The first Archiv Produktion recordings were made in 1947 by Leipzig-born organist Helmut Walcha who set a new standard in terms of organ performances and recordings. Walcha held an unrivalled position as a Bach interpreter. The success of these first recordings led to the decision to record the complete Bach organ works to commemorate the composer’s bicentenary in 1950. Walcha went on to record Bach’s complete organ works a second time – this time in stereo – and his 1956 recording of the Bach Toccata & Fugue in D Minor BWV 565 was the first-ever stereo recording made by DG. Marking the 30th anniversary of Walcha’s death this release brings together his complete recordings on Archiv Produktion, Deutsche Grammophon and Philips for the first time.
Complementing the 32-CD edition are four digital albums J.S. Bach’s Organ Works, The Mono Cycle 1947–1952 are presented in the first, the second is Walcha’s recordings of The Well-tempered Clavier BWV 846–893. Thirdly are Bach’s Preludes, Toccatas, Fantasies & Fugues and Trio Sonatas, and the final offering is Organ Masters Before Bach.