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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Que on April 14, 2007, 12:30:11 AM

Title: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 14, 2007, 12:30:11 AM
Bach's music needs a good home on this board - with several rooms... ;D

This thread is a continuation of the Bach and the harpsichord (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,6258.0.html) thread on the old forum.

I think that recordings of non-HIP (= piano) performances and of the organ works are best served with separate threads.

Other relevant old threads:

Let me kick off with just giving a selection of my collection.

My first encounter with Bach on the harpsichord was via recordings by the French harpsichordist (and conductor) Christophe Rousset. He remains one my my favourites.
The Decca set is highly recommended - superb performance of the Partitas and the Goldberg Variations. He is now recording for the French label Ambroisie.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/2430074.jpg)   (http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/9751347.jpg)


For the Well Tempered Clavier my favourite is Glen Wilson, a harpsichordist I didn't know before.
These recordings are sadly OOP - but just in case (saw a few copies on Amazon):

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Wilson-Glen-K01[Teldec].jpg)   (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Wilson-Glen-K02[Teldec].jpg)


Other favourite Goldbergs:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/3933763.jpg)  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00004V87Z.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)


I got interested in Bach recordings on other period keyboard instruments than the harpsichord.
I've sofar encountered the clavichord (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clavichord) and the lute-harpsichord (http://www.baroquemusic.org/barluthp.html) (Lautenklavier or Lautenwerck) and find it all wonderfull and fascinating! :D

Recordings I have by Robert Hill, another harpsichordist I like very much.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/9651588.jpg)  (http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/2193614.jpg)


Robert Hill in my favourite recording of "Die Kunst der Fuge":

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Hill-A02[Hanssler].jpg)

Q


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 14, 2007, 12:39:17 AM
might want to change your title somewhat - the clavichord isn't plucked

I'm a big old clavichord fan, obviously (I have one and compose for it too), but sadly it's an instrument that doesn't always come across fantastically on CD for various reasons. Among a few other Bach-on-clavichord discs (Hogwood, Adlam) I have Kirkpatrick's two books of the WTC on clavichord

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000058BGT.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA180_.jpg) and Book One to go with it

and they are admirable but perhaps, like some other clavichord recordings I've heard, lacking in the magical expressivity which is the instrument's trump card. I admire the laudable way Kirkpatrick attempts to insist that the listener resists the urge to pump up the volume, however!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 14, 2007, 12:49:42 AM
might want to change your title somewhat - the clavichord isn't plucked

Right! ;D

Thanks Luke, all the technical differences between the instruments are somewhat confusing (for me)... 8)

I'm a big old clavichord fan, obviously (I have one and compose for it too), but sadly it's an instrument that doesn't always come across fantastically on CD for various reasons. Among a few other Bach-on-clavichord discs (Hogwood, Adlam) I have Kirkpatrick's two books of the WTC on clavichord

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000058BGT.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA180_.jpg) and Book One to go with it

and they are admirable but perhaps, like some other clavichord recordings I've heard, lacking in the magical expressivity which is the instrument's trump card. I admire the laudable way Kirkpatrick attempts to insist that the listener resists the urge to pump up the volume, however!

I never realised that the Kirkpatrick's WTC was on clavichord!
Thanks very much!  :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 14, 2007, 01:07:25 AM
You know, one of the problems that seems to exist in recording the clavichord - apart from coping with its tiny sound, though possibly related to this fact, perhaps - is the fact that this instrument, which works by striking the strings and has a relatively good sustain, tends nevertheless to sound fairly percussive and plucked when recorded. At least, that is the impression some recordings have made on me, including the Kirkpatrick (I'm just spinning his WTC II to check that impression - yes, indeed, he has a very resonant and strong instrument sounding something like a very mellow harpsichord). That's why it's completely excusable that you imagined it to be a plucked instrument!  ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 14, 2007, 02:08:42 AM
You know, one of the problems that seems to exist in recording the clavichord - apart from coping with its tiny sound, though possibly related to this fact, perhaps - is the fact that this instrument, which works by striking the strings and has a relatively good sustain, tends nevertheless to sound fairly percussive and plucked when recorded. At least, that is the impression some recordings have made on me, including the Kirkpatrick (I'm just spinning his WTC II to check that impression - yes, indeed, he has a very resonant and strong instrument sounding something like a very mellow harpsichord). That's why it's completely excusable that you imagined it to be a plucked instrument!  ;D

Yes indeed, it does sound like a mellow harpsichord. :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 14, 2007, 04:32:33 AM
You know, one of the problems that seems to exist in recording the clavichord - apart from coping with its tiny sound, though possibly related to this fact, perhaps - is the fact that this instrument, which works by striking the strings and has a relatively good sustain, tends nevertheless to sound fairly percussive and plucked when recorded. At least, that is the impression some recordings have made on me, including the Kirkpatrick (I'm just spinning his WTC II to check that impression - yes, indeed, he has a very resonant and strong instrument sounding something like a very mellow harpsichord). That's why it's completely excusable that you imagined it to be a plucked instrument!  ;D

Among the best clavichord recordings that I have are those by Richard Troegar who has recorded the Inventions and Sinfonias, Partitas, Toccatas, and a transcripton of the Art of the Fugue.  The sound quality is excellent on these recordings and enables the listener to fully appreciate the sound of the clavichord.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/af/51/025c124128a0500c6c819010.L.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/33/7a/1c29923f8da06cee57a69010.L.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00000JCG6.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_SS500_.jpg) (http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0009PLM12.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45264841_SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 14, 2007, 04:35:07 AM
Thank you for that - I didn't know of these recordings. I've noted them down.... :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 14, 2007, 05:30:16 AM
You are all very welcome! :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 26, 2007, 10:04:09 PM
I recently got this disc the get a taste of Troeger's clavichord recordings on the label Lyrichord.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/af/51/025c124128a0500c6c819010.L.jpg)

This being my first real clavichord CD, I can't tell if the recording brings the sound gives a accurate picture of the sound of the instrument. To my ears the recording could be closer and more "dry" - less spacious acoustics. Now the sounds tends to "sing around a bit", with a diffusing effect.
Would appreciate comments on this by posters more familiar with clavichord recordings! :)
On the performance: I like this fine. Troeger keeps up a good tempo and firm rhythms, but plays with plenty of flexibility - sparkling ornamentations.



Now on another note!  :D
I very much admire harpsichordist Christophe Rousset, and I'm considering this CD.
Does anyone know it? Thanks!

(http://multimedia.fnac.com/multimedia//images_produits/ZoomPE/6/7/7/3760020170776.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 27, 2007, 07:05:58 AM
(http://multimedia.fnac.com/multimedia//images_produits/ZoomPE/6/7/7/3760020170776.jpg)

I have that!  It's a great recording that you won't regret buying. :)

Meanwhile, to add to the WTC sweepstakes, I have recently gotten the Ottavio Dantone WTC (I and II) and will continue to listen this weekend.  What I have heard so far is very, very good.  In fact, the most striking thing so far is the wonderful tone of the instrument used for this set. This is something that I feel I will be giving top honors to.

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Dantone-K01%5BArts%5D.jpg)  (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Dantone-K02%5BArts%5D.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 27, 2007, 07:52:32 AM
Has anyone heard Christopher Hogwood's Secret Bach?

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/ee/15/a8b7d250fca09e7ebdef6010.L.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/a3/c2/475aa2c008a006bf7837b010._AA_.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 27, 2007, 12:23:46 PM
Yes, I have that one. Will need to listen again to remind myself of its various qualities, mind you. Lovely choice of pieces, though.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 28, 2007, 12:34:18 PM
Que or Don -- have either of you heard anything of Peter Watchorn's English Suites (harpsichord)?  I was listening to some samples and they sound quite interesting.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41S89D3E0CL._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 28, 2007, 11:55:22 PM
Que or Don -- have either of you heard anything of Peter Watchorn's English Suites (harpsichord)?  I was listening to some samples and they sound quite interesting.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41S89D3E0CL._AA240_.jpg)

I think that this is one for Don.  :)

I have Watchorn's recording of the Toccatas on Hänssler, which is really excellent.
But his style is a bit on the dry/academic side. Which is maybe less suited for the English Suites - but I'm just speculating here! :D

On the English Suites: I have Rousset, who is exuberant and adventurous. I recall Don having some reservations on the overtly sonorous/reverberant recording. I agree that the sound is very rich, but it poses no objection for me personally.
Another beautiful recording is by Alan Curtis - combined with equally impressive performances of the French Suites.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/9751347.jpg)   (http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/5005541.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 29, 2007, 08:08:52 AM
Que, I also have and love the Rousset English Suites (as well as his French Suites, another excellent choice) as well as the Curtis English and French Suites (in the Bach 2000 covers).  They are both excellent, but I have read very mixed things about Watchorn's WTC which I am also considering, so the English Suites seemed like a good way to test the water.  I guess I'll have to wait and see if Don has heard these.

About the sound on the Rousset recordings, although some have likened them to Bach in an airplane hangar, I think of them as Bach in a side chapel of a cathedral. ;D

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/218DEVZHYHL._AA130_.jpg)  (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/519WC22S7DL._AA240_.jpg)  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/515nNq5moOL._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Don on April 29, 2007, 08:47:03 AM
Que, I also have and love the Rousset English Suites (as well as his French Suites, another excellent choice) as well as the Curtis English and French Suites (in the Bach 2000 covers).  They are both excellent, but I have read very mixed things about Watchorn's WTC which I am also considering, so the English Suites seemed like a good way to test the water.  I guess I'll have to wait and see if Don has heard these.

About the sound on the Rousset recordings, although some have likened them to Bach in an airplane hangar, I think of them as Bach in a side chapel of a cathedral. ;D

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/218DEVZHYHL._AA130_.jpg)  (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/519WC22S7DL._AA240_.jpg)  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/515nNq5moOL._AA240_.jpg)

Watchorn's Toccatas are excellent; the English Suites not as fine.  My review of his English Suites was on the Bach Cantatas website, and he treated it like poison, assuming that the only way I could not love his set was if I didn't listen to it more than once or twice. 

His recording of the Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord is great, although the violinist isn't as fine. 

I'm the one who referred to Rousset's recent Bach recordings as sounding as if they come from an airplane hangar.  I'm sticking to that premise.  Fact is that I like my recordings drier than most other folks.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 29, 2007, 10:59:12 AM
I recently got this disc the get a taste of Troeger's clavichord recordings on the label Lyrichord.
This being my first real clavichord CD, I can't tell if the recording brings the sound gives a accurate picture of the sound of the instrument. To my ears the recording could be closer and more "dry" - less spacious acoustics. Now the sounds tends to "sing around a bit", with a diffusing effect.
Would appreciate comments on this by posters more familiar with clavichord recordings! :)
On the performance: I like this fine. Troeger keeps up a good tempo and firm rhythms, but plays with plenty of flexibility - sparkling ornamentations.

Generally I prefer Bachs keyboard music played more detached and with more  pointed rhythmical articulation than Troeger does here. He plays rather much continuous legato (I think this is an important cause of the diffusing effect you mention). But still I like his interpretations because of the transparent part-playing, natural phrasing and engaged expressive style.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 29, 2007, 11:00:37 AM
Watchorn's Toccatas are excellent; the English Suites not as fine.  My review of his English Suites was on the Bach Cantatas website, and he treated it like poison, assuming that the only way I could not love his set was if I didn't listen to it more than once or twice. 

His recording of the Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord is great, although the violinist isn't as fine. 

I'm the one who referred to Rousset's recent Bach recordings as sounding as if they come from an airplane hangar.  I'm sticking to that premise.  Fact is that I like my recordings drier than most other folks.

No offense was meant.  I just find the description a bit funny -- perhaps a quirk in my sense of humor.  I see rows of corporate jets lined up to listen as if in a concert hall, and all of them are smiling (with the occasional one blowing smoke as it "snores."  I only wish I had the cartoonist's talent to sketch such a scene.   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 29, 2007, 11:08:26 AM
Generally I prefer Bachs keyboard music played more detached and with more  pointed rhythmical articulation than Troeger does here. He plays rather much continuous legato (I think this is an important cause of the diffusing effect you mention). But still I like his interpretations because of the transparent part-playing, natural phrasing and engaged expressive style.

I thought that the very legato effects were the result of the clavichord having hammers that strike the strings rather than plectra of the harpsichord.  A harpsichord legato is a very different animal from the piano legato, but the clavichord is an instrument that has qualities of both, so I expected different tonal qualities.  Unfortunately, I have perhaps one other clavichord recording of indifferent sound quality, and have never heard a clavichord in concert, so cannot judge whether the legato Troeger obtains is due more to the nature of the instrument of the engineering of the recording.  In any event, I am very happy with his recordings as they are.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 29, 2007, 11:12:23 AM
Watchorn's Toccatas are excellent; the English Suites not as fine.  My review of his English Suites was on the Bach Cantatas website, and he treated it like poison..

Well, he is a fine scholar and a brilliant harpsichordist, and even if his interpretation of the English suites is very restrained in expression on the surface, I think his solid style manages to let the music speak for itself in a way, which displays its greatness to the full. Certainly a more German than French style. My preferences are Leonhardt and Curtis, but I am happy, that I own Watchorn too.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 29, 2007, 11:49:44 AM
I thought that the very legato effects were the result of the clavichord having hammers that strike the strings rather than plectra of the harpsichord.  A harpsichord legato is a very different animal from the piano legato, but the clavichord is an instrument that has qualities of both, so I expected different tonal qualities. 

Even a clavichord has got a damping mechanism, which damps the sound of the string, when the key is released. And as far as we know, the normal touch on keyboard instruments in these days was non legato. So a clavichord player must take the action of his instrument into consideration when playing, in order to produce the effect of non-legato.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 29, 2007, 12:21:53 PM
Even a clavichord has got a damping mechanism, which damps the sound of the string, when the key is released. And as far as we know, the normal touch on keyboard instruments in these days was non legato. So a clavichord player must take the action of his instrument into consideration when playing, in order to produce the effect of non-legato.


If the damping action works on a clavichord much as it works on a piano or harpsichord (the damper falls as soon as the key rises back after being depressed), then non legato (and I don't mean staccato) play would have been the easiest to accomplish as it would require no added motion.  The damper would fall as soon as the key rebounds.  To achieve legato play on the piano one keeps one key still depressed for a fraction of a second as the next is played so that the next note is played while the earlier one is still decaying.  That requires more effort than merely depressing the notes in sequence.  I'm not really sure what precisely is meant by the "normal" manner of play in the baroque period.  I think the musician would have used whatever techniques he could to exploit the full tonal range of his instrument, with more skilled players using more effects to greater advantage. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 29, 2007, 01:44:05 PM
The damping mechanism on the clavichord is different form the mechanism on the harpsichord and is a bit more difficult to explain (for me in english). This (from Wikepedia) may be helpful:

"In the clavichord strings run transversely from the hitchpin rail at the left-hand end to tuning pegs on the right. Towards the right end they pass over a curved wooden bridge. The action is simple, with the keys being levers with a small brass tangent at the far end. The strings, which are usually of brass, or else a combination of brass and iron, are usually arranged in pairs, like a lute or mandolin. When the key is pressed, the tangent strikes the strings above, causing them to sound in a similar fashion to the hammering technique on a guitar. Unlike in a piano action, the tangent does not rebound from the string; rather, it stays in contact with the string as long as the key is held, acting as both the nut and as the initiator of sound. The volume of the note can be changed by striking harder or softer, and the pitch can also be affected by varying the force of the tangent against the string (known as bebung). When the key is released, the tangent loses contact with the string and the vibration of the string is silenced by strips of damping cloth."

Non-legato even had a name (in German: Ordentliche Fortgehen), and was used when nothing else was specified, in the same way as the legato touch became the normal touch for piano playing in the course of the 19th century. In the baroque age the legato touch was most often used to bind small groups of notes together to stress the rhythm or as means of expression, but long periods of continuous legato playing was not used. The same is true of baroque organ touch. This is what much of the HIP movement is about.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: lukeottevanger on May 01, 2007, 04:26:03 AM
Even a clavichord has got a damping mechanism, which damps the sound of the string, when the key is released. And as far as we know, the normal touch on keyboard instruments in these days was non legato. So a clavichord player must take the action of his instrument into consideration when playing, in order to produce the effect of non-legato.


The clavichord doesn't have a damping mechanism, nor does it have hammers - trust me, I've got one [a clavichord, that is, not a damping mechanism - you can hear my instrument playing my own compositions via links on my composer's thread, if you're brave enough ;D]. The easiest way to see its workings is by diagram-  let me try one - the dotted line represents the length of the string:

Pin--Cloth--------------------------------------------------------------Bridge-----Cloth----Tuning Pin


As you can see, only one end of the sounding length of the string is pre-defined (by the bridge); the other end is in its unplayed state muffled by the strip of light lint-like cloth through which all the strings pass. Therefore, the string, if plucked, produces only a relatively pitchless tone. The tangent (not hammer) which strikes the string near the left hand end therefore performs a dual function - to vibrate the string, thus creating the sound, but also to become one end of the string's sounding length. The fact that the point of impact is therefore right at the end of the string explains why a clavichord can only ever be a quiet instrument.

It should be noted also that the tangent is directly fixed to the end of the key and so, much more than a piano or harpsichord, where there is a mechanism in between, acts as a direct extension of the finger - if the finger shakes up and down, then so does the tangent, imparting vibrato (bebung) or even (though it's difficult to do) meaning one can bend the pitch of one not into an adjacent one, portamento-style. More importantly - the previous being only special effects and rarely used - the string will in theory continue to sound as long as the finger presses the key. In practice, however, the rate of decay is very fast and the sustain is therefore brief, which is why the clavichord can sometimes, especially in faster pieces, sound almost plucked.

No damping is required to prevent sympathetic vibration because, being only partially defined when unplayed, the strings will not vibrate. And no damping is required to stop the sound after the finger is released because as soon as the tangent leaves the string, the string reverts to its undefined state and stops ringing.


