Benjamin Alard’s remarkable odyssey through the complete keyboard works of JS Bach continues with this three-disc set reaching the burgeoning Weimar period (1708-1717) when the young man’s fame as an organist and master composer spread throughout Germany. The Frenchman’s 17-year chronological project arrives at some of Bach’s finest organ works in this fifth volume, as well as harpsichord masterpieces and – a wonderful highlight – an entire disc of experiments with concerto form played on the clavichord.

Benjamin Alard

The set opens with the iconic Toccata in D Minor , dispatched here with almost peremptory briskness on a modern organ in the Temple du Foyer de l’Ame in Paris. Interspersed with various chorale preludes – Jesus meine Freude and an early version of the St Matthew Passion Chorale included – Alard gives beautifully judged performances of the mighty BWV540 F Major Toccata and Fugue and early versions of two preludes ...