From San Francisco, a really exciting “fan” email regarding my Dretzel hypothesis.*

“This case is solved!” the writer says, and shares news of a string of performances of the available “adagiosissimo” movement (BWV897a)…undertaken to promote the idea that C. H. Dretzel is the likely composer of BWV 565, the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor, traditionally attributed to J. S. Bach.

I’m looking for opportunities to repeat my “Who Framed Bach’s Toccata” recital, which I’ve given in Indianapolis and Montclair. If you’re interested, and think an organ/piano (or organ/ harpsichord) program, possibly with PowerPoint, would be a good match for your church or school, please let me know! I have a program of South German and related organ works that set the stage well, I think.

Playing Dretzel’s three-movement harpsichord work is usually a big eye-opener. I rarely hear small audience sounds—murmurs, clucks, titches, and the like—between movements in an ordinary program, but they usually come during the Dretzel piece. It just hits the same spot as 565 *so* strongly!

Anyhow, thanks to this friendly colleague and all of you who’ve been open to the possibility that a once-famous student of Bach may actually have written “the big one.”

*Cornelius Heinrich Dretzel, 1697-1775, is in my opinion the likely composer of the famous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565. See my article in the January 2013 DIAPASON for more. As I continue to rebuild this website, I will add previous posts on this once-renowned, now-forgotten organist, and why I think his authorship is extremely likely.

About Jonathan B. Hall

Keyboard artist, sacred musician, teacher, writer, working in New York City and State. Many interests include music theory and history, literature, astronomy, genealogy, philosophy and theology, gardening, and good food. Cat lover, too.
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