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on May 01, 2007, 06:21:20 AM
Now that is a fine and lucid explanation!  Thanks, lukeottevanger
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: lukeottevanger on May 02, 2007, 12:39:33 AM
Thank you, it was a pleasure. I suppose I should clarify that when Premont said the clavichord had a damping mechanism he was talking about the strip of cloth, and indeed, as I said it is that strip which causes the string to stop vibrating when the finger releases the key. My only quibble was that 1) it isn't a mechanism as such - the only mechanism on the instrument is the key+tangent itself; and 2) it is part of the string in its 'natural state', not an active agency which applies damping (as on the piano). But his description was accurate too, and it's really just playing with definitions to argue about what is a mechanism and what isn't!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on May 02, 2007, 05:25:31 AM
Yes, but I was trying to find dampers that rise and fall as on the piano or harpsichord and they don't exist on the clavichord.  Now the next thing I need to understand is the nature of the "tangent" which strikes the strings.  It's sometimes described as a metal hammer, but I'm not sure that is correct either. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: lukeottevanger on May 02, 2007, 05:29:03 AM
No, it's simply a small metal rod which is inserted perpendicularly in the end of the shaft of the key. The protruding end, tapered to a blunt point, is what strikes the string.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: lukeottevanger on May 02, 2007, 05:34:11 AM
Here's a picture of my rather rough-looking clavichord. You can see the tangents sticking out of the ends of the keys; also the off-white strips of cloth at each end of the strings.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on May 02, 2007, 05:52:45 AM
Thanks for the picture.  Are you at all familiar with the instruments where the musician uses hammers held in the hands to strike the strings (such as the hammer dulcimer)?  They are generally descended from the zither.  I know that such instruments lack the sophistication of the clavichord, but I think perhaps the sound of such instruments will be very similar to that made by the clavichord.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: springrite on May 07, 2007, 08:51:46 AM
Although I prefer my Bach on the piano, I do enjoy the occasional harpsichord recording and own quite a few that I like (have all the major works on harpsichord recordings). But I have to admit that, other than knowing that I dislike Landoska's super harpsichord sound, I am not good at distinguishing much differences between the playing and interpretation of different performers like I do the piano.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on August 07, 2007, 09:16:13 PM
This recording of the Goldbergs is really superb and is a valuable addition to the ones I already have: Rousset (Decca), Frisch (Aplha), Ross (Warner/Erato).

Not to make your the lives of the non-European members miserable or anything: but this is an issue by the branch of Universal/Decca in Italy, where our Don picked it up. Available in Italy and at the French and German Amazons.

My first impressions, but I feel there is more to discover.
Having heard Dantone's recent WTC (Arts), this is quite different - not wild but a rather sober and contemplative approach with moderate tempi. This is emphasized by the choice of instrument: a copy of a harpsichord by Christian Zell made in Hamburg 1728, with a clear and very direct sound. Not nearly as rich as the instrument Rousset uses (a Parisian Hemsch from 1751). Dantone is sober, but also elegant and spicy in his firmly structured and crisp playing, prominent desynchronisation in the opening aria.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JQSZ5A7WL.jpg)
AUDIO CLIPS (low quality  :-\) (http://www.amazon.fr/Variations-Goldberg-bwv988-Jean-Sébastien-Bach/dp/B000FG5PJU)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Don on August 08, 2007, 10:58:41 AM
Que:

What did you think of Dantone's repeats?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on August 09, 2007, 07:17:32 AM
Que:

What did you think of Dantone's repeats?

Do you have the embellishments in mind?
No problem with that - makes it spicey and interesting. :)
He has a rather "free" style anyway.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on September 02, 2007, 11:06:07 PM
I am considering to purchase this recording that was made by Radio Canada.
Any comments & advice?

(http://www.integralmusic.fr/upload/produit/photog_4442.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: stingo on September 03, 2007, 06:49:44 AM
Pierre Hantai is a favorite of mine. His Opus 111 recording of the Goldbergs remains a favorite of mine (especially so since it was that disc that first presented the work to me). His Mirare recording is of similar quality.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/4152R7A4D1L._AA240_.jpg)(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51B67Y1TDGL._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on September 04, 2007, 08:56:26 PM
Pierre Hantai is a favorite of mine. His Opus 111 recording of the Goldbergs remains a favorite of mine (especially so since it was that disc that first presented the work to me). His Mirare recording is of similar quality.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/4152R7A4D1L._AA240_.jpg)(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51B67Y1TDGL._AA240_.jpg)

Both recordings are regarded highly, and I can understand why.
But in the past they didn't agree with me because of Hantaï rather idiosyncratic, willful style. Perhaps I should return to them - Dantone's recording (few pasts above) is also in a rather "free" style. :)

BTW do you know Hantaï's WTC Book I (also on Mirare) and what do you think of it?

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Tancata on September 05, 2007, 02:15:57 AM
BTW do you know Hantaï's WTC Book I (also on Mirare) and what do you think of it?

I have this and I like it a lot. But, it's in that same "wilfull" style you don't seem to like, so be careful...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: stingo on September 05, 2007, 07:12:49 AM
Both recordings are regarded highly, and I can understand why.
But in the past they didn't agree with me because of Hantaï rather idiosyncratic, willful style. Perhaps I should return to them - Dantone's recording (few pasts above) is also in a rather "free" style. :)

BTW do you know Hantaï's WTC Book I (also on Mirare) and what do you think of it?

Q

I have it but haven't listened to it enough to form an opinion. Perhaps I'll rectify that soon.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Don on September 05, 2007, 08:26:31 AM
Both recordings are regarded highly, and I can understand why.
But in the past they didn't agree with me because of Hantaï rather idiosyncratic, willful style. Perhaps I should return to them - Dantone's recording (few pasts above) is also in a rather "free" style. :)

BTW do you know Hantaï's WTC Book I (also on Mirare) and what do you think of it?

Q

I find Hantai's first recording of the Goldbergs very exuberant and youthful; the more recent one on Mirare is quite different - exhibits greater maturity and poignancy.  Both are among my favorites.

I also have Hantai's WTC Bk. 1 and don't care for it as much as his two Goldbergs.  Specifically, I don't like the "wet" sonics that can submerge the upper voices.  I should point out that I haven't listened to this set at all in the past couple of years; maybe I'd change my opinion if I heard it again.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: JoshLilly on September 05, 2007, 09:04:13 AM
The... lutichord?  Prior to the 19th century it was common to not specify keyboard works at all unless it were for the organ or something else unusual, so how many of J.S. Bach's generic keyboard works could be played on this instrument? It would seem he specifically intended S996, S997 and S998 for a Lautenwerck and was personally involved in its design. The Wikipedia entry on the Lautenwerck (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lute-harpsichord) says:

"The instrument was favored by J. S. Bach, who owned two of the instruments at the time of his death, but no specimens have survived to the present day. It was revived in the 20th century and two of its most prominent performers are the early music specialists Gergely Sárközy and Robert Hill."

What a sound!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on November 03, 2007, 02:46:35 AM
Just got this.
And to introduce another period keyboard instrument on this thread: it's played on a pedal harpsichord (http://www.harpsichord.org.uk/pedal/pedalharpsichord.htm).
The pedal harpsichord used here consists actually of two harpsichords - one mounted on the other, the lower one played with pedals to create the bass line. Further details at the link. To quote JoshLilly: what a sound!  :)

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/3760014190278.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/6962447?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist) (http://www.harpsichord.org.uk/pedal/clavecin-Macheret.jpg)
click picture for clips

Yves Rechsteiner plays the Chromatic Fantasia, two of the Trio Sonatas and various transcriptions of Bach's music for violin solo. The instrument sounds impressive and is superbly recorded. When played at reasonable volume the effect can be as overwhelming as the sound of an organ and in fact does bear some similarities.

The playing is excellent, Rechsteiner is a very fine harpsichordist indeed. Would like to hear more of him.
He is the hands-on-and-not-to-linger type of player. Swift and clearly articulated, poetic if needed.
From the works played, I like the "added" effect of the pedal harpsichord best in the Trio Sonatas and the transcriptions. In the Chromatic Fantasia it does seem a touch overbearing sometimes.

This is a marvelous disc and recommended for anyone who is experienced in Bach harpsichord recordings and would like some alternative flavour.  :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on January 23, 2008, 01:14:50 AM
Though mentioned once before, a short note of my impressions on these marvelous recordings of Bach WTC.
These were on my list a long time, but were no priority because I already had splendid WTC by Glen Wilson (Teldec - OOP). But I'm glad I eventually did pick them up.
Dantone is a player with an elegant and extrovert, at times even dashing, style: this WTC sparkles freely on a crisp and clear but lush sounding French harpsichord by Blanchet (1733). Dantone is generally swift(ish) and always keeps momentum - even in the slow passages there is a strong "pulse" and projection of the musical lines. Very strong bass lines. His freedom and extrovertness is combined with a firm grip on musical structure and a rock-solid rhythmic approach. And this combination makes it so special IMO. A strong and personal style that suits me. The recording is called "audiophile", and it lives up to this title.

I happily put this WTC next to Glen Wilson's more reflective approach.

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/07/489807.jpg)  (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/49/493449.jpg)

             SAMPLES BOOK I (http://www.artsmusic.de/templates/tyReleasesD.php?id=315&label=blue%20line&topic=arts-releases-detail)                                      SAMPLES BOOK II (http://www.artsmusic.de/templates/tyReleasesD.php?id=316&label=blue%20line&topic=arts-releases-detail)

Q

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on January 23, 2008, 01:34:08 AM
Just got this.

E. Power Biggs actually recorded some Bach (6 Trio Sonatas for example) on a Challis pedal harpsichord, but that album has been out of print.  Maybe it's the way the instruments were made and recorded differently, but Rechsteiner's instrument puts out a much more discreet bass compared to the "Biggs" one.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 14, 2008, 07:39:41 AM
Has anyone heard this?  :)

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/15/1003215.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 14, 2008, 07:52:24 AM


The playing is excellent, Rechsteiner is a very fine harpsichordist indeed. Would like to hear more of him.
He is the hands-on-and-not-to-linger type of player. Swift and clearly articulated, poetic if needed.


Rechsteiner's mainly an organist really as his other recording on the Alpha label shows -
Liszt (with a heavy Bach thematic link) on a beautiful 19th century organ.  I have not
since heard him elsewhere on disc.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 14, 2008, 08:09:48 AM
Has anyone heard this?  :)
<Egarr's WTC1>
Q

Somehow after Egarr's s-l-o-w Goldberg, I feel reluctant to explore his views on WTC, at full price to boot.  His Handel Op. 4 seems to be much better received here in UK.

EDIT.  Found a lower price and ventured a buy.  Will report back if it turns out to be more appealing than his oh-so-beautiful Goldberg.
But I imagine that, to these ears, Hantai's blazing recording on Mirare will be hard to beat.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 14, 2008, 08:17:40 AM
EDIT.  Found a lower price and ventured a buy.  Will report back if it turns out to be more appealing than his oh-so-beautiful Goldberg.

Yes, please do.  :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 14, 2008, 08:26:23 AM
Yes, please do.  :)

Q

On strength of the slogan in my signature, I figured that I have not sinned.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 14, 2008, 08:42:56 AM
Has anyone heard this?  :)

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/15/1003215.jpg)

Q

It is in my CDs to be listened to pile.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 14, 2008, 08:45:24 AM
It is in my CDs to be listened to pile.

Perhaps you will file a report first?  :) 

(Please don't tell me it's better than Hantai's blazing, virtuosic effort on Mirare.
Where is Pierre's Book II?  I have been waiting.  :-\ )
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 14, 2008, 09:08:01 AM
Perhaps you will file a report first?  :) 

(Please don't tell me it's better than Hantai's blazing, virtuosic effort on Mirare.
Where is Pierre's Book II?  I have been waiting.  :-\ )

Well, I shall try to get the time give it a listen in the week-end.
Now I am perhaps shocking you: I do not know the Hantaï version.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 14, 2008, 09:13:36 AM
Well, I shall try to get the time give it a listen in the week-end.
Now I am perhaps shocking you: I do not know the Hantaï version.

I tried Hantaï. but didn't like him that much. Like Ottavio Dantone very much on the other hand. (See few post back).

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 14, 2008, 10:08:37 AM
I tried Hantaï. but didn't like him that much. Like Ottavio Dantone very much on the other hand. (See few post back).

Q

I find Dantone's reading to be dutiful (everything's done right, but one can imagine more in this music) but not very exciting....while Hantai takes lot of flights (and risks) with his fancy.   :D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Don on April 14, 2008, 12:29:00 PM
I tried Hantaï. but didn't like him that much. Like Ottavio Dantone very much on the other hand. (See few post back).

Q

That's pretty much how I see it as well.

As for Egarr's WTC, it has similar virtues and problems found in his Goldbergs - a high priority on beauty but no interest in getting his hands dirty or digging deep into the bleak pieces.  To me, it lacks "spine".
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 15, 2008, 12:51:13 AM
As for Egarr's WTC, it has similar virtues and problems found in his Goldbergs - a high priority on beauty but no interest in getting his hands dirty or digging deep into the bleak pieces.  To me, it lacks "spine".

If it's just about "spine" I guess it's all right then.  "Spine" in a long, continuous work such as the Goldberg is a lot more important than it is in a collection of shorter, sundry pieces.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 16, 2008, 11:36:20 AM
Has anyone heard this?  :)

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/15/1003215.jpg)

Q

Yes I have – now.

Egarr uses a modern copy of a ( Johannes?) Rückers harpsichord from 1638, an instrument I would expect to sound more crisp and even a bit harsh, but the sound of Egarr´s instrument is so sweet as to defy its origin. It may be the recording though, but it does not suit the music IMO . Egarr´s tempi are generally slow, often too slow to my taste, and he plays too much legato. He seems to confuse articulation and phrasing, playing long phrases in strict legato, and in the end the music presents itself badly under-articulated. His agogics are very free with much dragging, and essentially romantic. In the long run he seems mannered. All the pieces – most true of the fugues – get the same basic treatment without much individual characterisation. It is a dreadful exercise in futility, which at best may be good for sleeplessness.   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Don on April 16, 2008, 11:48:48 AM
If it's just about "spine" I guess it's all right then.  "Spine" in a long, continuous work such as the Goldberg is a lot more important than it is in a collection of shorter, sundry pieces.

I respectfully disagree.  A lack of spine, back-bone or whatever one might call it is negative for both the Goldbergs and WTC.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Don on April 16, 2008, 11:51:47 AM
Yes I have – now.

Egarr uses a modern copy of a ( Johannes?) Rückers harpsichord from 1638, an instrument I would expect to sound more crisp and even a bit harsh, but the sound of Egarr´s instrument is so sweet as to defy its origin. It may be the recording though, but it does not suit the music IMO . Egarr´s tempi are generally slow, often too slow to my taste, and he plays too much legato. He seems to confuse articulation and phrasing, playing long phrases in strict legato, and in the end the music presents itself badly under-articulated. His agogics are very free with much dragging, and essentially romantic. In the long run he seems mannered. All the pieces – most true of the fugues – get the same basic treatment without much individual characterisation. It is a dreadful exercise in futility, which at best may be good for sleeplessness.   


And I thought that my view of the Egarr was rather negative.  According to Egarr, the "sweet" sound has something to do with using the new Lehman tuning system.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 16, 2008, 11:59:17 AM
Yes I have – now.

Egarr uses a modern copy of a ( Johannes?) Rückers harpsichord from 1638, an instrument I would expect to sound more crisp and even a bit harsh, but the sound of Egarr´s instrument is so sweet as to defy its origin. It may be the recording though, but it does not suit the music IMO . Egarr´s tempi are generally slow, often too slow to my taste, and he plays too much legato. He seems to confuse articulation and phrasing, playing long phrases in strict legato, and in the end the music presents itself badly under-articulated. His agogics are very free with much dragging, and essentially romantic. In the long run he seems mannered. All the pieces – most true of the fugues – get the same basic treatment without much individual characterisation. It is a dreadful exercise in futility, which at best may be good for sleeplessness.   

Thanks, Premont! :)
fl.traverso wasn't very hot on it either - at least that is what I gathered from his somewhat indirect comments.  8) (What is "cm"?)

Now that I have learned what people like here in UK by making friends with a couple of local fans of cm, I think Egarr here has a winner as far as THEIR taste is concerned.  Oh my this is so moderate, so deliberate, not to mention so discreet. "Sublime," in other words.  ;)  I couldn't share the Hantai WTC with my British friends for fear that they might disapprove of its wild ideas.  Now I know I have a safe choice when it is time to hear Bach together.  ;)

Q


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 16, 2008, 12:03:04 PM
(What is "cm"?)

Q

Classical Music, I suppose.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: bassio on April 16, 2008, 01:30:21 PM
Classical Music, I suppose.

No premont, that will be CM.

cm will probably mean c minor if I am not mistaken.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 16, 2008, 01:52:50 PM
No premont, that will be CM.

cm will probably mean c minor if I am not mistaken.

I can see minor problems here, but I assume fl.traverso made a capital error.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 16, 2008, 07:00:39 PM
Yes I have – now.

Egarr uses a modern copy of a ( Johannes?) Rückers harpsichord from 1638, an instrument I would expect to sound more crisp and even a bit harsh, but the sound of Egarr´s instrument is so sweet as to defy its origin. It may be the recording though, but it does not suit the music IMO . Egarr´s tempi are generally slow, often too slow to my taste, and he plays too much legato. He seems to confuse articulation and phrasing, playing long phrases in strict legato, and in the end the music presents itself badly under-articulated. His agogics are very free with much dragging, and essentially romantic. In the long run he seems mannered. All the pieces – most true of the fugues – get the same basic treatment without much individual characterisation. It is a dreadful exercise in futility, which at best may be good for sleeplessness.   


Thank you for the review!  I have his Goldbergs which I also found disappointing -- too slow and bland. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: val on April 16, 2008, 10:19:34 PM
Regarding the harpsichord works, my selection is:

WTC, 1 and 2 / Gustave Leonhardt  (but Gulda, piano, goes more deeply in the poetry and meditation of this work)

Concerto Italiano, Chromatic Fantasy, Fantasy and Fugue BWV 904 / Andreas Staier

6 Partitas and 6 English Suites / Leonhardt

6 French Suites / Ton Koopman

Goldberg Variations / Pierre Hantai

Regarding the Toccatas and the Inventions, I have always prefered the piano version of Glenn Gould

Organ Works:
The complete set by Marie-Claire Alain remains my favorite.

But for the Leipzig Chorals, I would chose Pierre Bardon, for the delicious Orgelbüchlein Andre Isoir, and for the Toccatas the more spectacular Ton Koopman.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 18, 2008, 03:23:06 AM
I can see minor problems here, but I assume fl.traverso made a capital error.


What minor problems do you mean?  I think cm=classical music fans should be so much more
self-evident than c minor fans, no?  I have by now listened to Egarr's WTC a few times more
and all I can say is that it does improve with repeated exposures.  Controversial yes, and I
bet Egarr himself knew it (he would have listened to a lot of other people perform) and still
HM was supportive of his projects.  Reason?  It works within certain contexts and sadly most
GMG'ers do not and will not belong in these.  Too different to provide a ready access I suppose.

As for the question of "spine" in this (and other) music by Bach, I would simply say I will agree
to disagree with Don, given the fact that neither Bach nor other contemporary sources actually
address this - i.e. "spine" as applied to music as if it were a living organism, which is clearly a modern
way of expressing a certain preference in playing styles, and therefore for me has no universal or
objective significance. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 18, 2008, 03:28:10 AM
Controversial yes, and I bet Egarr himself knew it (he would have listened to a lot of other people perform) and still HM was supportive of his projects.  Reason?  It works within certain contexts and sadly most GMG'ers do and will not belong in these.  Too different to provide a ready access I suppose.
 

