The Pachelbel fugue style; the varied and inventive style of Bohm and Reincken; and the free fantasy-like style of Buxtehude. The first two styles were the origin of inspiration for Bach, who used them as models. Johann Pachelbel instilled the chorale prelude with warmth and the poetic touch, while Buxtehude was the first to give the chorale prelude a personal interpretation which led directly to Johann Sebastian. He had already inserted melodic patterns in his preludes which served as counterpoint to the melody. Bach combined these three styles and developed them into a more complicated and interesting one of his own. Although the chorale form was a set and determined form. Bach brought't to such a new perfection that it achieved a new peak of human expression. Bach's Chorale Preludes are "lyric poems" imbued with the most personal expression of the composer.

The Chorale Prelude is generally made up of four voices with the soprano as the prominent one, while the other voices support the melody. Bach breaks this stereotype. The voices supporting the melody are placed, on purpose, to express the ideas of the chorale text. Bach also gives the melody to the prominent voice as in a "Cantus Firmus," but alongside this appears a motif which is not developed from one of the melodic lines, as in the past, but is the fruit of free invention. With Bach this motif develops from within the text of the chorale and presents the poetic idea which Bach felt to be most important. The Chorale Preludes in their new free form were composed by Bach in Weimar. He planned to write 164 preludes and left space for them amongst his writings. Even their "headings" can be recognized. However, he actually composed only forty-five chorale preludes because he moved to Cothen, in the years 1717-23, he left his work-plan unfinished. Many see in his 45 Chorale Preludes the summit of his works for the organ similar to the 48 preludes and fugues which Bach composed for the piano.

This recording presents seven of the favourites amongst Bach's Chorale Preludes, and they are representative of his special and particular style of this musical form. These pieces are interspersed with several of the more famous and well-known fugues by Bach: the "Fughetta On" (Super) from his Organ Mass, the Prelude and Fugue in D Minor taken from his Sonata in G Minor for violin (the "Fiddle"), and also the well-known Fugue in G Minor BWV 578. The feeling of festivity and the wealth of Bach's inventiveness, as well as that of the adaptor, are felt immediately on this record with the opening of Bach's Concerto No. 2 for Organ based on Vivaldi's Double Concerto for two Violins.

Rechtman's transcriptions of Bach's organ works for the Woodwind Quintet have already made an important place for themselves amongst the Bach transcriptions known to us today. Rechtman is akin to an architect, building anew Bach's musical cathedral. Rechtman's greatness lies in the fact that he does not present himself in his transcriptions but only Bach.

Of all the orchestral instruments, the organ's varied tones are most akin to the woodwind instruments. This is only natural, since the organ is built of hollow pipes working on the same principle as the woodwinds. In addition, the organ's many registers allow for the creation of a musical illusion of many woodwind instruments. However, a really good transcription is the one that does not sound at all like a transcription, and this is what characterizes the works recorded here.

Rechtman creates a rich texture of such high quality that it is almost as though the original Bach were before us. For this purpose he creates all kinds of special and original instrumental combinations expressing not only the harmonious theme and counterpoint but the free and natural fluidity of the composition.

Moreover, despite the virtuosity in the arrangements for the Woodwind Quintet, one of the important characteristics of Rechtman's transcriptions is the conservation of the "poetic touch" in Bach's organ music.

Dr. Hanoch Ron

The Israeli Woodwind Quintet was founded in 1963 by the "first chair" players of the Israel Philharmonic. They have performed in many concerts in Israel, Europe and the USA, among them Spoleto "Two Worlds" Festival and the Israel Festival. The Quintet has appeared with many well-known soloists, such as Daniel Barenboim, Claude Franck, Bruno Canino and the vocalist Mira Zakai. Their repertoire consists of original works and transcriptions from the Baroque and Classical periods and also modern works by Shoenberg, Berio, Ligeti and others, also Israeli works commissioned especially for the quintet. Its members have appeared as soloists with many of the worlds great orchestras.

Mordechai Rechtman (b 1926)

Renowned bassoonist, conductor, arranger, teacher and educator Between 1946 and 1991, he was principal bassoonist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He began playing the bassoon at the age of 12, and at 15 was accepted as a member of the Palestine Opera Orchestra, where he played between 194l and 1945,

He appeared as soloist with the Israel Philharmonic and Other leading orchestras in Israel and abroad, and in music festivals throughout the world. He founded the "Israel Woodwind Quintet” in 1963 and the Israel Philharmonic Wind Ensemble in 1976. Since 1985 and for many years on, he was the musical director and conductor of the Israel Chamber Orchestra Wind Ensemble. Rechtman has conducted many of Israel’s major orchestras, and many other ensembles. While pursuing his career as a bassoonist, Rechtman has spent much time writing transcriptions and arrangements for varied small and large ensembles. His unique talent as an arranger has been highly acclaimed. His arrangements, published by leading publishing houses, are played and recorded by orchestras and major ensembles all over the world.

He has been professor at the Tel-Aviv Academy of Music since 1969 until 2002, and as Guest Professor has taught in music schools such as the Juiliard School in New-York, the New England Conservatory at Boston, Mass. The Royal Academy of Music in London and the Geneva Music Conservatory. During 1977 and 1978 he was Professor at the famous School of Music, Indiana University, Bloommgton, USA.

Mordechai Rechtman is winner of the 2004 award of the Board of Trustees of the Minister of Education, Culture and Sports Prize of Music Performances, for his special contribution to music in Israel.J. S. Bach Organ Favourites arr for Woodwind Quintet - Israel Wind Quintet