Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, BWV 846-869

January 11, 1994 | Format: MP3

$16.99
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
2:22
30
2
1:53
30
3
2:08
30
4
1:33
30
5
1:04
30
6
2:01
30
7
2:40
30
8
3:03
30
9
1:06
30
10
1:39
30
11
1:19
30
12
1:39
30
13
4:12
30
14
1:41
30
15
3:39
30
16
5:10
30
17
1:34
30
18
1:00
30
19
2:49
30
20
0:58
30
21
0:57
30
22
1:15
30
23
4:56
30
24
3:23
Disc 2
30
1
2:16
30
2
2:14
30
3
1:01
30
4
3:48
30
5
0:42
30
6
2:19
30
7
2:30
30
8
2:14
30
9
1:23
30
10
1:28
30
11
1:22
30
12
1:46
30
13
0:59
30
14
2:22
30
15
1:11
30
16
3:23
30
17
1:10
30
18
1:22
30
19
3:57
30
20
5:06
30
21
0:58
30
22
1:33
30
23
2:14
30
24
3:44
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: January 11, 1994
  • Release Date: January 11, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:45:03
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00136JNGW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,253 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

For my taste I tend to prefer more individualistic performances, and therefore like Gould more than Schiff for example.
smarmer
When you start listening the first prelude in C major staccato-like just like nobody else played it before, you're sure you're listening to something unique.
Ismael Valladolid Torres
Classical music is interpretation: Modern-day performers and conductors put their unique stamp on music that was written long ago in a very different world.
Doc Sarvis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 106 people found the following review helpful By smarmer on March 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Glenn Gould's playing prompted the great George Szell to say, "That nut is a genius." Gould is indeed a controversial pianist. While he was responsible for resurgence in interest in Bach (along with Roselyn Tureck and some others), Gould's playing arouses tremendous passion both pro and con. For a while I subscribed to a use-list on Bach; the members argued so much about Gould that the web master had to intervene, and when that did not work she pulled the plug on the entire site.
Readers should know that I like Glenn Gould. His are not the only worthy interpretations of Bach, but they are indispensable if one is to get a broad and rounded picture of how this greatest of all composers is to be understood.
Gould learned Book One of the WTC from his mother. After he recorded it for Columbia (now Sony) he hardly ever played a selection from Book One again. On the other hand he made numerous recordings of various preludes and fugues from Book Two, both before and after his Columbia complete recording.
His interpretations are certainly unique. Comparing him with other great pianists you will find that he takes tempos that are slower or faster than more conventional versions. This drives some listeners crazy. For my taste I tend to prefer more individualistic performances, and therefore like Gould more than Schiff for example.
Other worthy interpretations of WTC are of course Edwin Fischer on EMI, Richter on Le Chant du Monde, and Schiff on Decca/London for comparison. Recordings of various individual preludes and fugues by Tureck are nearly always worthwhile.
The preludes and fugues of Book Two are a bit darker and more spiritual than those of Book One, and thus suited Gould's temperament more closely.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1999
Format: Audio CD
It is rare for an artist to so totally inhabit a work as Gould does the WTC, Books 1 & 2. Particularly striking and moving is the singing quality Gould gives many of the preludes, reminding one of Bach's B minor mass rather than harpsichord performances of the same pieces.
The fugues are also remarkable for their clarity of line and the way Gould seems to effortlessly develop whatever it is that intrigues him in a given fugue. You can hear the joy in his playing as he plays a line which falls silent and then proceeds to work his way through a fugue's complexities toward the line's rebirth.
Although Gould critics often scoff at perceived idiosyncracies in his playing, I have difficulty believing that Bach - the master improviser - would not have approved of Gould's approach. The sprituality that one hears in Bach's cello and vocal works - a spirituality present, but to a lesser degree, in his keyboard works performed on harpsichord - is fully present in these piano performances.
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63 of 73 people found the following review helpful By The Sanity Inspector on February 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Someone who is already familiar with the WTCs, or who loves Glenn Gould, or both, would be the best audience for this performance. From the very first bars, with the flowing ascending theme played partly in a counter-intuitive staccato, the in-the-know listener can tell that this will be a highly idiosyncratic rendering. Sure enough, Gould willfully takes some pieces at half-speed, presumably to display the "inner structure", while others are played very fast, near the notes-per-second barrier.
It may well be true that Gould understood Bach better than any other pianist--his unexpected insights are certainly plentiful enough, however convincing they may or may not be. And Bach seems never to have been very specific about how he wanted his music played. However, a newcomer to this work would do well to begin with a more conventional reading. In the wrong hands the WTC's can be as dull as someone reciting the multiplication tables. Yet Gould's version, though faultless in execution and brimming with ideas, is just too distinctive, shall we say, to recommend as this work's bible performance.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Gould's playing always raises debate, and leaves no one not either loving it or hating it. I for one, initilly disliked this record as I was brought up with more pianistic, romantic versions of the WTC in the style of for instance Andras Schiff. But it grows on you, and shortly it became my reference. No one gets close to his perfected way of managing micro tempi and strike the balance between drive and elegance, voice and flow. OK, I must admit, a he exposes more of the drive than elegance, and the voice handling sometimes tend to be at the extreme end. (And then I don't mean the occasional humming...)
I find the argument that we hear more of Gould than Bach in this recording amusing. I'd argue that most of the other recordings you will find on the shelves probably sound less like Bach than Gould's performance, but this I find, is in any case beside the point. In the days of Father Bach, improvisation was commonplace, and then we have the issue of the instrument (piano vs harpsichord). Few performers have looked into these issues deeper than Gould, but bottom line - I don't really care. I can fully hear Bach's intentions in his playing, and Gould's unique playing gives me plenty explore and get excited about.
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