FL, for me you talking riddles here. What do mean?
What would be an obstacle (for most here) to appreciate Egarr's take on the WTC? :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 18, 2008, 03:36:35 AM
What would be an obstacle (for most here) to appreciate Egarr's take on the WTC? :)

That he adopts a playing style and an interpretative viewpoint that most do not comprehend nor appreciate? 
Something that definitely lacks a spine because the performer doesn't think spine is required in this music?

ps. I am guessing that the particular tuning system advocated by Bradley Lehmann may have been responsible for what ppl here hear as "soft" or "bland" to a larger extent than they realise.  But it would be difficult to prove exactly how much unless Egarr would play it again using other more frequently used tunings.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 18, 2008, 04:04:04 AM
What minor problems do you mean?  I think cm=classical music fans should be so much more
self-evident than c minor fans, no? 

Do not understand me so literally, I am just playing with words.

I have by now listened to Egarr's WTC a few times more and all I can say is that it does improve with repeated exposures.  Controversial yes, and I bet Egarr himself knew it (he would have listened to a lot of other people perform) and still HM was supportive of his projects.  Reason?  It works within certain contexts and sadly most GMG'ers do not and will not belong in these.  Too different to provide a ready access I suppose.

Which contexts?? I have listened to it twice, and I still find, that the different pieces are poorly characterized, and that everything is played in uniform soft legato manner, and why should this be controversial? It is just that Egarr has not got much to say about the music. The phrases must speak more, must be shaped more rhethorical, and the articulation must be more pointed. I am sure Bach would have found Egarr very dull and boring.

As for the question of "spine" in this (and other) music by Bach, I would simply say I will agree
to disagree with Don, given the fact that neither Bach nor other contemporary sources actually
address this - i.e. "spine" as applied to music as if it were a living organism, which is clearly a modern
way of expressing a certain preference in playing styles, and therefore for me has no universal or
objective significance. 

Spine or balls if you want. Egarr puts the lid on the virility and the drama in the music.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 18, 2008, 04:08:55 AM
The phrases must speak more, must be shaped more rhethorical, and the articulation must be more pointed. I am sure Bach would have found Egarr very dull and boring.

Perhaps you have answered your own question?  That you demand music to sound exciting and pointed, as much so as to your taste?  I am not sure that Bach would certainly have agreed with your taste.  Or perhaps you could prove how? 

Quote

Spine or balls if you want. Egarr puts the lid on the virility and the drama in the music.


And we have many other versions that provide plenty of these if you must have them.  I think I am beginning to hear positive things in Egarr's WTC.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 18, 2008, 06:54:44 AM
That he adopts a playing style and an interpretative viewpoint that most do not comprehend nor appreciate? 
Something that definitely lacks a spine because the performer doesn't think spine is required in this music?

ps. I am guessing that the particular tuning system advocated by Bradley Lehmann may have been responsible for what ppl here hear as "soft" or "bland" to a larger extent than they realise.  But it would be difficult to prove exactly how much unless Egarr would play it again using other more frequently used tunings.

The blandness that I referred to was not merely in the harmonic sound of his Goldbergs, but also in the very lethargic and almost plodding rhythms.   For my taste, I want Goldbergs that dance as well as sing.  Egarr's Goldbergs for some reason, sound bland and very flat-footed to me.  For my taste, if such a harmonious tuning system is going to be used, then the variations need more rhythmic drive so that one sees more than Bach's "pretty face."  If Egarr's new WTC is in that same style, then I will pass. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: BorisG on April 18, 2008, 09:01:23 AM
The blandness that I referred to was not merely in the harmonic sound of his Goldbergs, but also in the very lethargic and almost plodding rhythms.   For my taste, I want Goldbergs that dance as well as sing.  Egarr's Goldbergs for some reason, sound bland and very flat-footed to me.  For my taste, if such a harmonious tuning system is going to be used, then the variations need more rhythmic drive so that one sees more than Bach's "pretty face."  If Egarr's new WTC is in that same style, then I will pass. 

It is very bland. To be kind and gentle, I won't say dull or boring. It is poor example of what even a relic like the harpsichord can do, with the right hands and brain.

What would JS prefer? More projection? A lively delivery? I think he would have preferred the organ (vs harpsichord) for both power and note sustainability.

Sadly, we do not have much that is quotable from the great man. As one scholar said, "only a few chestnuts from his sons." And none of these are specific about instrumentation.

I suspect in those days that composers/musicians just got on with it, with whatever was immediately available. Later, as reporting and options improved, the instrumentation and orchestral preferences and wishful thinkings of many composers/musicians became known.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 18, 2008, 11:41:56 PM
I think I am beginning to hear positive things in Egarr's WTC.

Would you mind to elaborate a little?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 19, 2008, 02:47:25 AM
Would you mind to elaborate a little?

I think the low pitch, broad phrasing, relaxed tempi and Lehman tuning that Egarr uses in this recording (and his Goldberg) appear to shift my attention from the discursive or rhetorical aspect of the music to
its textural feel as a polyphonic network or fabric, where all voices can be heard un-perturbed with almost the same degree of clarity.  Yes the result will no doubt sound boring to those who listen for a musical message, but it will also spare those who only want to perceive the music through listening the onerous task of decoding various interpretative gestures or designs that the performer has brought upon this music.  When the (imagined) actions are thankfully purged from the scene, the music can then emerge as some kind of an aural landscape which the listener can either behold passively or do so actively to make new connections (eg. c minor prelude as an aria ritornello that shows vexation and hesitation instead as a stormy overdrive) of his own.  Maybe this can be called a non-interventionist approach to Bach - which surely can't be everybody's cup of tea.  
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 19, 2008, 08:43:22 AM
I think the low pitch, broad phrasing, relaxed tempi and Lehman tuning that Egarr uses in this recording (and his Goldberg) appear to shift my attention from the discursive or rhetorical aspect of the music to
its textural feel as a polyphonic network or fabric, where all voices can be heard un-perturbed with almost the same degree of clarity.  Yes the result will no doubt sound boring to those who listen for a musical message, but it will also spare those who only want to perceive the music through listening the onerous task of decoding various interpretative gestures or designs that the performer has brought upon this music.  When the (imagined) actions are thankfully purged from the scene, the music can then emerge as some kind of an aural landscape which the listener can either behold passively or do so actively to make new connections (eg. c minor prelude as an aria ritornello that shows vexation and hesitation instead as a stormy overdrive) of his own.  Maybe this can be called a non-interventionist approach to Bach - which surely can't be everybody's cup of tea.  

Thanks, FL, now I understand, what you mean, but I am a bit shocked to read this from you. As far as I can see, you (and Egarr) advocate principles of interpretation from the “preauthentic” age (ca.1930-1975). In these days Bach´s harpsichord music was often played with the least possible musical gestures and articulation, because many musicians thought that lack of indication of the articulation in the harpsichord scores meant, that the music was to be played with a uniform touch throughout (a misguided back-to-the-score movement). Many thought that “chronic legato touch” was to be preferred. This is true of Isolde Ahlgrimm, Martin Galling and the very young Gustav Leonhardt among others. Incidentally they also preferred broad tempi. Very much like Egarr. But have a look at Bach´s scores of his chamber music (e.g. violin-harpsichord sonatas, dedicational score of the Brandenburgs), and you will find a wealth of carefully applied articulation marks, and it is certainly impossible to think, that Bach wanted his chamber music to be played very articulated but his harpsichord music to be played unarticulated – or under-articulated, if you want. So of course the harpsichord music was meant to be articulated in the same way. Now it is self-deception to think, that it is possible to play as much as a single note without interpreting it at the same time, so Egarr´s view represents of course just as much an interpretation as e.g. Hantaï´s, just a different and less HIP-related interpretation. This is more appropriate to say, than calling his approach non-interventional. By the way if you really want to get to know the essence of the music in a true non-interventional approach, the only way to do so is by skipping any dependence of interpretations and study the scores in scientifically reliable editions. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 21, 2008, 01:29:35 AM
Thanks, FL, now I understand, what you mean, but I am a bit shocked to read this from you. As far as I can see, you (and Egarr) advocate principles of interpretation from the “preauthentic” age (ca.1930-1975). In these days Bach´s harpsichord music was often played with the least possible musical gestures and articulation, because many musicians thought that lack of indication of the articulation in the harpsichord scores meant, that the music was to be played with a uniform touch throughout (a misguided back-to-the-score movement).  (snip)

Yes, it is essentially impossible to play any music without an interpretation of some sort.  However I will argue that not all HIPs will sound alike -- given the fact that Egarr is no new hand in this business, I, unlike you, will refrain from speculating on how "pre-HIP" his performance appears to be.   In some fugues his approach is actually similar to that of Davitt Moroney, whose work I also enjoy among HIP versions.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 21, 2008, 01:53:33 AM
Bach, indisputably HIP  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41T2AQYYZXL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 21, 2008, 02:13:37 AM
Bach, indisputably HIP  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41T2AQYYZXL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I have that and it's a very nice recording, but rather to my own surprise I clearly preferred Robert Hill in these works (mostly) after Johann Adam Reincken's Hortus musicus

(http://www.haenssler-classic.de/fileadmin/mediafiles/scm_shopproduct/Bilder/gross/092110000.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 21, 2008, 03:06:13 AM
I have that and it's a very nice recording, but rather to my own surprise I clearly preferred Robert Hill in these works (mostly) after Johann Adam Reincken's Hortus musicus

Well I might prefer Staier  ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 21, 2008, 06:56:45 AM
I think the low pitch, broad phrasing, relaxed tempi and Lehman tuning that Egarr uses in this recording (and his Goldberg) appear to shift my attention from the discursive or rhetorical aspect of the music to
its textural feel as a polyphonic network or fabric, where all voices can be heard un-perturbed with almost the same degree of clarity.  Yes the result will no doubt sound boring to those who listen for a musical message, but it will also spare those who only want to perceive the music through listening the onerous task of decoding various interpretative gestures or designs that the performer has brought upon this music.  When the (imagined) actions are thankfully purged from the scene, the music can then emerge as some kind of an aural landscape which the listener can either behold passively or do so actively to make new connections (eg. c minor prelude as an aria ritornello that shows vexation and hesitation instead as a stormy overdrive) of his own.  Maybe this can be called a non-interventionist approach to Bach - which surely can't be everybody's cup of tea. 

That's pretty much what I found attractive in the Emerson String Quartet's recording of the Art of the Fugue. 

How does this WTC compare to Landowska's for instance, which is also on the slower side?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 21, 2008, 07:11:51 AM
 
How does this WTC compare to Landowska's for instance, which is also on the slower side?

But Egarr's instrument, tuning etc. sounds nothing like Landowska's.  And his choice of tempi
clearly shows he doesn't think HIP=fast. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 21, 2008, 09:38:14 AM
But Egarr's instrument, tuning etc. sounds nothing like Landowska's.  And his choice of tempi
clearly shows he doesn't think HIP=fast. 


I know that no one's tuning or instrument sounds like Landowska's!  I was hoping you could tell me only how his tempi compare to hers.  I don't think I would enjoy anything slower than Landowska.  Also, I'm not sure that the overly stately tempos are HIP.  I suspect that Bach played a good deal faster than Egarr in the Goldbergs as well.  I hate it when the pieces are played slowly as they begin to sound like pedagogic exercises, and remind me of my own efforts on the piano as a 14 year old.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 21, 2008, 09:44:27 AM
It is very bland. To be kind and gentle, I won't say dull or boring. It is poor example of what even a relic like the harpsichord can do, with the right hands and brain.

What would JS prefer? More projection? A lively delivery? I think he would have preferred the organ (vs harpsichord) for both power and note sustainability.

Sadly, we do not have much that is quotable from the great man. As one scholar said, "only a few chestnuts from his sons." And none of these are specific about instrumentation.

....well, except for the one that suggests he prefered the clavichord above all (militant wing of the Clavichord Liberation Front speaking here, you understand)  >:D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Don on April 21, 2008, 10:26:56 AM

I know that no one's tuning or instrument sounds like Landowska's!  I was hoping you could tell me only how his tempi compare to hers.  I don't think I would enjoy anything slower than Landowska.  Also, I'm not sure that the overly stately tempos are HIP.  I suspect that Bach played a good deal faster than Egarr in the Goldbergs as well.  I hate it when the pieces are played slowly as they begin to sound like pedagogic exercises, and remind me of my own efforts on the piano as a 14 year old.

My memory might be a little off, but I recollect that Egarr is extremely slow in Bach's faster pieces, not particularly slow in the more reflective ones.  Unless you have money to burn, I suggest passing on the Egarr.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 21, 2008, 12:10:48 PM
Yes, it is essentially impossible to play any music without an interpretation of some sort.  However I will argue that not all HIPs will sound alike -- given the fact that Egarr is no new hand in this business, I, unlike you, will refrain from speculating on how "pre-HIP" his performance appears to be.   In some fugues his approach is actually similar to that of Davitt Moroney, whose work I also enjoy among HIP versions.

No, Moroneys WTC is much more articulated than Egarr´s. And my primary concern as to Egarr´s WTC refers to his underarticulation of the music, not to the tempo. I can stand slow tempi, if the music is well articulated, e.g. Wolfgang Rübsam´s second Bach organ integral for Naxos. But Egarr - ?? What are his intensions? Does he think that he achieves the greatest possible objectivity by playing in this way? If he thinks so, he is misguided. I get more pleasure from reading the score, than by listening to Egarr, and what is the purpose of a recording under these circumstances.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Don on April 21, 2008, 02:06:45 PM
No, Moroneys WTC is much more articulated than Egarr´s. And my primary concern as to Egarr´s WTC refers to his underarticulation of the music, not to the tempo. I can stand slow tempi, if the music is well articulated, e.g. Wolfgang Rübsam´s second Bach organ integral for Naxos. But Egarr - ?? What are his intensions?

To reach cantabile heaven.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 22, 2008, 12:34:30 AM
But Egarr - ?? What are his intensions? Does he think that he achieves the greatest possible objectivity by playing in this way? If he thinks so, he is misguided. I get more pleasure from reading the score, than by listening to Egarr, and what is the purpose of a recording under these circumstances.

But you have been talking about YOUR responses, and I have talked about mine (no problems at all with his "underarticulation.")  I cannot be held responsible for whatever gap there is between the two and you might have to contact Egarr himself if you have doubts about HIS intentions.

Edit.  I have been reading a lot in these pages about how his interpretation sounds a lot like certain pre-HIP performances etc. - well, words don't do justice to how the music actually sounds like imo.  Two people can use exactly same words for their impressions of sounds that in fact differ in many, many ways.

Also I would encourage more reflection on this thing called HIP.  Performers can certainly have different takes on historical materials which they used towards devising their own interpretation.  I would not be surprised if even reading the same texts can yield vastly different conclusions about what to do with the same music score.   If possible, I would hope to see some actual quote from period literature on clavier playing that just how much articulation is required to make listenable phrases and so on.  Comparing different performances/recordings etc. doesn't seem to me to be a good alternative to this.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 22, 2008, 12:42:17 AM
Unless you have money to burn, I suggest passing on the Egarr.

On the contrary, I think the Egarr is far from worthless.  A different take on the music
and if you are as much interested in these things as I am, try it.  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Don on April 22, 2008, 04:48:16 AM
On the contrary, I think the Egarr is far from worthless.  A different take on the music
and if you are as much interested in these things as I am, try it.  :)

I didn't indicate that Egarr's WTC was worthless and likely think as well of it as fl. traverso.  But the set is at premium price; that's a lot to pay for a set that is in the "try it" category.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 22, 2008, 06:51:11 AM
I didn't indicate that Egarr's WTC was worthless and likely think as well of it as fl. traverso.  But the set is at premium price; that's a lot to pay for a set that is in the "try it" category.

After reading all the comments, I would venture to say that despite misgivings I am curious to hear some of the pieces.  If it's available on Itunes plus or as an amazon download, I may purchase some of the tracks to sample.  That way I can save money and also get a good sample.   :)

Right now I'm so sorry my local Tower Records closed!  How I miss the listening rooms.  :'(
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 22, 2008, 01:10:48 PM

...some actual quote from period literature on clavier playing that just how much articulation is required to make listenable phrases and so on. 

I am not a musicologist, and others may correct me, if I am wrong, but as far as I know, there are no detailed contemporary sources describing Bach´s playing style. Some treatises about performance of music are written by the next generation (CPE Bach, J.J.Quantz and Leopold Mozart) and reflect another musical taste. Concerning Bach´s articulation by the way you can study the scores of his chamber music (as I wrote earlier) with profit, since he supplied these with rather many (most often) short articulation ties indicating a detailed and pointed rhytmichal articulation. This is first and foremost true of the parts for stringed instruments, but the same principles may easily be applied to other instruments - not the least to the organ and the harpsichord, because underarticulated playing on these instruments tends to blur the rhythm. Play a simple C major scale legato on an organ or a harpsichord, and no listener can tell the rhythm, because the instruments lack the possibility of dynamical differentiation. Underarticulation may make the music calm and beautiful, but it deprives it of its rhythmical life, and remark well that Bach´s music is a cornucopia of dancing rhythmic life, provided it is not suppressed by underarticulation.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on April 23, 2008, 07:07:51 AM
[...] and remark well that Bach´s music is a cornucopia of dancing rhythmic life, provided it is not suppressed by underarticulation.

So true!  If he had not been interested in the rhythmic aspects of the music, then why use so many dance forms?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 23, 2008, 08:13:32 AM
Play a simple C major scale legato on an organ or a harpsichord, and no listener can tell the rhythm, because the instruments lack the possibility of dynamical differentiation. Underarticulation may make the music calm and beautiful, but it deprives it of its rhythmical life, and remark well that Bach´s music is a cornucopia of dancing rhythmic life, provided it is not suppressed by underarticulation.

Yes...but I find Egarr applying sufficient inflection in movements with clear dance character, which are not that many in WTC.  Sorry, but your paraphrase doesn't do much for me here because it is not necessarily a good fit on the keyboard music (esp. in the WTC category) - the fact that Bach chose not to use many articulation marks in keyboard scores can certainly use a different interpretation from yours.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 23, 2008, 08:58:51 AM
Yes...but I find Egarr applying sufficient inflection in movements with clear dance character, which are not that many in WTC.  Sorry, but your paraphrase doesn't do much for me here because it is not necessarily a good fit on the keyboard music (esp. in the WTC category) -
Again you understand me too literally. I do not claim, that every Bach-movement is a well defined dance, but I want to draw attention to the fact, that the dance element is present almost everywhere in his music. Listen to the first movement of the Fifth Brandenburg. Is this a dance? No, but the music so to say dances by itself.


the fact that Bach chose not to use many articulation marks in keyboard scores can certainly use a different interpretation from yours.
I suppose you want to maintain, that Bach´s keyboard music must be played lethargic and unarticulated.  :o :o :o
 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 23, 2008, 09:31:43 AM
Again you understand me too literally. I do not claim, that every Bach-movement is a well defined dance, but I want to draw attention to the fact, that the dance element is present almost everywhere in his music. Listen to the first movement of the Fifth Brandenburg. Is this a dance? No, but the music so to say dances by itself.

