Stefano Molardi’s recorded integrale of Bach’s organ music on Brilliant Classics won golden opinions from the specialist pres. As in the four volumes of that cycle, Molardi has taken care to choose instruments to match repertoire, playing two magnificent instruments by Gottfried Silbermann (Bach’s favoured organ-builder) to record the complete organ music – the first such album to do so – by Johann Kuhnau. Kuhnau thrived as a church musician in Germany a generation or so before J.S. Bach. He was appointed cantor of the Thomaskirche in 1701, on the death of Johann Schelle, the previous incumbent. When Kuhnau died in 1722, it was J.S. Bach who took over his position after a protracted selection process. Kuhnau played a pivotal role in the evolution of music in central Germany. This was partly due to the beauty and refinement of his melodies, the neatness of his harmony, his skilful use of dissonance and the Corelli-like elegance of his compositions.
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