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Author Topic: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier  (Read 77198 times)

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Offline Keemun

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #80 on: January 16, 2009, 03:26:19 PM »
Just duplicating a recent post of mine above about Crossland's WTC - have listened to this set several times already - decided to 'sell off' my first Hewitt WTC - the new 4-CD 'combined' offering by Signum Records is hard to match for price or performance!  :)



I just found this set on Amazon.com at a pre-order price of $41.98 with free shipping (to be released in U.S. on Jan 27, 2009). 
Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #81 on: January 16, 2009, 03:54:57 PM »
I hope it's better than Feltsman's odd and not satisfying Goldbergs with those horrible repeats.

I don't have his Goldbergs, but i can vouch for his Well Tempered Clavier, which is amazing.

Bulldog

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #82 on: January 16, 2009, 04:47:47 PM »
I don't have his Goldbergs, but i can vouch for his Well Tempered Clavier, which is amazing.

In the latest batch of offerings from MusicWeb for review, I requested Feltsman's WTC along with Sheppard's and Suzuki's Bk. 2.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I'm sent at least one of the three.

Offline Opus106

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #83 on: January 16, 2009, 11:10:26 PM »
Suzuki's Bk. 2. 

It's out, is it? There's always the need to supplement a piano version with a harpsichord one. (Wait, isn't that the other way 'round? ;D) I hope BIS brings out both books in a space-saving and money-saving box.
Regards,
Navneeth

Bulldog

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #84 on: January 17, 2009, 03:17:09 PM »
It's out, is it? There's always the need to supplement a piano version with a harpsichord one. (Wait, isn't that the other way 'round? ;D) I hope BIS brings out both books in a space-saving and money-saving box.

Since I already have Suzuki's Bk. 1, that offering won't do me much good.

Offline Opus106

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #85 on: February 03, 2009, 01:02:33 AM »
FYI: Crossland's set is on offer for $20 at MDT.
http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/Special%20Offers/SIGCD136.htm
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline XB-70 Valkyrie

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #86 on: February 03, 2009, 02:02:22 AM »
Oh man, you guys haven't lived until you've heard Joyce Hatto's rendition!  ;D

I have several versions--Horszowski, Fischer, Gould, Feinberg, Kirkpatrick, Walcha, and snippets of S. Richter (need to buy the whole set one of these days). Here's a mini-review (FWIW)

On the whole, if forced to pick one set, I like Edwin Fischer's version the best. His interpretations are a bit romantic, as one would expect from the age (recorded in the 30s), but he seems to have a better intuitive feel for these pieces than anyone else I've heard. Everything seems to fall into place perfectly, and you (at least I) end up thinking, "THAT'S how it is meant to be played!" Purists and HIP fans will disagree, but I challenge them to listen to these recordings attentively and with an open mind for at least a couple of hours.

Gould's are hit and miss. Some are sublime; at his best, he can bring out the counterpoint and rhythmic swing of these pieces better than just about anyone, but at worst they are quite harsh, gritty, and perfunctory sounding, at least to my ears. Horszowski's are very nicely played, if a little dull (I believe he only recorded Book I).

Feinberg (I have the Classic Records set) is very interesting, and really very romantic--overly romantic in some cases for my tastes--even more so than Fischer's renditions on the whole. Given that these were recorded in the 1950s, this type of interpretation is really more than a bit anachronistic, as is the sound quality (not as good as most other 1950s recordings), which has its quirks, especially irregularities in volume (you may find yourself with your hand on the volume control more often than you'd like). Still, his tone is lovely and his feeling for the music is obviously very deep.

Kirkpatrick and Walcha (both on harpsichord or clavichord) are very nice sets and both very beautifully played with slightly slow tempos throughout (especially the Walcha). I think I'd favor the Walcha just a bit, if only for the great beauty of the recorded sound (I have a 5 LP set on EMI/Odeon)




George

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #87 on: February 03, 2009, 03:41:15 AM »
On the whole, if forced to pick one set, I like Edwin Fischer's version the best. His interpretations are a bit romantic, as one would expect from the age (recorded in the 30s), but he seems to have a better intuitive feel for these pieces than anyone else I've heard. Everything seems to fall into place perfectly, and you (at least I) end up thinking, "THAT'S how it is meant to be played!" Purists and HIP fans will disagree, but I challenge them to listen to these recordings attentively and with an open mind for at least a couple of hours.