I will take issue with you on the last point regarding Brandenburg 5 -- dance-like is one of the options but not the only one.  What in history asserts that it is?  ;)

Quote

I suppose you want to maintain, that Bach´s keyboard music must be played lethargic and unarticulated.  :o :o :o
 

Wrong supposition - I'd never use the word "must" like you did.  And how is slow necessarily "lethargic"?   Stop putting words in my mouth already. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 23, 2008, 11:19:25 AM
I will take issue with you on the last point regarding Brandenburg 5 -- dance-like is one of the options but not the only one. 
Yes, and the other option is, that the music should speak - it should be well phrased and articulated, can we name this the rhethorical option? ;)

Wrong supposition - I'd never use the word "must" like you did.  And how is slow necessarily "lethargic"?   Stop putting words in my mouth already. :)
Pardon, I didn´t mean "must", I meant "should".

Interesting comment here BTW:

I would say it's an overstatement to call Egarr's WTC unexciting...let's just say that his interpretation simply favours a more balanced and receiving mind than mine.  ;)
 

 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 23, 2008, 11:21:05 PM
Yes, and the other option is, that the music should speak - it should be well phrased and articulated, can we name this the rhethorical option? ;)

Or the "discursive" kind, but I think there are more than the two options you have listed so far.   Language simply doesn't do music justice in describing how it can be.   One needs to listen to the real thing itself.

Quote
Pardon, I didn´t mean "must", I meant "should".

Neither "must" nor "should" is what I said.  You had simply misinterpreted my words.  Twice. ::)   How about "could"?  HIP isn't as dogmatic as some people have made it out to be.  Stylistic options are as many as the performer's readings of his/her material at hand.

I had disliked Egarr's WTC more before, and I have liked it a lot more since.  I think I have a more balanced and receiving mind now.  0:)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 24, 2008, 12:13:04 AM
Or the "discursive" kind, but I think there are more than the two options you have listed so far.   Language simply doesn't do music justice in describing how it can be.   One needs to listen to the real thing itself.

And if you only listen to a certain kind of performers, you will never find out, how the music can be. At least I find very much more spiritual and emotional content in the WTC I , than Egarr for inexplicable reasons has chosen to express. Wilhelm Kempff has also been accused of being to "soft", but for some reason his approach works much better in romantic music I think, whereas his Bach is suffering from the same kind of emotional suppression as Egarrs.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 24, 2008, 01:02:53 AM
And if you only listen to a certain kind of performers, you will never find out, how the music can be. At least I find very much more spiritual and emotional content in the WTC I , than Egarr for inexplicable reasons has chosen to express. Wilhelm Kempff has also been accused of being to "soft", but for some reason his approach works much better in romantic music I think, whereas his Bach is suffering from the same kind of emotional suppression as Egarrs.

Of course I don't just listen to one kind of performance - I consider myself to be more inclusive than you appear to be in these matters actually.  Your characterisations of Kempff vs. Egarr, etc. again are YOUR take, and I am not going to quibble with those as they have nothing on me.  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 24, 2008, 03:56:33 AM
Of course I don't just listen to one kind of performance - I consider myself to be more inclusive than you appear to be in these matters actually. 

So do I, and I appreciate, when an artist makes great efforts to display the beauty in Bachs music. So does e.g. Kenneth Gilbert, but he is considerably more articulated than Egarr, and his agogics are subtle and not mannered as Egarr´s. This is, why his interpretations have got a rich inner life beneath the beautiful surface. And this is, what I miss with Egarr, and why he makes me fall asleep. Period.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 24, 2008, 04:45:26 PM
And this is, what I miss with Egarr, and why he makes me fall asleep. Period.

Sorry that your ever so DISCRIMINATING taste doesn't allow you to be receptive of his art -- me, I have no problem with Egarr's WTC now (if I did initially) and he doesn't make me fall asleep, period, eh no, semicolon!  ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Don on May 21, 2008, 09:22:54 PM
My memory might be a little off, but I recollect that Egarr is extremely slow in Bach's faster pieces, not particularly slow in the more reflective ones.  Unless you have money to burn, I suggest passing on the Egarr.

I decided to give Egarr's WTC I another try and am glad I did so.  Already knowing that Egarr doesn't bother with getting the most out of the music's dark side, I just took it on its own terms and found much to appreciate and enjoy.  He does a great job with the dialogue among the musical lines, and I find his variety of colors within each piece exceptional.  Still, the lack of emotional involvement does get wearisome after a while.  The WTC has the potential to take listeners from the highest levels of spirituality down to the bleakest expressions of humankind.  Egarr pretty much avoids one-half of the picture.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on May 22, 2008, 12:54:27 AM
I decided to give Egarr's WTC I another try and am glad I did so.  Already knowing that Egarr doesn't bother with getting the most out of the music's dark side, I just took it on its own terms and found much to appreciate and enjoy.  He does a great job with the dialogue among the musical lines, and I find his variety of colors within each piece exceptional.  Still, the lack of emotional involvement does get wearisome after a while.  The WTC has the potential to take listeners from the highest levels of spirituality down to the bleakest expressions of humankind.  Egarr pretty much avoids one-half of the picture.

My impression has been that of his way of working out the polyphony also.  Nothing too instrumental there.  I think it is quite moving for what it is. 

Bach on clavichord (a different Bach)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51pUX2HaeOL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on May 22, 2008, 11:07:20 PM
Bach on clavichord (a different Bach)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51pUX2HaeOL._SS500_.jpg)

How is the quality of the keyboard output of that Bach? I believe there are some issues in that series with tangent piano as well?

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2008, 03:15:28 AM
How is the quality of the keyboard output of that Bach? I believe there are some issues in that series with tangent piano as well?

Q

CPE Bach is a really interesting composer if one is receptive to the musical style of Empfindsamkeit
A tangent piano has been used in the sister series of concertante keyboard music by CPE.  In the solo series
it is just a clavichord, which was CPE's favourite instrument, and his music, like Couperin's, reveals special
affinity with a particular kind of instrument. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 05, 2008, 10:20:17 AM
Few days ago the postman brought me some CDs from USA.
The most impressive of all them was one devoted to the six organ trio sonatas (Lyrichord, 2001), but played this time on two lute-harpsichords (following an 1800 edition).
The sound is great and I really understand why the old Bach loved this instrument.
The playing by Shawn Leopard and John Paul is excellent and you can listen to very clearly the three different lines of these pieces.
And the lute-harpsichord provides a so melancholic sense!
Does anyone know it?
If not, you can listen to: http://www.classicsonline.com/catalogue/product.aspx?pid=580267


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on October 05, 2008, 12:09:53 PM
Thanks for the tip Antoime, I am certainly going to investigate this.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on October 05, 2008, 01:33:21 PM
Niccceee, thanks Antoine! :)

Funny though that the instruments on the cover are no lute-harpsichords, I believe...


Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 05, 2008, 02:58:14 PM
You´re welcome, premont and Que  ;D.

BTW, the figures on the cover are really like the lute-harpsichords that I can see in the booklet; although I agree they seem pianos or fortepianos indeed. They were built by Anden Houben, who was the recording engineer too… and this thing is superbly well recorded.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on November 13, 2008, 09:51:45 PM
This isn't in the piano arena, but last night I listened to the best French Suites I've ever heard from harpsichordist Alan Curtis on Teldec.
He combines hesitations and staggering of musical lines expertly with the result being enhanced rhythmic tension.  Also, he varies lean and full phrasing beautifully, and the conversational element is mesmerizing.  Easily the most interesting interpretation on record.

Seconded, his English Suites are as good as I commented here:

Another beautiful recording is by Alan Curtis - combined with equally impressive performances of the French Suites.
(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/5005541.jpg)

And of course Christoph Rousset for either as well, if you don't mind a speeding ticket and "wet" acoustics! :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HZRNCPBSL._SS500_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KZ0DJ4KTL._SS400_.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on November 14, 2008, 07:34:35 AM
The Curtis French and English Suites were also available in Teldec's Bach 2000 boxed set.  They were paired together with cd 101 comprising the 1st and 2nd French and English Suites, cd 102 the 3rd and 4th Suites; and cd 103 the 5th and 6th suites.  They still turn up at various outlets in the blue covers.



Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on November 14, 2008, 07:53:19 AM
For more Lautenwerk recordings, try Robert Hill and Ekkehard Weber's recording of the sonatas for viol da gamba.  That has become one of my favorite recordings of these works, and it's available very reasonably from Amazon.

(http://www.qualiton.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/063/063_1231.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on November 14, 2008, 08:00:39 AM
The Curtis French and English Suites were also available in Teldec's Bach 2000 boxed set.  They were paired together with cd 101 comprising the 1st and 2nd French and English Suites, cd 102 the 3rd and 4th Suites; and cd 103 the 5th and 6th suites.  They still turn up at various outlets in the blue covers.

And they were/are available in Warner's Apex series on three single discs:

(http://cdn.7static.com/static/img/sleeveart/00/000/457/0000045738_350.jpg) (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/msiart/large/0000601/0000601642.jpg) (http://cdn.7static.com/static/img/sleeveart/00/000/457/0000045739_350.jpg)

Must my cheapest triple-A Bach recordings ever - unfortunately the series is more expensive in the USA...

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on November 14, 2008, 08:04:24 AM
Because Warner as a label doesn't exist in the USA.  All of the Warner cds are imports, but they may be less expensive now with the strengthening of the dollar. ;)

Yes a quick perusal of Amazon shows those discs for sale by the partners from less than $5.00 per disc (used) to around $15.00 new.  Quite a bargain if you don't have them yet. :D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 14, 2008, 10:45:42 AM
And they were/are available in Warner's Apex series on three single discs:

(http://cdn.7static.com/static/img/sleeveart/00/000/457/0000045738_350.jpg) (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/msiart/large/0000601/0000601642.jpg) (http://cdn.7static.com/static/img/sleeveart/00/000/457/0000045739_350.jpg)

Must my cheapest triple-A Bach recordings ever - unfortunately the series is more expensive in the USA...

Currently, do not own these works on the harpsichord - Alan Curtis seems to be a great 'value' set to obtain!  So, I was checking various sources today, and found that BRO HERE (http://www2.broinc.com/search.php?row=0&brocode=&stocknum=&submit=Find+Item&text=bach+curtis&filter=all) was offering 2 of the CDs on Teldec for a total of only $7!  The disc of Suites 1-2 can be obtained from Amazon on the Apex label ($5 from Caiman) - may be doing some ordering today?  ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on November 30, 2008, 03:26:31 AM
Few days ago the postman brought me some CDs from USA.
The most impressive of all them was one devoted to the six organ trio sonatas (Lyrichord, 2001), but played this time on two lute-harpsichords (following an 1800 edition).
The sound is great and I really understand why the old Bach loved this instrument.
The playing by Shawn Leopard and John Paul is excellent and you can listen to very clearly the three different lines of these pieces.
And the lute-harpsichord provides a so melancholic sense!
Does anyone know it?
If not, you can listen to: http://www.classicsonline.com/catalogue/product.aspx?pid=580267

Got this yesterday, and it is nothing less than a relevation. I have never heard about the two musicians, but they play in fine style and their ensemble is impeccable. The sweet sounds of the two lute-harpsichords blend in the most beautiful way. They do not make the original organ version fade, but may be recommended for additional (addictional) listening. I am sure, that Que and Harry and many others would love it.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 30, 2008, 06:52:59 AM
Currently, do not own these works on the harpsichord - Alan Curtis seems to be a great 'value' set to obtain!  So, I was checking various sources today, and found that BRO HERE (http://www2.broinc.com/search.php?row=0&brocode=&stocknum=&submit=Find+Item&text=bach+curtis&filter=all) was offering 2 of the CDs on Teldec for a total of only $7!  The disc of Suites 1-2 can be obtained from Amazon on the Apex label ($5 from Caiman) - may be doing some ordering today?  ;D

For those in the USA, I just received by BRO order - checked the linked above a few moments ago and the 3-6 suites are still available - posted yesterday in the 'listening thread' - again, total cost was $12 + S/H; so if you want these works played well on the harpsichord and want a good deal, then this route might be for you!  :D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on November 30, 2008, 08:26:50 AM
Got this yesterday, and it is nothing less than a relevation. I have never heard about the two musicians, but they play in fine style and their ensemble is impeccable. The sweet sounds of the two lute-harpsichords blend in the most beautiful way. They do not make the original organ version fade, but may be recommended for additional (addictional) listening. I am sure, that Que and Harry and many others would love it.

Apparently Leopard and Paul have a second volume of trio sonatas which has the trio sonata BWV 1079 from Musikalisches Opfer as well as works by Telemann, Distler, Langlais, & al.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61ZV10KJHZL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 02, 2008, 06:50:38 AM
Got this yesterday, and it is nothing less than a relevation. I have never heard about the two musicians, but they play in fine style and their ensemble is impeccable. The sweet sounds of the two lute-harpsichords blend in the most beautiful way. They do not make the original organ version fade, but may be recommended for additional (addictional) listening. I am sure, that Que and Harry and many others would love it.

Congratulations, premont!  ;D Unknown players and little labels are our salvation because the mainstream isn't always interested in lute-harpsichords, clavichords, violoncellos da spalla, pianofortes, square pianos, tangent pianos and similar delights.

In this way I want to share a real find with the board  :o.

It's about Jaroslav Tuma playing the Goldberg Variations on two clavichords. The first one is an instrument built in 2004 and based on an original of 1761 by David Tannenberg and chosen as the lower manual for the pair of clavichords. On it stood a small clavichord that is a copy (2002) of a clavichord of 1787 built by Christian Gottlob Hubert of Ansbach.

Here two examples:

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=v7IyetFoUkI

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=txdivlZABcM

What do you think about?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 07, 2008, 12:57:49 PM
When I wrote my previous post I believed that Bach on clavichord would be a very appeal thing for some people in this thread; but, it seems, I wasn't sufficiently specific  ::):

Goldberg Variations: http://www.arta.cz/index.php?p=f10136en&site=en

The Well-Tempered Clavichord: http://www.arta.cz/index.php?p=f10165en&site=en  :o

Inventions & Sinfonias, Duets: http://www.arta.cz/index.php?p=f10076en&site=en

I have all of these Cd's now and just can say that people interested in Bach and clavichord should go for them... Honest!

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on December 07, 2008, 01:05:08 PM
When I wrote my previous post I believed that Bach on clavichord would be a very appeal thing for some people in this thread; but, it seems, I wasn't sufficiently specific  ::):

Goldberg Variations: http://www.arta.cz/index.php?p=f10136en&site=en

The Well Tempered Clavier: http://www.arta.cz/index.php?p=f10165en&site=en  :o

Inventions & Sinfonias, Duets: http://www.arta.cz/index.php?p=f10076en&site=en

I have all of these Cd's now and just can say that people interested in Bach and clavichord should go for them... Honest!



Nice to see the ARTA site agian - plenty of new goodies! :)

And oooohh my, there goes my Christmas bonus... 8)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 07, 2008, 02:32:03 PM
When I wrote my previous post I believed that Bach on clavichord would be a very appeal thing for some people in this thread; but, it seems, I wasn't sufficiently specific  ::):
I have all of these Cd's now and just can say that people interested in Bach and clavichord should go for them... Honest!

Thanks for these links, and for the information. Which sort of payment does Arta accept? Visa card?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 07, 2008, 02:37:30 PM
Some examples can be useful (unfortunately something is lost in the conversion to mp3 because of the very elusive sound of the clavichord)):

 http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=T8MTthGkfl8

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=3OTJU0mwyQg

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=3M0ZqetN7A8

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=1oOyXgNL6HU


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 07, 2008, 02:47:21 PM

It's about Jaroslav Tuma playing the Goldberg Variations on two clavichords. The first one is an instrument built in 2004 and based on an original of 1761 by David Tannenberg and chosen as the lower manual for the pair of clavichords. On it stood a small clavichord that is a copy (2002) of a clavichord of 1787 built by Christian Gottlob Hubert of Ansbach.

What do you think about?

Very beautiful and expressive, as I would expect the Aria proper and Var. XV to be. One might wonder if Var. XXVIII and XXIX work equally well on clavichord. A propos Jaroslav Tuma I own his most noble and distinguished Art of Fuge (on organ), for whom he also recorded the Clavierübung III on organ and the WTC I on harpsichord. Interesting to see, that he has embarked on a Bach/clavichord project like Richard Troeger. I always wondered, why the clavichord was so seldom used for recordings of Bachs keyboard music. The Inventions, French Suites and much of the WTC among other things work very well on clavichord, and even Richard Troegers Art of Fuge is a great and unusual pleasure.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 07, 2008, 03:01:48 PM
Some examples can be useful (unfortunately something is lost in the conversion to mp3 because of the very elusive sound of the clavichord)):

 http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=T8MTthGkfl8

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=3OTJU0mwyQg

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=3M0ZqetN7A8

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=1oOyXgNL6HU


Very nice with clear part playing and natural agogics. A strong case for the acquisition of the CDs.

The first of these four links does not work BTW.

And you did not tell me, if Arta accepts Visa card.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 07, 2008, 03:06:21 PM
Antoine, do you think this is the same recording?

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/SESSIONID/22d46a7725f6c4527cdde565d1763a41/classic/detail/-/hnum/2061729?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 07, 2008, 03:11:57 PM
Very nice with clear part playing and natural agogics. A strong case for the acquisition of the CDs.

The first of these four links does not work BTW.

And you did not tell me, if Arta accepts Visa card.

… well, I paid with Visa. They use a secure server, but I don't remember the name. I ordered from Chile and the package (with a very homemade look) was in my home three weeks after. The prices are very low, but you must use a converter because they are expressed only in czech crowns.

I checked the first link and it's working out for me.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 07, 2008, 03:17:48 PM
… well, I paid with Visa. They use a secure server, but I don't remember the name. I ordered from Chile and the package (with a very homemade look) was in my home three weeks after. The prices are very low, but you must use a converter because they are expressed only in czech crowns.
Thanks.

I checked the first link and it's working out for me.
I checked it out one more time, and it still does not work for me, but the three others are fine.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 07, 2008, 03:19:58 PM
Antoine, do you think this is the same recording?

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/SESSIONID/22d46a7725f6c4527cdde565d1763a41/classic/detail/-/hnum/2061729?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist

That’s right, the same recording (all the four cds), but rather more expensive and AFIK jpc hasn’t in stock the Goldbergs and the Inventions & Sinfonias
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 07, 2008, 03:47:47 PM
Very beautiful and expressive, as I would expect the Aria proper and Var. XV to be. One might wonder if Var. XXVIII and XXIX work equally well on clavichord. A propos Jaroslav Tuma I own his most noble and distinguished Art of Fuge (on organ), for whom he also recorded the Clavierübung III on organ and the WTC I on harpsichord. Interesting to see, that he has embarked on a Bach/clavichord project like Richard Troeger. I always wondered, why the clavichord was so seldom used for recordings of Bachs keyboard music. The Inventions, French Suites and much of the WTC among other things work very well on clavichord, and even Richard Troegers Art of Fuge is a great and unusual pleasure.

