A Reinterpretation of J. S. Bach's major Preludes and Fugues for Organ after Karl Straube (1873-1950).
The landmark publication of J. S. Bach's complete organ works by C. F. Peters was undertaken in the 1840s. Volume 2 of this collection contains ten of Bach's most famous and iconic pieces. In 1913, Peters published a revision of this volume with very extensive performance directions given by Karl Straube, the organist of the Leipzig Thomaskirche where Bach himself worked for many years. Straube presided at this church over a new, large organ, built in what may be termed "symphonic" style by Wilhelm Sauer of Frankfurt. Straube's performance directions include phrasing and tempi, as well as ﾖ importantly ﾖ registration and manual indications for the modern organ. Since the mid-20th century, Bach performance has moved decisively away from the type of individualistic interpretive approach reflected in Straube's edition in the direction of the "historically informed" style that dominates modern performance philosophy for all early music. In recent years, many of Sauer's organs (which had fallen out of stylistic fashion after the 1920s) have been restored to their original tonal and mechanical condition. This project is to study and prepare for eventual recording these ten works, using one of the important Sauer organs in Leipzig (either the Thomaskirche or Michaeliskirche), Chemnitz, or Berlin. I anticipate requiring 50-60 hours of preparation time at one of these organs over two to three weeks to prepare these works.