David Hamilton plays J. S. Bach

David Hamilton finds the delicate beauty in some of Bach’s finest organ output on the organ of Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirk.

Composer: Bach
Repertoire: Various Organ Works
Artists: David Hamilton (org)
Rating:  5/5
Genre: Instrumental 
Label: Divine Art DDA25088

The Music In this recital you get some gems of JS Bach’s organ output, including the exquisite choral preludes Erbarm dich, O Mensch bewein dein and Wachet auf and a few larger works including the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor. It’s music that’s eminently listenable-to and yet recognisably crafted with extraordinary and humble genius. 

The Performance This is a fine meeting of instrument and performer. The organ in Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirk was built in 1998 using materials Bach would have recognised. It’s not the most powerful instrument, so immediately surprising is that the imposing Passacaglia works so well – played with a delicate beauty that actually finds great cumulative power. His repertoire is perfectly matched to the instrument’s clear sonorities and played with light dexterity but weighty intellect. That, and Hamilton has a habit of reaching for the perfect stop to illuminate particular lines. 

The Verdict I’ve had hours of pleasure from this CD already and there are many more to come.