Variatio XXVIII: http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa7XB7M5M10

Variatio XXIX: http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=_Usjar7LwLY

I forgot to say that the Goldbergs include two cds: one played on two clavichords an the other on a harpsichord
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 07, 2008, 04:09:19 PM

It's about Jaroslav Tuma playing the Goldberg Variations on two clavichords. The first one is an instrument built in 2004 and based on an original of 1761 by David Tannenberg and chosen as the lower manual for the pair of clavichords. On it stood a small clavichord that is a copy (2002) of a clavichord of 1787 built by Christian Gottlob Hubert of Ansbach.........................


Hi Antoine - getting in a little late to your posts in this thread, but the name David Tannenberg bolded above peaked my interest - I made a post in the 'listening thread' back in August (see below) about this instrument builder - I live in Winston-Salem, NC, so he is considered special here!  :)

Now, I love the clavichord, but have few recordings on that instrument - I believe that Bach actually loved the clavichord - the discs that you are linking look quite interesting to me, but just not sure about their availability in the USA, esp. considering pricing and shipping - I'd love to hear them, though -  :D

Quote
Just returned from a concert entitled Music in Revolutionary Salem held in the Old Salem Visitors Center - theme was music played in the late 18th century by known and now obscure composers, many of whom had some relationship (or their music) to Salem (since back then it was not called 'Old Salem' -  ;)) - the program was part of the Carolina Summer Music Festival (http://csmf.carolinachambersymphony.org/concerts/salem.html), and was quite varied - one 'thrill' was hearing a completely restored organ (located in the Gray Auditorium of the visitor's center) built by David Tannenberg and originally installed in 1800 in the Home Moravian Church; dismantled in 1910, and held in storage until the 1990s - apparently, now back to its original appearance & sound!

I loved the sound of this organ - not big but with a soft and much more delicate sound than most BIG organs - as a result I bought a CD (below) which I'm now enjoying - from the dedication of the restored organ in 2004 w/ Peter Sykes playing the instrument - varied program of CPE Bach, Johann Krebs, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Christian Latrobe, and a 'new piece' by Dan Locklair, a local composer - even bought a short book on the rebuilding of this organ (also below) done by Taylor & Boody Organbuilders out of Staunton, VA (birthplace of Woodrow Wilson) -  :D

(https://id312.securedata.net/ravencd.com/merchantmanager/images/oar-700.jpg)  (http://www.oldsalem.org/assets/images/a201_1.jpg)  (http://www.oldsalem.com/images/uploads/large/99252-l.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 07, 2008, 04:13:54 PM
Variatio XXVIII: http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa7XB7M5M10

Variatio XXIX: http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=_Usjar7LwLY

As I expected, I find, that these two variations work less well on clavichord. Some of the brilliance and effortlessness of the harpsichord is missing.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 07, 2008, 05:15:32 PM
Hi Antoine - getting in a little late to your posts in this thread, but the name David Tannenberg bolded above peaked my interest - I made a post in the 'listening thread' back in August (see below) about this instrument builder - I live in Winston-Salem, NC, so he is considered special here!  :)

Now, I love the clavichord, but have few recordings on that instrument - I believe that Bach actually loved the clavichord - the discs that you are linking look quite interesting to me, but just not sure about their availability in the USA, esp. considering pricing and shipping - I'd love to hear them, though -  :D


Hi, SonicMan, all roads led to Salem  ;D, the town of the first American writer: Mr. Nathaniel Hawthorne. I love the Hawthorne’s work, especially an amazing tale entitled "Wakefield" from the Twice-Told Tales.

BTW in the booklet of the Goldberg Variations, it’s said about the clavichords:

“A large instrument built in 2002 and based on an original of 1761 by the organ-maker David Tannenberg (whose parents came from Moravia) living at the end of the 18th century in Pennsylvania, was used for the recording of the Goldberg Variations as the first manual. It is what is known as the unbound type of clavichord with a range of six octaves CC – c4. On top of it stood a small instrument with a range of 4 ½ octaves AA-e3, which is a copy of a clavichord of 1787 built by Christian Gottlob Hubert of Ansbach. This copy, completed in 2004, is from the private collection of Diez Eichler”.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 08, 2008, 09:48:00 AM
Crystal clear, SonicMan  ;D  When I read "Old Salem" then I automatically thought in Hawthorne.

No problem - just trying to promote some tourism here for those 'passing through' the area -  ;) ;D

BTW - I've been to Salem, Mass. several times - another fun place to visit (and eat lobsters!) - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on December 10, 2008, 01:01:15 PM
I just listened to the Alan Curtis French Suites last night and I was struck by how similarly they sounded to the Rousset Ambroisie recording.  I think the Rousset might be a trifle better, especially wrt the instrument Rousset used, which imo has a nicer sound.  The accoustics of both recordings are very similar wrt reverb and soundstage.  However, the price of the Curtis recordings (and they also include the English suites in my set) is much lower -- if you can find the complete offering of 3 cds.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 10, 2008, 01:15:39 PM
I just listened to the Alan Curtis French Suites last night and I was struck by how similarly they sounded to the Rousset Ambroisie recording.  I think the Rousset might be a trifle better, especially wrt the instrument Rousset used, which imo has a nicer sound.  The accoustics of both recordings are very similar wrt reverb and soundstage.  However, the price of the Curtis recordings (and they also include the English suites in my set) is much lower -- if you can find the complete offering of 3 cds.

I'm surprised you found the Curtis and Rousset soundstages similar.  Although I have no problem with the Curtis, I find that the Rousset is much too wet.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on December 10, 2008, 05:03:22 PM
I'm surprised you found the Curtis and Rousset soundstages similar.  Although I have no problem with the Curtis, I find that the Rousset is much too wet.

I don't think it's the accoustic so much as the difference between the two instruments, although the Ruckers is slightly more closely miked.  The harpsichord used by Rousset (the Ruckers) is just a stronger, more reverberant instrument which I have read is typical of the Flemish instruments, with more power in the bass registers.  There's also a marked difference in pitch as well with the Rousset instrument tuned almost a half tone lower than the Zell used by Curtis.  Rousset also varies the tempos of the suites more than Curtis so that the faster movements really zip especially after the slower movements which Rousset stretches out, exploiting the way the notes float through the air and decay. Curtis on the other hand seems to keep note values very close.  An eighth note played in a courante is very close to the same eighth note played in an allemande, etc.: the rhythms stay very close.  I also felt that Rousset's playing is a bit more fluid, and his embellishments were a little more natural sounding.

If I had the booklets handy I could see if anything was provided about the tuning, but the pitches are definitely different for the French Suites, and that's not a matter of the accoustic.  I think all of these factors increase the perception of the reverberance of the Rousset recording.  I can, however see how you might not enjoy something like this if you don't like reverb.  The Ruckers is an extremely sonorous instrument and Rousset is clearly enjoying the sound and exploiting it.  This is actually the recording that turned me off etymotics -- they just didn't convey the note decay.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 10, 2008, 05:59:03 PM
I can, however see how you might not enjoy something like this if you don't like reverb. 

And I don't like it at all, although I'm aware that many love that type of sound.  For me, it reduces clarity, musical detail and conversational properties.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on December 10, 2008, 06:25:47 PM
And I don't like it at all, although I'm aware that many love that type of sound.  For me, it reduces clarity, musical detail and conversational properties.

I'm no fan of excess reverb either. In all the years it's something I've never been able to overcome.

78s give more pleasure than soggy reverb.


 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on December 10, 2008, 06:33:20 PM
And I don't like it at all, although I'm aware that many love that type of sound.  For me, it reduces clarity, musical detail and conversational properties.

I'm no fan of excess reverb either. In all the years it's something I've never been able to overcome.

78s give more pleasure than soggy reverb.


 

I'm really a sensualist when it comes to sound rather than an analyst.  I understand that structural clarity is going to be more apparent with less reverberance and less embellishment, but it's Baroque Art not Neo-Classical.  Where is the flamboyance and drama of Curtis's recording?  It's just not baroque enough for me.  When I hear the rich sound of the notes pouring out of the Ruckers, it's as if I can see each one floating through the air, sparkling like dust motes turned golden by the sun.  I just don't get that from Curtis's drier recording.  Sometimes it's not about hearing the structure or being able to analyze every word of the dialogue.  Sometimes it's about being transported to a different universe of colors and sounds that are more intense and vibrant.  For me Rousset's recording of the French Suites are the musical equivalent of Bernini's St. Theresa.  The little angel with his arrow pierces her heart the way the notes pierce mine.  The Curtis recording is quite fine, but the Rousset is extraordinary.

Donwyn, I don't know how I could live if all I could listen to were the pallid notes from a 78 recording.  I'd never even own a recording -- I'd just go to concerts rather than settle for such a poor representation.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 10, 2008, 06:51:00 PM
I'm really a sensualist when it comes to sound rather than an analyst.  I understand that structural clarity is going to be more apparent with less reverberance and less embellishment, but it's Baroque Art not Neo-Classical.  Where is the flamboyance and drama of Curtis's recording?  It's just not baroque enough for me.  When I hear the rich sound of the notes pouring out of the Ruckers, it's as if I can see each one floating through the air, sparkling like dust motes turned golden by the sun.  I just don't get that from Curtis's drier recording.  Sometimes it's not about hearing the structure or being able to analyze every word of the dialogue.  Sometimes it's about being transported to a different universe of colors and sounds that are more intense and vibrant.  For me Rousset's recording of the French Suites are the musical equivalent of Bernini's St. Theresa.  The little angel with his arrow pierces her heart the way the notes pierce mine.  The Curtis recording is quite fine, but the Rousset is extraordinary.

I find the Curtis recording extraordinary, and I couldn't disagree more about which recording sounds "baroque".  As for drama, there's abundant drama in the Curtis interpretations.  Also, Curtis does transport me to a unique universe; Rousset transports me to the bathtub.  Perhaps my distaste for taking a bath enters into the picture. :)

Oh well, different strokes and all that.  I only wish that Rousset's soundstage was more like that on his Decca recordings.  By the way, have you heard the David Cates account of the French Suites on the Music & Arts label?  I'd be interested in your views on the performance and soundstage.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on December 10, 2008, 06:56:48 PM
I find the Curtis recording extraordinary, and I couldn't disagree more about which recording sounds "baroque".  As for drama, there's abundant drama in the Curtis interpretations.  Also, Curtis does transport me to a unique universe; Rousset transports me to the bathtub.  Perhaps my distaste for taking a bath enters into the picture. :)

Oh well, different strokes and all that.  I only wish that Rousset's soundstage was more like that on his Decca recordings.  By the way, have you heard the David Cates account of the French Suites on the Music & Arts label?  I'd be interested in your views on the performance and soundstage.

I don't have that, do you think I would enjoy it?

No samples available at Amazon.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on December 10, 2008, 07:17:48 PM
Donwyn, I don't know how I could live if all I could listen to were the pallid notes from a 78 recording.  I'd never even own a recording -- I'd just go to concerts rather than settle for such a poor representation.

We certainly see eye-to-eye on that, Bunny.

I wouldn't dream of defending 78s but I still can somehow tolerate dim, scratchy recordings more than excessively soggy ones.

Above all I'm grateful I don't have to settle for either of these limitations.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 11, 2008, 07:08:04 AM
I don't have that, do you think I would enjoy it?

No samples available at Amazon.

The Cates recording is on the Naxos Music Library site that allows 15 minute previews for non-members.  Cates uses a staggering technique that I find totally absorbing, and the reverb. is greater than in the Curtis recording.  Check it out.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on December 11, 2008, 11:25:34 AM
The Cates recording is on the Naxos Music Library site that allows 15 minute previews for non-members.  Cates uses a staggering technique that I find totally absorbing, and the reverb. is greater than in the Curtis recording.  Check it out.

Thanks!  I certainly will do so.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Captain Flint on December 13, 2008, 08:37:49 AM

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VQ8M3AREL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Gustav Leonhardt: Bach, Bull, Byrd, Gibbons, Hassler, Pachelbel, Ritter, Strogers
Alpha 042

Anyone liking odd keyboard instruments should try listening to the claviorganum (or claviorgan), an unusual device combining a harpsichord and an organ.

In this album, Gustav Leonhardt plays pieces from different northern Europe baroque composers that were influenced by italian music. The last three tracks are JSB's compositions (BWV 1121, BWV 989, BWV 767) but they are played on a harpsichord.

 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 26, 2008, 05:52:58 PM
I've been a follower of this thread from the beginning, and would like to acquire a 'harpsichord' version of the WTC  Bach recordings  Thanks -  :)

Currently, as already mentioned I'm interested in the WTC recordings for Harpsichord - I've already obtained a number of piano versions which have been well recommended - now after reviewing this thread, I'm still confused about which harpsichord versions (whether on standard or gut-strung instruments) would be the best choices - now I don't need 'multiple' versions, but would enjoy a consensus opinion on a set of recordings that all would considered excellent - please provide some choices of those discussed so far (or others not mentioned) - thanks to all - Dave
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on December 26, 2008, 08:47:32 PM
Dave, my favourites are Ottavio Dantone and Glen Wilson.

See on the Dantone see my comments HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg133655.html#msg133655).

I got Glen Wilson' set on don's (Bulldog) recommendation: a solid but subtly balanced, transparant  and imaginative WTC. Sadly OOP, but that hasn't stopped you before! :) Besides, this perhaps might be part of the reissues form the "Das Alte Werk" series, that Warner/Teldec is doing.

If you like Christophe Rousset, whose WTC will be delightfull if judged on the basis of the excerpts in the issue of Wilhelm Friedemann's Klavierbuch, you might like Dantone.

Glen Wilson' style is more in the direction of Alan Curtis, that you recently got.

Q


(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/07/489807.jpg)  (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/49/493449.jpg)

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Wilson-Glen-K01[Teldec].jpg)   (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Wilson-Glen-K02[Teldec].jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 26, 2008, 10:28:02 PM
I agree with Que's recommendations of Wilson and Dantone.  For an alternative version having no equal when it comes to clarity of counterpoint and balance of voices, check out Edward Parmentier on the Wildboar label.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 27, 2008, 10:06:35 AM
Que & Don - thanks for your responses & the recommendations - this morning, I was just going through the list of recordings available of these works on harpsichord on Amazon USA - did not exhaust the review!  There seems to be plenty, but much is OOP and/or overly priced, esp. in the marketplace!

Some others that 'surfaced' w/ good Amazonian comments included Bob van Asperen on the Virgin label @ a great price (excellent reviews but not sure of the sound quality); Kenneth Gilbert on Arkiv Prod (availability & price may be an issue?); Luc Beausejour on Naxos (and just Bk. 1) - noticed that Don just did an average rating vs. some that were 5* (one rater suggest this for Bk. 1 & the Dantone for Bk. 2); Gary Cooper on the ASV label - now, never heard of this guy - any comments? (I like that label & prices not bad); and Robert Levin on 3 different instruments.

Certainly, the above review was not complete, and I'd like to have both Books (whether w/ one or two performers) - thus, will certainly add Dantone & Wilson as some TOP choices, and 'look around' - thanks again, Dave -  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 27, 2008, 10:38:32 AM

Some others that 'surfaced' w/ good Amazonian comments included Bob van Asperen on the Virgin label @ a great price (excellent reviews but not sure of the sound quality); Kenneth Gilbert on Arkiv Prod (availability & price may be an issue?); Luc Beausejour on Naxos (and just Bk. 1) - noticed that Don just did an average rating vs. some that were 5* (one rater suggest this for Bk. 1 & the Dantone for Bk. 2); Gary Cooper on the ASV label - now, never heard of this guy - any comments? (I like that label & prices not bad); and Robert Levin on 3 different instruments.


van Asperen - Yes.
Beausejour - No, but the price is right.
Gilbert - Yes.
Cooper - No.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 27, 2008, 01:39:53 PM
van Asperen - Yes.
Beausejour - No, but the price is right.
Gilbert - Yes.
Cooper - No.

Agree, but would like to add:

Levin - yes
Parmentier - no.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 27, 2008, 02:25:07 PM
Agree, but would like to add:

Levin - yes
Parmentier - no.

I forgot about the Levin, and it's a "yes" from me also.  What I didn't appreciate concerning Parmentier was some lack of characterization.  What didn't you like about it?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 27, 2008, 02:52:36 PM
What I didn't appreciate concerning Parmentier was some lack of characterization.  What didn't you like about it?

First and foremost I do not like his sense of tempo and his agogics. Seem to me to be applied at random, making the music fall apart at some level. And he has not at all got the authority of say Wolfgang Rübsam, who can bend the tempo deliberately, without loosing sight of the integrity of the work.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 27, 2008, 08:56:32 PM
Don & Premont - thanks for the additional comments - I was pretty much settled on the Dantone recordings but was a little reluctant at a discrepant review on Amazon between the two books; then I found two reviews on Classics Today by Ted Distler (who I've respected in the past) (Bk.1 HERE (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=5649) & Bk. 2 HERE (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=6804)) - rated 4/10 & 7/10, respectively - the sound ratings are disturbing to me, esp. on the first book.  Seems like there is presently no 'ideal' harpsichord set of these WTC works but I'll keep listening & researching - thanks all -  :D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 27, 2008, 09:06:59 PM
Don & Premont - thanks for the additional comments - I was pretty much settled on the Dantone recordings but was a little reluctant at a discrepant review on Amazon between the two books; then I found two reviews on Classics Today by Ted Distler (who I've respected in the past) (Bk.1 HERE (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=5649) & Bk. 2 HERE (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=6804)) - rated 4/10 & 7/10, respectively - the sound ratings are disturbing to me, esp. on the first book.  Seems like there is presently no 'ideal' harpsichord set of these WTC works but I'll keep listening & researching - thanks all -  :D

The sound ratings are "10" on both discs; it's the performances that Distler doesn't like very much.  Concerning Distler, I don't tend to agree with him much.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on December 28, 2008, 02:39:35 AM
Don & Premont - thanks for the additional comments - I was pretty much settled on the Dantone recordings but was a little reluctant at a discrepant review on Amazon between the two books; then I found two reviews on Classics Today by Ted Distler (who I've respected in the past) (Bk.1 HERE (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=5649) & Bk. 2 HERE (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=6804)) - rated 4/10 & 7/10, respectively - the sound ratings are disturbing to me, esp. on the first book.  Seems like there is presently no 'ideal' harpsichord set of these WTC works but I'll keep listening & researching - thanks all -  :D

The sound ratings are "10" on both discs; it's the performances that Distler doesn't like very much.  Concerning Distler, I don't tend to agree with him much.

The recording is - as remarked previously - "audiophile".

Jed Distler is a fine reviewer, but I strongly disagree with him on these. These are IMO as ideal performances of the WTC as can be. Do not get the disctintion Distler and Amazonians make between Dantone's Book I and Book II BTW - his approach is the same and the results are of the same quality.

BTW Kirk McElhearn at Musicweb did like it (http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2002/Jan02/Bach_Dantone.htm) - much:

"This is a one of the best recordings available of the Well-Tempered Clavier for harpsichord. The combination of the beautiful instrument, excellent recording and uniquely personal interpretation puts this among the few truly indispensable recordings of this work on harpsichord. Ottavio Dantone is certainly a harpsichordist to follow in the coming years. This set announces a great musician."

