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The Well-Tempered Clavier: Books I and II, Complete (Dover Music for Piano) Paperback – January 1, 1984
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From the Back Cover
This informed assessment of the genius of Bach's works can be applied with greatest accuracy to The Well-Tempered Clavier. This highly influential work is monumental in the history of Western music. It represents not only the culmination of Bach's own maturation process, but also the galvanization of the emerging style and structure of modern keyboard music.
The grace and fecundity of The Well-Tempered Clavier have thrilled audiences, musicians, and composers for centuries. Mozart, when rapidly advancing to the height of his mastery, had but to read a manuscript copy of The Well-Tempered Clavier and his style developed a new polyphonic richness and depth of harmony. Beethoven studied all the accessible works of Bach profoundly (including The Well-Tempered Clavier) and frequently quoted them in his sketchbooks, often with direct bearing on his own works. Chopin is nowhere more characteristic than when he shows his love of The Well-Tempered Clavier in his Etudes and Preludes. It was Schumann who, in a series of maxims for young musicians, said "Make The Well-Tempered Clavier your daily bread."
This remarkable volume contains all 48 preludes and fugues, from Books I and II, in all major keys, reproduced directly from the authoritative Bach-Gesellschaft edition. The fine engraving is beautiful, clear, and easy to read. These elegant pieces, which vary in difficulty, are available complete in one low-cost, convenient Dover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I love this music, and I like the Dover edition. It's true, it's not quite as legible as the Henle Urtext edition (what ever is?), but it's as good a version of the score, there are fewer page turns, it contains both books in one volume, and, since it's a fraction of the price of the Henle edition, you can afford to buy two copies, one for writing in, and one for when you want to look at a clean score.
Amazon's current price comes out to less than five cents a page. You can't photocopy it for less!
I've bought several copies over the years, so that I could give them away to people I thought would enjoy them.
No single work of music, by any composer, has brought me as much enjoyment. I'm buying another copy today so that I can have one in my office and one at home.
I'll stop raving now ...
The one disadvantage for those interested in the many variant readings of these pieces is that only the editor's choice is given. For a comprehensive survey of the former, the Hans Bischoff edition is worth digging up--it has been reprinted both by Kalmus and G. Schirmer.
Incidentally, I feel compelled to respond to some textual comments on the work itself from other reviewers: 1) The minor ending of the G-sharp minor Fugue from Book I is the reading generally accepted as correct; 2) The extra measure found in some editions of the C major Prelude from Book I is spurious, the product of an overzealous editor of the one of the early printed editions of the WTC, Schwenke. Unfortunately Gounod included it in his Ave Maria based on this prelude, which has ensured its continued existence.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You cannot the see the score using any kindle reading device. If you are trying to see read this music, kiss your career good bye. Read morePublished 11 days ago by J.-M. Kuczynski
It has the complete collection in a book, but because of the same reason, the music scores were pretty packed and printings are smaller in fonts. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joyce Y
Like the print die snd especially the spiral notebook presentation - lays flat without clamps, turns easily;all piano music should follow suit.Published 4 months ago by Michael B. McKee
What does one say about Bach's WTC? I'm not nearly gifted enough to play all these pieces, but I love muddling through a small selection and testing my brain's musical boundaries... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kathryn S
Complete and total with no ornamentation, I bought Richard Egarr`s recording of this on harpsichord, Excellent!Published 8 months ago by Keith Nolan Myers
One of the best books for every pianist. Has both the first and second book. Great editionPublished 8 months ago by xangelpointe92