I spent quite a bit of time tracking down the Pearl issue of these recordings last year. I really need to revisit them. Thanks for reminding me.

Quote
Gould's are hit and miss. Some are sublime; at his best, he can bring out the counterpoint and rhythmic swing of these pieces better than just about anyone, but at worst they are quite harsh, gritty, and perfunctory sounding, at least to my ears.

I agree. As much as I love the rest of his Bach, this set was at least a partial disappointment to me. The joy found in so many of his other Bach recordings seems to be missing here. Strange considering how much he loved the fugue genre. 

Quote
Feinberg (I have the Classic Records set) is very interesting, and really very romantic--overly romantic in some cases for my tastes--even more so than Fischer's renditions on the whole. Given that these were recorded in the 1950s, this type of interpretation is really more than a bit anachronistic, as is the sound quality (not as good as most other 1950s recordings), which has its quirks, especially irregularities in volume (you may find yourself with your hand on the volume control more often than you'd like). Still, his tone is lovely and his feeling for the music is obviously very deep.

I find this set to be special, I have the Talents of Russia mastering (pictured below) and find the sound to be somewhat better than the Classic Records set, with clearer upper frequencies.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 03:42:52 AM by George »

Online Mandryka

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #88 on: February 03, 2009, 06:08:24 AM »
Oh man, you guys haven't lived until you've heard Joyce Hatto's rendition!  ;D


I have liked all the Hatto I have heard -- but I haven't heard the WTC -- do you know who played it?

Gould's are hit and miss. Some are sublime; at his best, he can bring out the counterpoint and rhythmic swing of these pieces better than just about anyone, but at worst they are quite harsh, gritty, and perfunctory sounding, at least to my ears.



Which ones do you think are sublime?

I feel a bit disappointed by the Gould -- but there surely must be some gold in there. Please point me in the right direction!

My own favourites are Feinberg and Richter (try and hear his extraordinary B minor from Book 1). And Landowska.

I own the Walcha but I don't think I have ever listened to it. Your post may prompt me to so so!
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 06:10:27 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

George

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #89 on: February 03, 2009, 07:17:16 AM »
I feel a bit disappointed by the Gould -- but there surely must be some gold in there. Please point me in the right direction!

I have my set uploaded to my computer at work. I find as background music it works well, since the ones that don't strike me are easily ignored and the better ones, I turn up the volume for. Still, I find it hard to listend to more than half a book at a time by anyone. 

Quote
My own favourites are Feinberg and Richter (try and hear his extraordinary B minor from Book 1). And Landowska.

Which Richter? The studio one on RCA? I listened to the live at Insbruck (Book One) performance last night and it sounds a bit more spontaneous than the studio one. I haven't compared side by side, but I think that Feinberg may be my favorite for these works.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #90 on: February 03, 2009, 09:10:03 AM »
I have my set uploaded to my computer at work. I find as background music it works well, since the ones that don't strike me are easily ignored and the better ones, I turn up the volume for. Still, I find it hard to listend to more than half a book at a time by anyone. 

Which Richter? The studio one on RCA? I listened to the live at Insbruck (Book One) performance last night and it sounds a bit more spontaneous than the studio one. I haven't compared side by side, but I think that Feinberg may be my favorite for these works.

That's a pretty damning indictment of Gould's  WTC!

I only know the Richter RCA studio. It's ages since I've given WTC any attention -- but I've had it at the back of my mind to check out the live performance.

My own feeling is that with these complete sets, you need to evaluate them on an individual prelude and fugue basis -- I once did it for the B minor of Book one and found -- well Richter and Fienberg were great but worlds apart. Richter from Mars, Feinberg from Venus ;) The others I listened to were Tureck (two versions) , Walcha, Fischer and Gould.

But it's a lot of work to do this for the whole shooting match -- one day, in my long summer holidays maybe.

I started a similar project once for Art of Fugue -- just working my way through recordings seeing what works and what fails. Very interesting thing to do, when you're in the mood. I did it for Savall and Goebels -- but then ran out of time.

