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Well Tempered Clavier Books 1 & 2 Box set, Import

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, Import, September 14, 1999
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$31.99
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$31.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details In stock on July 30, 2016. Order it now. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Nimbus Records
  • ASIN: B00001O2XM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,410 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Lary Goode writes it all. I followed his advice and got this box.
Long time I've been searching for a good performance of the 48. First I tried Hewitt, convinced that she would do. Something, I don't know what, made me disappointed with her performance. Since I love Schiff's performance of the Goldberg Variations on ECM, I then felt sure that he would do the trick on the 48. I was wrong. Mostly he plays too slowly. Then I tried Tureck, the BBC Legend-performances, not the DG. There is some convincing Bach-feeling about Tureck's playing.
But these incredibly cheap recordings with Bernard Roberts are much better. For the first time I feel the first book as one unit, one concept. Roberts' playing is easily flowing, not without some ornamentation, but mostly quite pure. I guess my search stops here!
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Format: Audio CD
Once again Nimbus Records goes the distance and gives us a boxed set of the complete Well Tempered Clavier with what can only be described as a sublime performance by Bernard Roberts, but at a price that can be afforded by many. If you already own a copy of his recording of the Complete Beethoven Sonatas then you will want to add this recording to your listening shelf. I would even go so far as to say that this recording can stand up to the ones by Gould and Schiff. The Performances and the price make it a clear first choice.
2 Comments 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on April 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
If you can get hold of this please do. It is simply an outstanding performance. It mixes contrapuntal clarity, balance and perfect phrasing with a musical integrity, and a mastery of the keyboard that comes from not only a great technique but more importantly mature judgement.
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Format: Audio CD
This is possibly the best ever performance of the WTC on record. Perhaps only Edwin Fisher or Ralph Kirkpatrick on harpsichord (LP, used only) is in the same league. Comparisons with them are not to his disadvantage either.
Owning over 50 performances of these pieces sometimes drives me crazy. Which one to listen to? However, this set immediately became my favorite. Direct communication of the holly spirit leaps off the keys with this set. In no other set is the voice and spirit of Bach more clearly related.
Comparisons with Hewitt show that Roberts possesses greater depth and coherence, with much more emotion. Compared to Schiff, which is wayward, heavy, lacks tension and momentum and stalls, and is unacceptable (D grade,) Roberts is direct, articulate, stylish and musical. For all you Gould fans, listen to this set to see how insensitive, lacking in depth, frustrating and ultimately, boring Gould is. Comparisons with Kirkpatrick on Clavichord in Book II are closer, though the still prefer Roberts for greater spirituality & inwardness. Compared to Landowska, who is romantic, heavy handed, wayward and perhaps lacking in depth & true understanding, Roberts is structurally clearer with greater sensitivity to Bachs's spirit. Gilbert, usually good, is just plain boring, dull, lifeless. Jarrett, technically perfect, is unmusical and sounds like a computer next to Roberts. No depth at all. Richter, typically, lacks depth and comprehension. Jando, romantic, lightweight, lacks any intensity at all. Tureck is great, almost matching Roberts in depth, but plays to slowly which can be problematic for some-Noisy recordings too. Roberts is tighter, playing with greater integrity, and still greater spirituallity.
Play this, then play any other after and you will see just how good Roberts is and just how great the work is.
4 Comments 60 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bernard Roberts is someone who I'd characterize as a master crafsman who can be relied on to give a good interpretation of the works without taking them over (e.g. like a Glenn Gould). The result is not just good listening but its makes for a recording that's an invaluable study aid for anyone who's trying to learn this material. Since the 48 are not just pieces of music but Bach's demonstration of styles and keyboard technique -- something that Dr. Roberts seems to understand very well -- you end up with a lot more than some CDs, a plastic case and a few sleeve notes......if you could only figure it all out, of course.
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Format: Audio CD
This bargain box set of The Well-Tempered Clavier represents a typically moderate British compromise between those "maverick" recordings such as that by Gould or Gulda which actively seek to impose the pianist's personality on the music and those more modern interpreters who risk being labelled "sewing machine" exponents by dint of their haste and rigid adherence to metronomic regularity. I am aware that my label could be interpreted as meaning that this performance is dull, safe and pusillanimous, but I do not mean to imply that Bernard Roberts is artistically unadventurous. However, I do like the way he avoids mannerisms beyond a penchant for trills and arpeggiated chords. He also employs a little expressive device whereby he injects tiny ritartandos which for me do not always work, in that they can sometimes sound more like a hesitation than a deliberate emotive effect, but by and large I find his playing very absorbing. Tempi here are very steady but never mechanical and everything is beautifully shaped and articulated. There is a nobility and restraint in Roberts' approach that does not preclude passion. I think it inadvisable to try to listen to this music in more than twenty or thirty minute sittings - maybe five or six pairs of prelude and fugue at a time; it requires too much concentration from the average amateur listener like me.

As well as being highly musical, unexaggerated performances, this set offers two other great advantages: a bargain price and superb sound.
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