Dave, I would sample online as much as you can find and make up you own mind.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on December 28, 2008, 05:24:07 AM
Agree, but would like to add:

Levin - yes
Parmentier - no.

I forgot about the Levin, and it's a "yes" from me also. 

Don, Premont, how big a deal is the Levin? Nice or key recommendation?

The three instruments approach is of course in itself interesting.

Talking about alternative intrumentation makes me wonder about Antoine's recent recommendation of Jaroslav Tůma's recording on Arta of the complete WTC on clavichord. Does anyone else know it?

(http://www.prelude-klassiekemuziek.nl/arta/arta_bach10165.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 28, 2008, 07:12:27 AM
The sound ratings are "10" on both discs; it's the performances that Distler doesn't like very much.  Concerning Distler, I don't tend to agree with him much.

Thanks again guys and sorry about reversing those ratings (I should know better!  ::)) - will do some 'online' sampling as suggested - Dave
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on December 28, 2008, 09:14:18 AM



Now on another note!  :D
I very much admire harpsichordist Christophe Rousset, and I'm considering this CD.
Does anyone know it? Thanks!

(http://multimedia.fnac.com/multimedia//images_produits/ZoomPE/6/7/7/3760020170776.jpg)
J.S. Bach, Klavierbüchlein, C.Rousset (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007Z47YS/nectarandambr-20)



If you can still get it (oop in North America), get it! It's the best thing since sliced bread. {Review on Ionarts (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html)}

And while you are at it, get his English and French Suites on Ambroise. Compared to these, the Decca recordings are merely "OK".

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KZ0DJ4KTL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000C8WXZ/nectarandambr-20)   (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HZRNCPBSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002SKT1U/nectarandambr-20)

Yes, they are somewhat (err.... ridiculously) expensive [for the price of all three 2-CD albums you could get the complete works of Bach in the Brilliant Box), but they are worth it. Even I - and I am quite used to getting CDs for free - have spent the money for the full price on these and never regretted it. The sound blooms on the Ruckers harpsichord like you wouldn't believe (until you've heard it), and Rousset's rubato really brings every piece to live. (Not that Bach wouldn't be 'alive' even in lesser, or more rigid, performances.) The sound on these three discs is unrivaled -- or, if rivaled, only by Blandine Rannou and her very fine, superb Bach on Zig Zag Territories (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000065BSS/nectarandambr-20).

If I had to order these three in terms of preference/impressiveness, I'd opt for: 1.) Klavierbüchlein 2.) French Suites 3.) English Suites.


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on December 28, 2008, 11:18:47 AM
If you can still get it (oop in North America), get it! It's the best thing since sliced bread. {Review on Ionarts (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html)}

And while you are at it, get his English and French Suites on Ambroise. Compared to these, the Decca recordings are merely "OK".

Yes, they are somewhat (err.... ridiculously) expensive [for the price of all three 2-CD albums you could get the complete works of Bach in the Brilliant Box), but they are worth it. Even I - and I am quite used to getting CDs for free - have spent the money for the full price on these and never regretted it. The sound blooms on the Ruckers harpsichord like you wouldn't believe (until you've heard it), and Rousset's rubato really brings every piece to live. (Not that Bach wouldn't be 'alive' even in lesser, or more rigid, performances.) The sound on these three discs is unrivaled -- or, if rivaled, only by Blandine Rannou and her very fine, superb Bach on Zig Zag Territories (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000065BSS/nectarandambr-20).

If I had to order these three in terms of preference/impressiveness, I'd opt for: 1.) Klavierbüchlein 2.) French Suites 3.) English Suites.

Thanks Jens. I had already the English & French Suites, and got the Klavierbüchlein meanwhile. :) (I already had his Bach recordings for Decca before he switched to Ambroisie.) Luckily MDT does an offer on Ambroise once in a while, which makes the financial burden a bit lighter. Or an incidental bargain on Amazon.

I second your praises for these recordings. Notwithstanding Rousset's matured interpretations on (arguably) better sounding recordings on Ambroisie (our don actually dislikes the sound), I wouldn't be without the Partitas or Goldbergs on Decca. The Partitas in particular are still unrivalled IMO.

Now we want a complete WTC! :D

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 28, 2008, 12:49:02 PM
Don, Premont, how big a deal is the Levin? Nice or key recommendation?


I'd say nice to have.  The big thing about Levin's set is the variety of instrumentation, not the performances (although there's nothing wrong with them).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 28, 2008, 12:56:52 PM
Let me just restate my views on Rousset (Decca vs. Ambroise):

Decca sounds excellent - Ambroise sounds like Rousset is playing in his bathtub.

Decca performances outstanding - Ambroise performances very good (but it's hard to really tell with the swimming sound).

Let me also restate that I prefer recordings on the dry side which is why I also dislike Hantai's WTC Bk. 1 where some important musical lines get swallowed up by the wet acoustics.

As an aside, I also very much like Rannou's performances on Zig Zag.

I thought I had dumped my copies of Rousset/Ambroise, but I still have them.  Will give another try and report back.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on December 28, 2008, 01:10:40 PM
Let me just restate my views on Rousset (Decca vs. Ambroise):
Decca sounds excellent - Ambroise sounds like Rousset is playing in his bathtub.
Let me also restate that I prefer recordings on the dry side
I thought I had dumped my copies of Rousset/Ambroise, but I still have them.  Will give another try and report back.
Well, those are perfectly legitimate preferences, and unless they change, your opinion of these recordings won't much, either. The sound's wet is wet is wet.
Although I would posit that quite a lot of that comes from the instrument (spanking new soundboard, for one) and not from the recording itself. But it surely is the recording to undo Beecham's quip about harpsichords, no? (Or at least if that's how it sounds when... I want in on the action.)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 28, 2008, 04:26:26 PM
Well, those are perfectly legitimate preferences, and unless they change, your opinion of these recordings won't much, either. The sound's wet is wet is wet.

Well, I'm going with the notion that I kept the discs just in case I would find them more appealing in the future.  Since I haven't listened to them for over a year, the future is now.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on December 28, 2008, 05:04:01 PM
If you can still get it (oop in North America), get it! It's the best thing since sliced bread. {Review on Ionarts (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html)}

And while you are at it, get his English and French Suites on Ambroise. Compared to these, the Decca recordings are merely "OK".

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KZ0DJ4KTL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000C8WXZ/nectarandambr-20)   (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HZRNCPBSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002SKT1U/nectarandambr-20)

Yes, they are somewhat (err.... ridiculously) expensive [for the price of all three 2-CD albums you could get the complete works of Bach in the Brilliant Box), but they are worth it. Even I - and I am quite used to getting CDs for free - have spent the money for the full price on these and never regretted it. The sound blooms on the Ruckers harpsichord like you wouldn't believe (until you've heard it), and Rousset's rubato really brings every piece to live. (Not that Bach wouldn't be 'alive' even in lesser, or more rigid, performances.) The sound on these three discs is unrivaled -- or, if rivaled, only by Blandine Rannou and her very fine, superb Bach on Zig Zag Territories (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000065BSS/nectarandambr-20).

If I had to order these three in terms of preference/impressiveness, I'd opt for: 1.) Klavierbüchlein 2.) French Suites 3.) English Suites.




I feel the same way!  And I also think Rousset's French suites are better than the English.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 29, 2008, 04:03:28 AM
Don, Premont, how big a deal is the Levin? Nice or key recommendation?

His playing is very vital, containing nuch rhythmical energy - like say Pinnock (who has not recorded the complete WTC, I compare their playing styles), but Levin is generally a more imaginative player still without being idiosyncratic.The different instruments he uses are of course an attraction. On the other hand they imbue the recording with a disturbing inhomogeneous character when you are listening in one sitting, and modern listeners tend to do so.

Another set on Philips by Daniel Chorzempa shares much the same characteristics (also the use of different instruments), but the playing is even more tense and concentrated.

Both are worthwile, and as I am a near-completist in these matters, they are must-have´s for me. Though I am not sure this applies to you.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 29, 2008, 02:48:49 PM
I gave Rousset's English Suites another go last night.  In order to enjoy the performances, I had to use my trusty equalizer and make many dramatic adjustments.  Still, I was quite weary by the end of it all - the harpsichord sound is so BRIGHT.  I did love some of the fast movements where Rousset is a tower of energy and excitement (such as the last two movements of Partita 1).  It isn't a set I will return to in the near future.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on December 29, 2008, 09:54:00 PM
I gave Rousset's English Suites another go last night.  In order to enjoy the performances, I had to use my trusty equalizer and make many dramatic adjustments.  Still, I was quite weary by the end of it all - the harpsichord sound is so BRIGHT.

Bright?? Huh... now that's a problem I certainly don't have with those recordings. Rich, sated, "wet", blooming... I'd even agree with "a wash of sound". But "bright"? If anything, I find it less bright than many another harpsichord recording. I'd say it might be your speakers, but then all recordings should sound bright to you, which I assume they do not.

(And I won't even touch the point of an equalizer is anathema to hifi... sounds like: "I had to add ketchup to my goose liver foie gras to make it edible".  :) )
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 30, 2008, 10:02:48 AM
Bright?? Huh... now that's a problem I certainly don't have with those recordings. Rich, sated, "wet", blooming... I'd even agree with "a wash of sound". But "bright"? If anything, I find it less bright than many another harpsichord recording. I'd say it might be your speakers, but then all recordings should sound bright to you, which I assume they do not.

(And I won't even touch the point of an equalizer is anathema to hifi... sounds like: "I had to add ketchup to my goose liver foie gras to make it edible".  :) )

Makes little difference which speakers or headphones I use - VERY BRIGHT.

I don't share your disdain for equalizers.  Sometimes, it's the best way to minimize a sound feature that's very annoying.  I know a guy who not only hates equalizers, he also will only keep the audio controls in the "flat" position (stubborn as hell).

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 05, 2009, 07:07:54 PM
In August 2007 the harpsichordist Elizabeth Farr recorded two exceptional Cds (on Naxos 8.570470-71) with Bach music played on a lute-harpsichord reconstructed from Bach's own specifications (by Keith Hill)  :).

Here an interesting interview with Farr and some excerpts from her recordings: http://blog.naxos.com/?s=farr&x=0&y=0

Warmly recommended (both the Cds and the interview)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on January 06, 2009, 07:35:23 AM
I gave Rousset's English Suites another go last night.  In order to enjoy the performances, I had to use my trusty equalizer and make many dramatic adjustments.  Still, I was quite weary by the end of it all - the harpsichord sound is so BRIGHT.  I did love some of the fast movements where Rousset is a tower of energy and excitement (such as the last two movements of Partita 1).  It isn't a set I will return to in the near future.

If it sounds bright, I think there is either a problem with your recording (duds do happen) or your sound system.  The sound over my speakers is not bright, whether played with my tube amp or my solid state amp.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on January 08, 2009, 08:01:19 AM
If it sounds bright, I think there is either a problem with your recording (duds do happen) or your sound system.  The sound over my speakers is not bright, whether played with my tube amp or my solid state amp.

My sound system is fine.  Actually, I have five different sound systems and tried out the Rousset on each of them with fairly consistent results.

Of course, there's always the possibility that my particular copy of the Rousset is a dud.  However, that's not likely because I know of other folks who also have a problem with the sound, whether it's called too bright, too wet, too much reverberation or overly resonant.  I specifically recall a review on Fanfare of the English Suites which commented negatively on the sound characteristics that tended to blur musical detail.

So, I stand by my previous comments and take some solace from knowing that I'm not alone.  The sound on some excellent recordings of the English Suites, such as from Kenneth Gilbert and Alan Curtis, is much more to my liking.







Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on January 08, 2009, 09:03:54 AM
My sound system is fine.  Actually, I have five different sound systems and tried out the Rousset on each of them with fairly consistent results.

Of course, there's always the possibility that my particular copy of the Rousset is a dud.  However, that's not likely because I know of other folks who also have a problem with the sound, whether it's called too bright, too wet, too much reverberation or overly resonant.  I specifically recall a review on Fanfare of the English Suites which commented negatively on the sound characteristics that tended to blur musical detail.

So, I stand by my previous comments...

Yes, I think it's a (dramatic!) difference in defining "bright".
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on January 08, 2009, 09:18:23 AM
Speaking of sound properties, last night I listened to what I'd call about perfect sound in a Delphian disc of Pachelbel organ music played by Matthew Owens (vol. 2) on the Frobenius Organ at Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh.  A stunning disc of exceptional performances.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 08, 2009, 09:55:16 AM
In August 2007 the harpsichordist Elizabeth Farr recorded two exceptional Cds (on Naxos 8.570470-71) with Bach music played on a lute-harpsichord reconstructed from Bach's own specifications (by Keith Hill)  :).

Here an interesting interview with Farr and some excerpts from her recordings: http://blog.naxos.com/?s=farr&x=0&y=0

Antoine - thanks for the recommendation and link; I have several performances of Elizabeth Farr that are superb but I've not heard the one mentioned; however, I recently purchased the disc below of Bach on the Lute-Harpsichord w/ Robert Hill (has been recommended in this thread earlier) - works included HERE (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Works-Lute-Harpsichord-Bachakademie-Hill/dp/B00000JNK3/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1231436286&sr=1-2) -  :)

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Hill-K03%5BHanssler%5D.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on January 08, 2009, 10:48:30 AM
Between the Farr and Hill recordings, I have to go with Hill.  He's more nuanced than Farr, and his recording has richer sound with gorgeous bass response.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 08, 2009, 04:58:11 PM
Between the Farr and Hill recordings, I have to go with Hill.  He's more nuanced than Farr, and his recording has richer sound with gorgeous bass response.

Don - not having heard the Farr (which received some 'negative' comments on Amazon, which seemed to me valid), I must say that the Hill disc is superb for an excellent introduction to this instrument; interestingly, the Lute-Harpsichords used in both of these recordings were built by Keith Hill (an important fact since none of these instruments have survived) - there seems to be a lot of options in 'reconstructing' this 'gut-strunged harpsichord' which impacts on the sound & performance - fascinating and need to explore more recordings; so, hopefully additionally recommendations will follow - Dave  :D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 08, 2009, 07:48:51 PM
Between the Farr and Hill recordings, I have to go with Hill.  He's more nuanced than Farr, and his recording has richer sound with gorgeous bass response.

I have the Works for Lute-Harpsichord by Robert Hill and his recordings Bach as Teacher (partially on lute-harpsichord). And for me Hill and Farr aren't mutually exclusive alternatives, especially when there are so few recordings on lute-harpsichord and the coincidences between the pieces recorded by them are only partial.

But curiously I disagree with your two statements:

Robert Hill is a great performer, but a little bit nervous guy, sometimes on the fast side. The contrary Farr is a very relaxed and detailed performer. IMHO her playing is great here.

On the other hand, both instruments were constructed by Keith Hill, but with advantage for the instrument on Naxos (with two keyboards) because it was made after the Bach's specifications delivered for one of the Lautenwerks in his personal collection. This instrument is rather warm, varied and more lute than theorbo, unlike the instrument used by Robert Hill.


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on January 09, 2009, 09:09:50 AM

Robert Hill is a great performer, but a little bit nervous guy, sometimes on the fast side. The contrary Farr is a very relaxed and detailed performer. IMHO her playing is great here.

But there are times when Farr is the quicker performer, and I don't find anything nervous about Hill.  However, you're certainly right that there aren't many recordings available on the lute-harpsichord, so grab them up as they enter the market.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on January 09, 2009, 02:15:44 PM
Don't you all overlook this issue, with one disc dedicated to the harpsichord and the other to the lute-harpsicord, both decidely terrific. 8)

(http://www.haenssler-classic.de/fileadmin/mediafiles/scm_shopproduct/Bilder/gross/092110000.jpg)

954 Fuge B-Dur nach Johann Adam Reinken
964 Sonate d-Moll (nach BWV 1003)
965 Sonate a-Moll nach Johann Adam Reinken
966 Sonate C-Dur nach Johann Adam Reinken
968 Adagio G-Dur (nach BWV 1005/1)
1001 Sonate c-Moll (nach der Sonate I g-Moll)
1004 Partita g-Moll (nach der Partita II d-Moll)
1006,1 Suite E-Dur (nach BWV 1006, gespielt auf dem Cembalo)


Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on February 07, 2009, 06:59:25 AM
This sounds quite good to my ears - anyone tried it? :)

(http://www.preludeklassiekemuziek.nl/actueel_summer08/bach_hortus052.jpg)

Sample (http://www.preludeklassiekemuziek.nl/stream/aug08_bach_bwv777_B.html) (Quicktime)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: haydnguy on February 07, 2009, 10:04:18 AM
These are my copies of Bach's WTC:


Book 2: Kenneth Gilbert

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Q6EP0puOL._SS500_.jpg)


Book 1: Peter Watchorn

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51cd3srKjUL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Frumaster on April 02, 2009, 10:24:08 PM
Anyone know about Richard Egarr on harpsichord?  I've been looking for the WTC and Goldbergs on harpsichord and I ran across these:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Ln843R9mL._SS400_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61B2MF8WS3L._SS400_.jpg)

http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Das-Wohltemperierte-Clavier-Vol/dp/B000TT1QN2/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1238739397&sr=1-8
http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Goldberg-Variations-Johann-Sebastian/dp/B000ECXBN2/ref=pd_bxgy_m_img_b

I have been listening to some of the clips, and the same problems I've heard on other harpsichord versions seems to be present here....the rhythm is out of whack!  Is there something about the harpsichord that I don't know?  Yes I know all about how it works, but does it somehow restrict players from keeping good time?  It just sounds like it was all chopped up and pieced together at different speeds.  Other times, things seem to be going along fine, and then its like a beat is skipped or something.  Am I crazy, or just too accustomed to another recording?  Can someone listen to the clips on Amazon and tell me what is going on?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 03, 2009, 05:49:49 AM
Anyone know about Richard Egarr on harpsichord?  I've been looking for the WTC and Goldbergs on harpsichord and I ran across these:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Ln843R9mL._SS400_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61B2MF8WS3L._SS400_.jpg)

http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Das-Wohltemperierte-Clavier-Vol/dp/B000TT1QN2/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1238739397&sr=1-8
http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Goldberg-Variations-Johann-Sebastian/dp/B000ECXBN2/ref=pd_bxgy_m_img_b

I have been listening to some of the clips, and the same problems I've heard on other harpsichord versions seems to be present here....the rhythm is out of whack!  Is there something about the harpsichord that I don't know?  Yes I know all about how it works, but does it somehow restrict players from keeping good time?  It just sounds like it was all chopped up and pieced together at different speeds.  Other times, things seem to be going along fine, and then its like a beat is skipped or something.  Am I crazy, or just too accustomed to another recording?  Can someone listen to the clips on Amazon and tell me what is going on?

I have both recordings and reviewed the Goldbergs on MusicWeb International.  What you refer to as "rhythm is out of whack" is simply Egarr's use of hesitations and staggering of musical lines.  Egarr, not the harpsichord, is the responsible party.  Put another way, there is nothing about the harpsichord that restricts players from "keeping good time".

