HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Eterna) Johan Sebastian Bach – Edward Power Biggs at the Schuke Organ of the Thomas Church in Leipzig

Bach reigns supreme on the organ, without question. Lovers of music, even lovers specifically of organ music, often have trouble naming any composer of organ music except J.S. Bach. His mastery is undeniable, his legacy amazing, his influence immeasurable. All of his organ works are technical marvels but can also hold deep emotional resonance. The works recorded here are some of the most famous of Bach’s: the Passacaglia and fugue, the “Great” prelude and fugue in g, the C Major prelude and fugue, and of course the Toccata and Fugue in d minor. This recording presents material which makes a great introduction to Bach’s organ music (which it was for me, several years ago) – but don’t be fooled: even if you have much experience with this kind of music the performances recorded here are worth hearing. I happen to think that Biggs is one of the greatest organists of our century, and this recording will tell you why.

Composer: Johan Sebastian Bach
Edward Power Biggs
Vinyl 1970 (1974)
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Eterna
DR 12
Size: 870 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

Biggs’ choice of stops is always apt – they provide the proper mood and are always rich in contrast. His sense of tempo is EXCELLENT – I think it is a product of a musical understanding and outlook which are unique to an earlier generation of performers, and which have been lost. He does not force the pacing – rather, he allows the music to speak for itself. His articulation and phrasing are equally good. I could go on, but suffice it to say that his technique is marvelous. The net effect, though, goes beyond all that. As I said, Bach’s organ music contains a wide range of emotion (contrary to what many people think). The Passacaglia is one of the most earth-shatteringly powerful works of art ever concieved – one description I like is that it’s a journey “through a spectrum of tragic emotion orchestrated into a riveting narrative” (credit goes to the Bach FAQ website for that). Biggs conveys that dimension of the work, building narrative up slowly to a tremendous climax. That interpretive skill is present throughout the recording, not just in the Passacaglia. The organ played on is the Schuke organ at the Thomas Church in former DDR metropole Leipzig and is a powerful instrument with a wide range of sounds. The acoustic is marvellous. An essential addition for any Bach music lover and organ music lover.


A1 Toccata And Fugue In D Minor, BWV 565 9:05
A2 Passacaglia And Fugue In C Minor, BWV 582 14:12
B1 Prelude And Fugue In G Major (The Great), BWV 541 10:47
B2 Prelude And Fugue In C Major (9-8), BWV 547  7:56

Analyzed folder: /96k ISB – Organ Works – Edward Power Biggs
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR11        -1.09 dB     -17.34 dB     A1 Toccata And Fugue In D Minor, BWV 565.aif
DR12        -0.52 dB     -18.25 dB     A2 Passacaglia And Fugue In C Minor, BWV 582.aif
DR12        -0.53 dB     -17.03 dB     B1 Prelude And Fugue In G Major (The Great), BWV 541.aif
DR12        -1.12 dB     -17.06 dB     B2 Prelude And Fugue In C Major (9-8), BWV 547.aif
Number of files:    4
Official DR value:    DR12


  • Composed By – Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Design [Gestaltung] – G. Semder
  • Engineer [Tonregie] – Eberhard Richter
  • Liner Notes – Hans-Joachim Schulze
  • Organ – Edward Power Biggs
  • Photography By – H.-J. Mirschel
  • Producer [Musikregie] – Hellmuth Kolbe, Reimar Bluth
Recorded in the superb acoustics of Bach’s own church in Leipzig.

First recording by an American in this historic building


Ripping Info


  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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11 thoughts on “HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Eterna) Johan Sebastian Bach – Edward Power Biggs at the Schuke Organ of the Thomas Church in Leipzig

  1. First class music played by a first class organist on a first class organ!
    Excellent, Alf.
    Thanks for all the organ stuff you’ve done.

  2. Thanks Rach! I’ve been a Biggs–Bach fan for some forty years. This recording is definitely a good one. It was put out by Columbia Masterworks in the USA. Also I found a budget CD of same recording with hardly any info on it. The Passacaglia and Fugue, on this recording, is arguably Biggs best version of it. It became dangerous for me driving, with this blasting in my stereo–especially the fugue when the theme takes those two ascending, seemingly improvised, steps toward the climax. I had to pull off the road, the fugue was too overwelming! Thanks again Rach for the 24/96 recording and have a nice holiday!

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