I have had this DVD for years. So far it has given me zero pleasure -- but I think that's probably me, not it!
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Que

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #91 on: February 03, 2009, 12:01:26 PM »
On the whole, if forced to pick one set, I like Edwin Fischer's version the best. His interpretations are a bit romantic, as one would expect from the age (recorded in the 30s), but he seems to have a better intuitive feel for these pieces than anyone else I've heard. Everything seems to fall into place perfectly, and you (at least I) end up thinking, "THAT'S how it is meant to be played!" Purists and HIP fans will disagree, but I challenge them to listen to these recordings attentively and with an open mind for at least a couple of hours.

I am a HIP fan but agree with you on Fischer - as far as piano versions are concerned, naturally... ;D

Quote
Gould's are hit and miss. Some are sublime; at his best, he can bring out the counterpoint and rhythmic swing of these pieces better than just about anyone, but at worst they are quite harsh, gritty, and perfunctory sounding, at least to my ears.

My second favourite piano version (there are nothers, BTW)

Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #92 on: February 03, 2009, 06:56:43 PM »
This 4-CD set I bought a few weeks ago has to be one of the best for WTC ...


ezodisy

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #93 on: February 04, 2009, 01:08:57 AM »
Which Richter? The studio one on RCA? I listened to the live at Insbruck (Book One)...

Or the live one from Moscow on Russian Revelation? I have that one, it is the earliest of his recordings (by a year or so). Don't think book 2 was ever released however (I would guess that it was performed).

Offline jwinter

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #94 on: February 04, 2009, 07:22:51 AM »
The two I reach for most often, it seems, are Friedrich Gulda and Edward Aldwell.  Their choices of tempo always seem to work for me, and I like their clean style that makes all of the voices audible.  To my ear, they bring just the right amount of romanticism to these pieces, displaying emotional power without going over the edge into Richter-land.  I've also recently been checking out Tureck and Edwin Fischer -- excellent, though I still need to listen more to form a firm opinion.

Like many, though, I find I can't sit through more than an hour or so of the WTC at a time -- it makes my little brain hurt.  ;D
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

George

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #95 on: February 04, 2009, 08:33:12 AM »
Like many, though, I find I can't sit through more than an hour or so of the WTC at a time -- it makes my little brain hurt.  ;D

 ;D


Offline Coopmv

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #96 on: February 05, 2009, 08:12:59 PM »
The two I reach for most often, it seems, are Friedrich Gulda and Edward Aldwell.  Their choices of tempo always seem to work for me, and I like their clean style that makes all of the voices audible.  To my ear, they bring just the right amount of romanticism to these pieces, displaying emotional power without going over the edge into Richter-land.  I've also recently been checking out Tureck and Edwin Fischer -- excellent, though I still need to listen more to form a firm opinion.

Like many, though, I find I can't sit through more than an hour or so of the WTC at a time -- it makes my little brain hurt.  ;D

I will probably give the Gulda's set a try.  Unfortunately, the Book 1 and Book 2 come in two different Philips DUO's.  It would have been nicer had they been available in a single set.  Do you have both Books 1 & 2?

Offline Opus106

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #97 on: February 05, 2009, 10:42:35 PM »
I will probably give the Gulda's set a try.  Unfortunately, the Book 1 and Book 2 come in two different Philips DUO's.  It would have been nicer had they been available in a single set. 

Actually, they are.
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline orbital

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #98 on: February 05, 2009, 11:19:54 PM »
The two I reach for most often, it seems, are Friedrich Gulda and Edward Aldwell.  Their choices of tempo always seem to work for me, and I like their clean style that makes all of the voices audible.  To my ear, they bring just the right amount of romanticism to these pieces, displaying emotional power without going over the edge into Richter-land. 
Clean (I'd actually say sterile) yes, but I can't think of Gulda WTC associated with romanticism/emotional power at all  ;D
 When I want to hear a sober, straight up version without all the fancy embellishments, I go for Nikolayeva.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
« Reply #99 on: February 06, 2009, 06:36:08 PM »
Actually, they are.

Did Gulda record WTC twice?  I am only aware of the Books 1 and 2 available on 2 Philips DUO's ...

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