I do want to stress that I don't agree that Egarr does not keep good time.  Varying the rhythmic patterns through hesitations and staggering of musical lines is an adventurous way to go that can result in richer and more diverse interpretations, although it also has the potential to damage momentum and sound like a drag on musical progression.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Frumaster on April 03, 2009, 08:42:32 AM
I do want to stress that I don't agree that Egarr does not keep good time.  Varying the rhythmic patterns through hesitations and staggering of musical lines is an adventurous way to go that can result in richer and more diverse interpretations, although it also has the potential to damage momentum and sound like a drag on musical progression.

Thanks, thats helpful.  On further thought, it seems like what I would expect to hear someone playing if they had just been handed the score.  Hope that doesn't sound too harsh  ;D .  I mean, there doesn't seem to be much influence from other recordings to...smoothe it out.  Does Egarr perhaps follow the musical notation so slavishly that it lacks the flow of other interpretations, while maybe being more technically correct? 

Or are the hesitations/staggering done intentionally with some disregard for the score, strictly as a matter of interpretation? I have a hard time with this.  I know Egarr is the conductor of the Ancient Music so and so, so it would seem that his performances would have to be historically accurate, ie, everything referenced to the score.  Then again, maybe his style doesn't have its main foundations in the score, but from a knowledge of how the harpsichord was played in the Baroque era.

Every time I have noticed these timing issues, its a harsichord recording, never piano.  Since the harpsichord is now seen as a period instrument (and we all know how performances with period instruments seek to be historically accurate), maybe the performers sway towards the more 'historically informed' because of the instrument's own status.  This all assumes again that there is some historical reference for playing harsichord in this style, which I have no knowledge of.  Just a groundless theory.  Would anyone care to make sense of my thoughts?  :-\
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 03, 2009, 08:57:03 AM
Anyone know about Richard Egarr on harpsichord?  I've been looking for the WTC and Goldbergs on harpsichord and I ran across these:

See page 3 and further of this thread for a previous discussion.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on April 03, 2009, 09:01:29 AM
Does Egarr perhaps follow the musical notation so slavishly that it lacks the flow of other interpretations, while maybe being more technically correct?

Egarr can be faulted for mellowness, but not for lack of flow. Would anyone fault Rubinstein for lack of flow in Chopin, because he uses romantic rubato? Neither can anyone fault Egarr for using what is essentially baroque rubato.

Quote
Or are the hesitations/staggering done intentionally with some disregard for the score, strictly as a matter of interpretation? I have a hard time with this.  I know Egarr is the conductor of the Ancient Music so and so, so it would seem that his performances would have to be historically accurate, ie, everything referenced to the score. 

Where do you get that idea? In baroque music, the score was decidedly NOT the source of all information for the performance... that's a newfangled idea of late romanticism and the control-freak composers who needed to fight against "interpretation" instead of encouraging it.

(This is not meant disparagingly about either style... merely pointing out that different music had different needs and demands.)

Quote
Then again, maybe his style doesn't have its main foundations in the score, but from a knowledge of how the harpsichord was played in the Baroque era.

Bingo.

Quote
This all assumes again that there is some historical reference for playing harsichord in this style, which I have no knowledge of.  Just a groundless theory.  Would anyone care to make sense of my thoughts?  :-\

We have plenty knowledge of harpsichord style through the ages. It is true that some liberties --which are actually historically correct-- were not taken by early HIPsters, because of their focus on the source as sacrosanct (oddly a late romantic notion)... but all in all the differences in personal playing style are greater than those in ideologically-fueled execution.

Got to go hear TanDun/LangLang, thus the rush... I expect frothy responses when I come back. :-)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 03, 2009, 09:34:39 AM
Thanks, thats helpful.  On further thought, it seems like what I would expect to hear someone playing if they had just been handed the score.  Hope that doesn't sound too harsh  ;D .  I mean, there doesn't seem to be much influence from other recordings to...smoothe it out.  Does Egarr perhaps follow the musical notation so slavishly that it lacks the flow of other interpretations, while maybe being more technically correct? 

Or are the hesitations/staggering done intentionally with some disregard for the score, strictly as a matter of interpretation? I have a hard time with this.  I know Egarr is the conductor of the Ancient Music so and so, so it would seem that his performances would have to be historically accurate, ie, everything referenced to the score.  Then again, maybe his style doesn't have its main foundations in the score, but from a knowledge of how the harpsichord was played in the Baroque era.

Every time I have noticed these timing issues, its a harsichord recording, never piano.  Since the harpsichord is now seen as a period instrument (and we all know how performances with period instruments seek to be historically accurate), maybe the performers sway towards the more 'historically informed' because of the instrument's own status.  This all assumes again that there is some historical reference for playing harsichord in this style, which I have no knowledge of.  Just a groundless theory.  Would anyone care to make sense of my thoughts?  :-\

It's an interpretive style, and Egarr is only one of many to use it.  Never piano?  That's not the case, although it's used more by harpsichordists.  In her recent Goldbergs, Dinnerstein on Telarc uses rubato and hesitations liberally.

When I first encountered hesitations/staggering, I didn't think well of them.  Over time, I've come to prefer them.  Of course, that's just personal preference, but do try to give it some time to really sink in.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Frumaster on April 03, 2009, 09:47:30 AM
Egarr can be faulted for mellowness, but not for lack of flow. Would anyone fault Rubinstein for lack of flow in Chopin, because he uses romantic rubato? Neither can anyone fault Egarr for using what is essentially baroque rubato.

We have plenty knowledge of harpsichord style through the ages. It is true that some liberties --which are actually historically correct-- were not taken by early HIPsters, because of their focus on the source as sacrosanct (oddly a late romantic notion)... but all in all the differences in personal playing style are greater than those in ideologically-fueled execution.


Very good, makes perfect sense now.  So a harpsichord performance of a baroque-era piece is likely to be more historically correct, not just because of the harpsichord.  What I'm getting at is that musicians who choose the harpsichord likely have more of a historical context for the music (hence their instrumental choice to begin with) that affects interpretation.  True or false?  It would explain why I have yet to experience this type of playing of Baroque music on the piano, and why I have heard it several times on the harsichord. 

Edit:  cool, I didn't know this area existed.  thanks for moving us

Edit #2  :): I feel dumb for asking now!  I've read up to page 6 here and there's tons of great info on these recordings. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on April 03, 2009, 01:35:07 PM


Very good, makes perfect sense now.  So a harpsichord performance of a baroque-era piece is likely to be more historically correct, not just because of the harpsichord.

Not necessarily. If you play on the harpsichord like it's a sawing machine (Keith Jarret, anyone? [although I still like his unidiomatic G-Bergs]), it could be said to be further from the baroquely-correct spirit than a sensitive, free-wheeling but informed performance on the piano (Hewitt). Also Landowska, credited though she must be with bringing something resembling a harpsichord back to the stage, limelight, and Bach, isn't more baroque than Murray Perahia.

It is certainly true that harpsichordists by-and-large have found themselves more thoroughly involved with baroque works, simply because that's a natural focus if you play that instrument... whereas many pianists of old merely took these keyboard pieces in because no one else would (on the concert stage), treating them in a manner that can't be considered baroque. Worse yet those who, although playing the piano, excised the freer airs of "romantic" interpretations thinking they'd be conforming to the original spirit... but instead excised it.

"Unfortunately" the most egregious example of this is also musically one of the most satisfying: Glenn Gould... whose Bach, precisely because of the occasional "harpsichord emulation" is as far from baroque practice as can be. Yet, all of his Bach (except his ghastly Toccatas which he evidently did not like or care to perform well) is somewhere between good, marvelous, and wondrous. Showing that historical correctness, for its many virtues, has little or nothing to do with the musical successfulness. (At least in Bach or Scarlatti... whose music lends itself very, very well to transcription for piano.)

It gets tricky with players trying to do with a piano what could and would have been done with a harpsichord... the former simply can't pull off the same amount of embellishments... and switching registers on the piano isn't the same as doing so on a two-manual keyboard...

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 03, 2009, 02:30:48 PM

"Unfortunately" the most egregious example of this is also musically one of the most satisfying: Glenn Gould... whose Bach, precisely because of the occasional "harpsichord emulation" is as far from baroque practice as can be. Yet, all of his Bach (except his ghastly Toccatas which he evidently did not like or care to perform well) is somewhere between good, marvelous, and wondrous. Showing that historical correctness, for its many virtues, has little or nothing to do with the musical successfulness. (At least in Bach or Scarlatti... whose music lends itself very, very well to transcription for piano.)

Although Gould's Toccatas aren't his best work, I do love his adagios in those works.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 03, 2009, 03:09:32 PM
It is certainly true that harpsichordists by-and-large have found themselves more thoroughly involved with baroque works, simply because that's a natural focus if you play that instrument...

It is rather the other way round, that a keen interest in baroque keyboard music leads to an interest in the appropriate instruments. In the same way as a keen interest in baroque organ music does not lead to a primary interest in romantic organs but rather to an interest in baroque or at least neo-baroque organs.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: purephase on April 04, 2009, 08:15:51 AM
Has anyone heard Leonhardt's second recording of the Art of the Fugue?  I've read some absolute raves about it, but it looks like it is unfortunately out of print.  I guess Leonhardt played with a period instrument for this version, as opposed to the modern harpsichord he used on the more widely available performance from the 50s.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419NDZ2AVJL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 04, 2009, 08:19:08 AM
Has anyone heard Leonhardt's second recording of the Art of the Fugue?  I've read some absolute raves about it, but it looks like it is unfortunately out of print.  I guess Leonhardt played with a period instrument for this version, as opposed to the modern harpsichord he used on the more widely available performance from the 50s.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419NDZ2AVJL._SS400_.jpg)

Right, and my preferred version. Scholarship and passion in a most fortunate synthesis.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on April 04, 2009, 10:35:53 AM
I LOVE Gould's recording of the Toccatas... I would recommend them to anyone. ..."the music transcends the instrument".

James, you are--without exaggeration--the first person that I've ever heard that from. Even my Gould worshiping colleague (with a gorgeous first print photograph of Gould above his writing desk) won't stick up for them. :-)

I'm glad you like them, since you have them... but "recommend them to anyone"?? Tastes differ, naturally, but approach with curiosity but caution, I'd say. (And I'd say that--I hope--also about many recordings that I happen to love but know well enough would not necessarily be to everyone's taste.)
I think Gould's Toccatas are roughly on his level with the Mozart sonatas.  ;D

And as to your second point: Yes. Of course. But you still have to play it well.

P.S. (Re: below)

1.) I have listened to them, and not just once, and their still ghastly.
2.) Mozart isn't Bach? Shocking revelation.
3.) Comments at the Mozart-Uck-Yawn level don't generally help anyone's
credibility. Even if his music isn't to one's taste, that's the real
foolishness...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on April 04, 2009, 02:23:37 PM
Just to let you know, your words (& listening skills) don't carry much weight to with me, so it doesn't matter...

I'm not trying to convince you not to like those recording, you know.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 05, 2009, 04:44:03 AM
AFAIK this recording has not been mentioned here before:

J.S. Bach - Goldberg Variations

Gwendolyn Toth

Lautenwerk by Willard Martin, 1988
Disposition: 8’ gut, 8’ gut (two plucking positions), 4’ brass, buff stop
Two manual with handstops; leather and quill pectra
Pitch: A=370
18th century temperament ordinaire

Total playing recording 83:06

Recorded June 2000 at St. James Chapel, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City.

Zefiro Recordings ZR 103, 2003 

This recording is not probably for all tastes; but the sound of the instrument is worth of a try. For the moment, it has the most charming Variatio 6 that I have ever listened to:

 
http://www.goear.com/files/external.swf?file=f5da5b0


Link to the Artek site:

http://www.artekearlymusic.org/goldberg_variations.html

P.S.: On the Artek site you can read a review by our Bulldog  ;).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 05, 2009, 07:59:18 AM
AFAIK this recording has not been mentioned here before:

J.S. Bach - Goldberg Variations w/ Gwendolyn Toth on a Lautenwerk by Willard Martin, 1988

P.S.: On the Artek site you can read a review by our Bulldog  ;).

Antoine - thanks for mentioning the recording above on the Lautenwerk w/ Toth - read the review by Don on MusicWeb HERE (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/dec03/Bach_Goldberg_Toth.htm) - he had a few 'negative' comments but almost gave the set a 'must buy' (not quite) - hope he sees these posts & makes some further comments to help in a purchasing decision?

I'm planning to add this recording to my 'wish list' (although I have other piano & harpsichord discs of these works) mainly because of a 'new' interest in the lute harpsichord, just have a few recordings so far but really enjoy the 'sound' of this instrument; for those interested, this is a 2-CD offering 'clocking in' at just over 80 mins - hope that the set is in a 'slim-line' package - not sure why this could not have been 'squeezed' onto just one disc?

BTW - have not checked but are there any other recordings of these works on the lute harpsichord for comparision & consideration?  Dave  :)

P.S. for those who have not visited the church mentioned in NYC, the restoration has been completed, I believe - a glorious experience!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 05, 2009, 08:08:01 AM
Antoine - thanks for mentioning the recording above on the Lautenwerk w/ Toth - read the review by Don on MusicWeb HERE (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/dec03/Bach_Goldberg_Toth.htm) - he had a few 'negative' comments but almost gave the set a 'must buy' (not quite) - hope he sees these posts & makes some further comments to help in a purchasing decision?

The only thing I'd add is that the Toth is an excellent acquisition for those who already have at least a few other versions on hand.

I should also mention that Toth has another great disc to offer - Scheidemann organ music on the same label.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 05, 2009, 09:34:21 AM
J.S. Bach - Goldberg Variations

Gwendolyn Toth

This recording is not probably for all tastes; but the sound of the instrument is worth of a try.
 

Thanks for the recommendation, I have ordered it already. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 05, 2009, 09:37:43 AM
The only thing I'd add is that the Toth is an excellent acquisition for those who already have at least a few other versions on hand.

But what about the one who already have >150 versions at hand?? - I am not that one, of course. ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on April 05, 2009, 09:40:21 AM
But what about the one who already have >150 versions at hand?? - I am not that one, of course. ;D
 

But are there 150 versions of Goldberg Variations performed on harpsichord out there?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 05, 2009, 10:49:17 AM
 

But are there 150 versions of Goldberg Variations performed on harpsichord out there?

No, that is including the piano versions. Another "proof" that I do not refer to myself.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 05, 2009, 05:31:53 PM
But what about the one who already have >150 versions at hand?? - I am not that one, of course. ;D

I think the person with over 150 Goldbergs is very glad to have the distinctive Toth release. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 06, 2009, 02:04:20 PM
Finally, here was a thread I was interested in seeing near the top on a regular basis.  But it was just for a few days.  Why was it put in the hallowed status and then taken away?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on April 06, 2009, 03:53:42 PM
No, that is including the piano versions. Another "proof" that I do not refer to myself.
 

But are there 150 versions of Goldberg Variations out there regardless of the instruments used in the perfomance?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 06, 2009, 07:07:23 PM
this is a 2-CD offering 'clocking in' at just over 80 mins - hope that the set is in a 'slim-line' package - not sure why this could not have been 'squeezed' onto just one disc?

BTW - have not checked but are there any other recordings of these works on the lute harpsichord for comparision & consideration?  Dave  :)

P.S. for those who have not visited the church mentioned in NYC, the restoration has been completed, I believe - a glorious experience!

Hi, Dave.

It's a double-cd, but in a regular jewel case.

I don't know other recordings on lute-harpsichord; just on clavichord, a different instrument, but also much-loved by Bach. Some time ago I recommended a real double-cd (i.e., two complete versions) by Jaroslav Tuma: the first one played on clavichord(s) and the other one on harpsichord. "All three instruments used in the recording were built by Martin Kather in Hamburg. An instrument built in 2004 and based on an original of 1761 by David Tannenberg, settled in Pennsylvania, was chosen as the lower manual for the pair of clavichords. On it stood a small instrument that is a copy (2002) of a clavichord of 1787 built by Christian Gottlob Hubert of Ansbach. The two-manual harpsichord completed in 2004 is a copy of a model by François Etienne Blanchet of 1733 in the depositary of the Château de Thoiry" (http://www.arta.cz/index.php?p=f10136en&site=en). CD1 (75:48); CD 2 (78:54).

The duration of the Toth's record is exactly 83:06 mins. Believe on me, Dave, you need these beautiful discs  ;D.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 07, 2009, 04:55:52 AM
 

But are there 150 versions of Goldberg Variations out there regardless of the instruments used in the perfomance?

Yes, and still more I think. Ask Don, he knows.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 07, 2009, 04:59:07 AM
Yes, and still more I think. Ask Don, he knows.

Well, I have about 150 versions of the Goldbergs, and I know that there are plenty I don't own.  ArkivMusic lists 149 entries, and they don't include some obscure versions and those that are now oop.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Dr. Dread on April 07, 2009, 05:01:51 AM
Well, I have about 150 versions of the Goldbergs, and I know that there are plenty I don't own.  ArkivMusic lists 149 entries, and they don't include some obscure versions and those that are now oop.

You should change your forum name to "Goldberg".

Or not. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 07, 2009, 07:12:04 AM
You should change your forum name to "Goldberg".

Or not. :)

Love the work, not the name.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 07, 2009, 05:03:11 PM

It's a double-cd, but in a regular jewel case.................................

The duration of the Toth's record is exactly 83:06 mins. Believe on me, Dave, you need these beautiful discs  ;D.

Antoine - thanks for the comments - storage is a BIG problem for me, so 2 discs in a regular jewel box is a relief; plus, I really have fallen in love w/ this instrument, i.e. the lute harpsichord( for those just reading this post) - this recording is on my 'wish list' and will likely be on my next order - thanks for the support from you & Don  -  Dave  :D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on April 07, 2009, 05:07:48 PM
Well, I have about 150 versions of the Goldbergs, and I know that there are plenty I don't own.  ArkivMusic lists 149 entries, and they don't include some obscure versions and those that are now oop.

I have 13 versions but doubt I will want to go over 20. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 07, 2009, 08:34:55 PM
I have 13 versions but doubt I will want to go over 20. 

You seem to have the future mapped out.  I don't know how many versions I'll be acquiring in the future; I just get the ones I'm interested in and let the inventory expand in a natural manner.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 10, 2009, 06:51:33 AM
Received on Monday. Probably a must-have for "completists". Is there anyone here?  0:)

Johann Sebastian Bach
The Universal Musician
Masterworks for Clavichord
 
Derek Adlam
Clavichord

http://www.guildmusic.com/catalog/gui7232z.htm

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 10, 2009, 08:38:46 AM
Probably a must-have for "completists". Is there anyone here?  0:)

Johann Sebastian Bach
The Universal Musician
Masterworks for Clavichord
 
Derek Adlam
Clavichord

As to me, I am not a completist in the strict sense of the word but rather a discerning selectivist.

