George Ritchie
Recordings - J. S. Bach Organ Works
Just Released - The Art of Fugue
J. S. Bach's The Art of Fugue is a 2 CD recording of Bach's Art of Fugue along with a DVD feature-length documentary and detailed filmed lecture produced and released by Fugue State Films.
The Art of Fugue set is available for purchase from the Fugue State Films website (UK site; payment in British pounds; U.S. buyers should specify NTSC DVD rather than PAL version), The Organ Historical Society Online Catalog (U.S. site; payment in US$) and Raven (U.S. site; payment in US$).
The two CDs in this set include a full performance of The Art of Fugue plus late Bach organ works associated with it.  The DVD includes a feature length documentary putting The Art of Fugue into its historical and aesthetic context and an extensive lecture-demonstration about the individual pieces.
 The Art of Fugue is one of the greatest achievements of the human mind and a perfect blend of intellectual and emotional expression, with the individual pieces pleasing the mind and the ear in equal measure.  It brings the European musical art of polyphony, the combining of independent melodies, to its highest point.
 The DVD documentary, Desert Fugue (90 minutes), falls into three sections: the first about the history of the work, the second about its performance, and the third about its place in Bach’s legacy. Christoph Wolff, the world’s pre-eminent Bach scholar, is the major voice in the first and third sections of the film.  Professor Wolff describes Bach’s composition of two versions of the Art of Fugue, demonstrates how the subject works, and offers the hypothesis that Bach actually did finish the famously incomplete final fugue, but that the ending has been lost.  George Ritchie concentrates on the subject of performing the work on the organ. He is joined by Ralph Richards and Bruce Fowkes, the team who built the superb organ chosen for this recording. Inspired by eighteenth century Central German organs, this instrument has an extraordinary range of tone colours that allow each of the twenty fugues to be presented with a beautiful selection of stops. And because of its location in a church in the desert north of Phoenix, Arizona, the film includes beautiful desert vistas that contrast with footage from Bach’s own city of Leipzig, where Wolff is interviewed.
 The filmed introduction by George Ritchie to all of the pieces in the Art of Fugue (111-minutes) discusses the full range of fugal techniques used in the work, illustrated with many examples from the score.  
 The scope of information on the DVD makes it possible for the listener/viewer to gain an appreciation and intellectual understanding of The Art of Fugue beyond what is possible with any other recording of it currently available.

A booklet contains extensive notes by George Ritchie about the music, specifications of the organ, and a list of all registrations used. The two CDs include, in addition to the Art of Fugue, several late organ works by Bach. The production was conceived and produced by Will Fraser and Simon Still of Fugue State Films.  
J. S. Bach: Organ Works Complete - an 11-CD boxed set - US$59.95
Critical Acclaim!
“This is Bach as Bach intended his music to be heard,”
writes John Holland, The Diapason
“. . .an ideal combination of music, performance, instruments, recording . . .", Arthur Lawrence, The American Organist
". . . a reference-level collection, it should be in any serious library, and should be reached for frequently. . ."
Paul Aldridge, The American Organist
"These performances are ripe with a depth of scholarship, musicality, and knowledge . . .”
Haig Mardirosian, The American Organist
Eleven CDs of the complete organ works are played by George Ritchie on nine pipe organs built in the United States. Extensive notes document the organs and the registrations, and George Stauffer writes extensively on the works.
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George Ritchie, Organist
Fritts-Richards organ
St. Alphonsus Parish Church, Seattle, Washington
Total Time: 77:45 minutes
(2CDs for the price of 1)
George Ritchie, Oganist
Two Taylor & Boody organs
Holy Cross College, Worcester, Massachusetts
Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, Indiana
Total Time: 154 minutes
(2CDs for the price of 1)
George Ritchie, Organist
John Brombaugh organ
Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tennessee
Total Time: 138:54 minutes
Vol IV: Foreign Influences (2CDs for the price of 1)
George Ritchie, Organist
Munetaka Yokota organ
California State Univ., Chico
Fritz Noack organ
Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, Houston, TX
Total Time: 143:44 minutes
Vol V: Orgelbüchlein Plus (2CDs for the price of 1)
George Ritchie, Organist
Paul Fritts organ
Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington
Total Time: 107:30 minutes
Vol VI: Youthful Brillance (2CDs for the price of 1)
George Ritchie, Organist
Martin Pasi & Associates organ
Saint Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha, Nebraska
C. B. Fisk organ
House of Hope Presbyterian Church, St. Paul, Minnesota
Total Time: 147:10 minutes
US$14.98/title plus US$3.50 shipping.
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