Paul Riley
BBC Music Magazine
'To boast one Gottfried Silbermann organ might be considered good fortune. Freiberg Cathedral finds lofts for two—and the city can muster another couple for good measure. Silbermann produced organs famous for their silvery brilliance, and they're the Rolls Royce default for anyone wanting to get to the heart of J. S. Bach's prodigious output for the instrument. Silbermann and Bach were friends, and Bach later endorsed the organ builder's fortepianos. For a recording originally released as a BBC Music Magazine cover album in May 2011, David Goode settles on the Cathedral's 'Great' organ—a three-manual dazzler that made the young Silbermann's name—and his programme is as imposing as the instrument itself. C major ebullience and C minor gravitas (the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue, and Passacaglia) supply a frame inhabited by two strikingly contrasted Preludes and Fugues: the effervescent G major and marmoreal B minor (lent extra tang by the organ's modified mean-tone tuning). Bach's debt to Vivaldi is handsomely repaid in an exhilarating account of the A minor Concerto. In the Adagio, Goode brings a supple poise which is occasionally missing in the chorale preludes—though 'Vater unser' exudes a galant jauntiness. Best of all is the disc's crowning glory: a blazing performance of the Passacaglia, turbo-charged with immediacy and penetrating lucidity. Goode and Silbermann make a formidable team.”