I own several recordings of the works on this CD already played upon harpsichord and lute harpsichord (and some of them even on piano  :-[ ), and I do not know, if I really want a clavichord recording of all Bachs harpsichord works. BTW I own the Adlam recording (harpsichord) of the Partitas, and find him outstanding in these, so this clavichord CD might be worth owning.

Maybe you can report a bit more explicit upon it.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 10, 2009, 08:40:29 AM
Received on Monday. Probably a must-have for "completists". Is there anyone here?  0:)

Johann Sebastian Bach
The Universal Musician
Masterworks for Clavichord
 
Derek Adlam
Clavichord

http://www.guildmusic.com/catalog/gui7232z.htm

The instrument sounds convincing, which is certainly not always the case in clavichord recordings, the playing on first hearing maybe less so? Will be looking forward to your impressions. :)

[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://www.guildmusic.com/mpeg2/7232_1.mp3[/mp3]
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://www.guildmusic.com/mpeg2/7232_21.mp3[/mp3]

Q

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 10, 2009, 10:27:46 AM
but rather a discerning selectivist.

Nice description, premont; excepting, I suppose, the Beethoven's piano sonatas and the Bach's organ works  ;). Otherwise, that would be an excessively broad description  ;D.

Maybe you can report a bit more explicit upon it.

I have just listened to the entire CD two times. But the impression has really not been devastating (that explains my reference to "completists", as sometimes I am).

It is correctly played and very, very well recorded; but the playing is IMO a little bit dry, lacking that uplifting quality so characteristic in Bach. But those are just first impressions...  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 10, 2009, 10:33:38 AM
The instrument sounds convincing, which is certainly not always the case in clavichord recordings, the playing on first hearing maybe less so? Will be looking forward to your impressions. :)

[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://www.guildmusic.com/mpeg2/7232_1.mp3[/mp3]
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://www.guildmusic.com/mpeg2/7232_21.mp3[/mp3]

Q



Probably, you are right, Que. But there are so few recordings devoted to this beautiful instrument ...  :(
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 10, 2009, 10:42:28 AM
Nice description, premont; excepting, I suppose, the Beethoven's piano sonatas and the Bach's organ works  ;). Otherwise, that would be an excessively broad description  ;D.

Yes, and excepting a lot of other works.
E.g.:

Cello suites (Bach - of course) ca 45 sets

Beethoven string quartets  24 sets


But I am certainly discerning concerning which works I decide to select.   0:)


It is correctly played and very, very well recorded; but the playing is IMO a little bit dry, lacking that uplifting quality so characteristic in Bach. But those are just first impressions...  :)

But let us know if second (or third) listenings change you impressions.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 12, 2009, 12:02:52 AM
Probably, you are right, Que. But there are so few recordings devoted to this beautiful instrument ...  :(

What about the disc with the Inventionen by Cristiano Holz that I posted earlier (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg271622.html#msg271622)?
Sounded good enough to me to put on my wish list.  :) (Does anyone like Meissen porcelain? ;D)

(http://www.preludeklassiekemuziek.nl/actueel_summer08/bach_hortus052.jpg)
Sample (http://www.preludeklassiekemuziek.nl/stream/aug08_bach_bwv777_B.html) (Quicktime) Many more (shorter) samples (http://www.disquesoffice.ch/fr/cd/classique/instrumental/Inventions-et-Sinfonies-150026.html)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 12, 2009, 08:24:20 AM
What about the disc with the Inventionen by Cristiano Holz that I posted earlier (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg271622.html#msg271622)?
Sounded good enough to me to put on my wish list.  :) (Does anyone like Meissen porcelain? ;D)

(http://www.preludeklassiekemuziek.nl/actueel_summer08/bach_hortus052.jpg)
Sample (http://www.preludeklassiekemuziek.nl/stream/aug08_bach_bwv777_B.html) (Quicktime) Many more (shorter) samples (http://www.disquesoffice.ch/fr/cd/classique/instrumental/Inventions-et-Sinfonies-150026.html)

Q

Sure, it looks attractive, Que.

I was looking for that CD on Internet in the past weeks, but I didn't find it on the usual online-stores.

That seemed to be the moment to purchase that CD because I bought, forgetting my Spartan habits ;D, a lot of discs -included in my wish list during some months- on Amazon, CD Universe and JPC, all of them almost at the same time. As I am in Chile shipping and handling charges are especially important issues.

Can I ask where you saw that CD, Que?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 12, 2009, 10:09:19 PM

Can I ask where you saw that CD, Que?


Good question! :) I saw it on a site of a small local (Dutch) store (Preludeklassiekemuziek (http://www.preludeklassiekemuziek.nl/) - the CD is under previous recommendations, Summer 2008) which has always very interesting and rare recordings on offer, with focus on Early Music and Baroque and HIP recordings. So just the thing for me! :) (and you 8)). They do international orders, though shipping is at real cost and Dutch postal rates for international deliveries at pretty steep. ::) But I would keep an eye on that site even just for the information offered.


EDIT: Just found the Éditions Hortus website (http://), the Hortus catalogue looks interesting!
The label turns out to be French, I checked Fnac: et voilà (http://musique.fnac.com/a2273931/Jean-Sebastien-Bach-Inventions-et-symphonies-CD-album?Mn=-1&Ra=-29&To=0&Nu=1&Fr=0)! :) You can also get via Musicweb (http://www.musicweb-international.com/Hortus/index.htm), and they have even reviewed (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2009/Mar09/Bach_Inventions_Hortus052.htm) it, though not favourably... ::)

BTW Are you aware of this clavichord recordings list (http://www.clavichord.info/engl/cdeng.htm)? :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 13, 2009, 05:21:04 AM
Our resident connoisseur in Bach vn S&P, Premont, mentioned some time ago that Leonhardt recorded his own harpsichord arrangements of these pieces and that the recordings are quite worthy.  I have since found and acquired the following Japan BMG release (2CD set):

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51TMCN8709L._SS500_.jpg)
BVCD 38105-06

These were recorded in 1974 and 1985 respectively and on different instruments (Dowd and Blanchet copies). BWV 1003 was not arranged/recorded because an authentic 18th century arrangement of that suite (from JS himself or his students) already exists.  Questions: 1) Have there been other recordings of these arrangements, whether by Leonhardt himself or other harpsichordists?  2) Were these arrangements by Leonhardt ever published in print?


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 13, 2009, 11:59:03 AM
There are quite a bunch of recordings of transcriptions of the violin solos for harpsichord, but I have never seen other transcriptions for harpsichord of the cello suites than Leonhardt´s. And he only recorded Suite 4,5 & 6.

As to the Violin solo works:

Leonhardt made another recording of his own transcription of Sonata 3 (first movement Adagio transcribed by Bach) along with a recording of Bach´s own transcription of Sonata 2. (Telefunken 1960es).

So did Andreas Staier (Telefunken 1998).

Robert Hill recorded for Haenssler (late 1990es) his own transcription of Sonata 1 and Partita 2, coupled with Bach´s transcription of Sonata 2 , the Adagio from Sonata 3 and Partita 3, and Bach´s Reinken transcriptions (2CD) using luteharpsichord for some of the pieces.

Bob van Asperen has recorded for Aeolus his own transcriptions of Sonata 3 (Adagio again transcribed by Bach) and Partita 3 along with Bach´s transcription of Sonata 2 and Asperens transcription of the Chaconne from Suite 2.

Winsome Evans has recorded for Celestial Harmonies (2007) her own transcriptions of all the Sonatas and Suites. Released together with scores to the transcriptions.

From the top of my head I also recall that Yves Recksteiner has recorded his own transcription of Sonata 1 and the Chaconne from Partita 2 for Alpha.

Wonder if I forgot some?

The only CD of the above mentioned CDs I do not own is van Asperens. All the others can safely be recommended.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 13, 2009, 12:15:46 PM
Thank you, premont, for the information provided above.  Now I see there will be other recordings to get!  I have the Staier and the Rechsteiner, and the above Leonhardt at the moment. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 13, 2009, 07:07:43 PM

Good question! :) I saw it on a site of a small local (Dutch) store (Preludeklassiekemuziek (http://www.preludeklassiekemuziek.nl/) - the CD is under previous recommendations, Summer 2008) which has always very interesting and rare recordings on offer, with focus on Early Music and Baroque and HIP recordings. So just the thing for me! :) (and you 8)). They do international orders, though shipping is at real cost and Dutch postal rates for international deliveries at pretty steep. ::) But I would keep an eye on that site even just for the information offered.

I knew this small store because in the past I was interested in some recordings of the Flora label (Gamba Sonatas, some Mozart, some Haydn), after I found by chance the Sonatas and Partitas played by François Fernandez, in a local store (not specialized in Classical music at all!). And “Prelude” would seem to be the only store on the web delivering that label.  BTW, Flora should win the prize to the worst site on the web:

http://www.kelys.org/flora/




BTW Are you aware of this clavichord recordings list (http://www.clavichord.info/engl/cdeng.htm)? :)

Q

Yes, I knew that site. I have spent some hours wandering on its very informative links, photos, audio snippets, etc.

Finally, Que, I'm not the Jaroslav Tůma agent  ;D, but I will recall again his beautiful recording of the Inventions, Sinfonias and Duets BWV 772-805 played on a clavichord by J. Ch. G. Schiedmayer (1789), properly restored. Although his Goldbergs and Well-Tempered Clavier are great too, all of them superbly recorded.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 13, 2009, 09:13:43 PM

Finally, Que, I'm not the Jaroslav Tůma agent  ;D, but I will recall again his beautiful recording of the Inventions, Sinfonias and Duets BWV 772-805 played on a clavichord by J. Ch. G. Schiedmayer (1789), properly restored. Although his Goldbergs and Well-Tempered Clavier are great too, all of them superbly recorded.


I have been pondering about Tůma. :) I'd really like a WTC on clavichord (and other works), but not just because of the instrument - it has to be a musically a top performance as well. I lost interest in Richard Troeger for instance, after trying his take on the Inventionen (Lyrichord). How would you rate Tůma? For some reason I find clavichord performances very hard to judge on the basis of short samples... :-\

Q

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on April 13, 2009, 10:07:03 PM
How would you rate Tůma? For some reason I find clavichord performances very hard to judge on the basis of short samples... :-\

Q

You mean in sound quality?  Yes that's true - the instrument is too seldom heard for one to have a very solid idea of how it should sound.  I bought Tůma's WTC 1 long time ago out of a sheer determination to hear this music on a clavichord.  I haven't heard the recording for quite some time now, but remember it being on the moderated, understated side interpretively.  The clavichord he uses sounds stable and robust though, unlike the one used by Miklos Spanyi for his CPE Bach solo project.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 14, 2009, 04:06:34 AM
I have been pondering about Tůma. :) I'd really like a WTC on clavichord (and other works), but not just because of the instrument - it has to be a musically a top performance as well. I lost interest in Richard Troeger for instance, after trying his take on the Inventionen (Lyrichord). How would you rate Tůma? For some reason I find clavichord performances very hard to judge on the basis of short samples... :-\

Q



I agree with your criteria, Que.

Firstly, I think the clavichord’s sonority is very difficult to capture in any recording, even more in compressed formats. But the sound quality of the Tůma’s instruments/recording is never an argument against him. The Inventions, the Goldbergs and the WTC are outstandingly well-recorded. A true pleasure for the ear. 

IMO Tůma and Troeger are performers placed on different levels. I like Tůma as a first- rate performer and not only because of the instrument. IMO he exceeds Troeger technically, but also in depth and understanding of these works. Tůma has a personal insight that really works out in these pieces; on the other hand, some Troeger’s decisions seem arbitrary, especially when the tempi are concerned.

Just one prevention: Tůma isn't on the fast side at least in these works and playing the clavichord (I don't know his work like an organist). That explains, for example, this review:
 
http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=5752

about the first incarnation of the WTC Book I. It's funny because, step by step, I think the opposite expressed by Jed Distler.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 15, 2009, 01:33:11 PM
I've been listening quite a lot in the past couple of months to Francesco Cera's set of the French Suites on the ARTS label.  He uses much rubato and very slow tempos for the Allemande and Sarabande movements.  I didn't care for it much at first, but the performances have grown on me.  Rhythmic hesitations and staggering of musical lines can be entirely compelling.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: nut-job on April 15, 2009, 01:44:19 PM
Well, I have about 150 versions of the Goldbergs
  (http://www.classicalmusicguide.com/images/smilies/icon_eek.gif)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 16, 2009, 04:47:57 AM
  (http://www.classicalmusicguide.com/images/smilies/icon_eek.gif)

It averages out to only 7 Goldbergs per year.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: nut-job on April 16, 2009, 05:06:03 AM
It averages out to only 7 Goldbergs per year.

Oh, every 52 days, you buy a new recording of the Goldberg variations.  It sounds very sensible when you put it that way.   ;D

On the other hand, it is not my policy to divulge how many recordings of Bruckner Symphony #8 I have.   0:)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 18, 2009, 01:41:23 AM
Recently acquired and listened to:

Bach: Goldberg variations
Gwendolyn Toth, lute-harpsichord


Something of a disappointment. IMO an earthbound, rather mechanical performance. The instrument sounding dry and uninteresting, like a harpsichord in need of repair. I have heard lute-stops of several harpsichords sounding much better than this, not to talk about other lute harpsichords (the one Robert Hill uses in his recordings for Hänssler e.g.).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 18, 2009, 02:49:48 PM
Recently acquired and listened to:

Bach: Goldberg variations
Gwendolyn Toth, lute-harpsichord


Something of a disappointment. IMO an earthbound, rather mechanical performance. The instrument sounding dry and uninteresting, like a harpsichord in need of repair. I have heard lute-stops of several harpsichords sounding much better than this, not to talk about other lute harpsichords (the one Robert Hill uses in his recordings for Hänssler e.g.).

I regret that you have not enjoyed this recording, Premont.

I usually agree with your advices and opinions on recordings and performers. Therefore, I was surprised this morning when I did read your last message. Your auctoritas in these issues obliged me to hear this recording again. And I do it two times (as an exercise I used two different CD players and the second time my headphones Sennheiser).

After this listening in the morning my opinion has not changed. The instrument sounds gorgeous to me and the playing is, at least, very interesting. And I am not alone because the great majority of people who writes about these weird things (three or four critics) have praised this CD in different ways:

http://www.artekearlymusic.org/goldberg_reviews.html

Even the cautious (and highly detailed) Don’s review on MusicWeb International praises the beautiful tone of the instrument: “The lautenwerk built by Willard Martin has an 8-foot gut with two plucking positions, 4-foot brass, 2 manuals with handstops, and a pitch of A = 370. Be assured that this instrument has a gorgeous tone of sublime intimacy that offers performers an excellent opportunity to give their audiences a distinctive and compelling set of performances”.

IMO “the problem” with the Toth’s recording, if any, is the point of view adopted by her: Because she devotes herself to the sonorities of the instrument. And this is very clear in several variations, in which she seems mesmerized by the sound itself: “Toth takes the main road with an unswerving dedication and never deviates from it. In a couple of the more poignant variations, she actually constricts the music through a mechanical sounding and rigid rhythmic flow”.  IMO the mechanical playing that you (and other, me too) have noticed in some pieces is totally intended by her and not a fault caused by superficiality. For me virtuosity and erudition are only interesting like games, and sometimes Toth plays these pieces like if she was playing a game, like if was saying: “Hey! Look what I do” (for instance, variations 6 and 14, just to mention two cases). IMO this brings a huge sense of joy and innocence (like kids playing!) to the discs. But if you don’t feel that, obviously you will not enjoy them  :(.
 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 18, 2009, 03:44:23 PM
I regret that you have not enjoyed this recording, Premont....................

I usually agree with your advices and opinions on recordings and performers. Therefore, I was surprised this morning when I did read your last message.

Even the cautious (and highly detailed) Don’s review on MusicWeb International praises the beautiful tone of the instrument: “The lautenwerk built by Willard Martin has an 8-foot gut with two plucking positions, 4-foot brass, 2 manuals with handstops, and a pitch of A = 370. Be assured that this instrument has a gorgeous tone of sublime intimacy that offers performers an excellent opportunity to give their audiences a distinctive and compelling set of performances”.....................

Antoine - enjoyed your comments (some of which quoted above) - I also recently acquired the CD shown below - I just enjoy this 'gut-strung' harpsichord, its history, and the joy that JS Bach obviously felt about the lautenwerk!  I've listened to this disc now twice, and do enjoy, but am not 'thrilled' - now I own both piano & standard harpsichord versions of this work; unfortunately, nothing to compare on this particular instrument (unless I'm mistaken?) - I'm definitely going to keep this performance for its uniqueness.

Now another question that I'm curious about and woud appreciate your opinion refers to Don's review in which he stated that the Aria, played at the beginning and end of the 2-CD set sounded differently; I acutually played these 'back to back' and did not appreciate a VAST difference (although my 'ears' are not that distinguishing) - at any rate, this recording seems to be the only one on this instrument, and the performance is certainly quite acceptable IMHO - Dave  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/512559499_hEpce-M.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 19, 2009, 10:09:57 AM

IMO “the problem” with the Toth’s recording, if any, is the point of view adopted by her: Because she devotes herself to the sonorities of the instrument. And this is very clear in several variations, in which she seems mesmerized by the sound itself: “Toth takes the main road with an unswerving dedication and never deviates from it. In a couple of the more poignant variations, she actually constricts the music through a mechanical sounding and rigid rhythmic flow”.  IMO the mechanical playing that you (and other, me too) have noticed in some pieces is totally intended by her and not a fault caused by superficiality. For me virtuosity and erudition are only interesting like games, and sometimes Toth plays these pieces like if she was playing a game, like if was saying: “Hey! Look what I do” (for instance, variations 6 and 14, just to mention two cases). IMO this brings a huge sense of joy and innocence (like kids playing!) to the discs. But if you don’t feel that, obviously you will not enjoy them  :(.

Thanks for your elaborate answer. My disappointment should be seen in the light of the many positive reviews of the recording.

In principle I do not want to detract from your listening experience by being too negative. So I listened to Toth once again, with your words in my mind.

But first I do not like the sound her particular instrument. It is thin and colourless compared to other lute-harpsichord recordings I know. On the other hand there is as usual some reverbation, probably due to the lack of dampers. This reverbation is sufficient to blur any attempts of articulation (in fast tempo the most), and first I thought that this was the main reason why I disliked it, as it results in an uniform legato touch apearance all through. Therefore I listened to some of the other Bach-recordings I own with lute-harpsichord (Robert Hill, Christiane Jaccottet, Michele Barchi and Elisabeth Farr), and realized, that even if their instruments probably also lack dampers resulting in an identical deleterious effect upon articulation, all their interpretations were much more engaging and expressive. Why? Because they compensate for the lack of articulation with a vivid and expressive agogic, whereas the playing of Toth is stiff and inflexible except for a few slow moments like the Aria proper and Var.XXV. And I am sure that the other harpsichordists are just as fascinated by the sound of their instruments as Toth. This is about lots of micro-hesitations contra mechanical playing.

Jaccottet´s performance upon lute-harpsichord of some of the movements from Bach´s suite BWV 995 may serve as an example of vivid and expressive agogics

http://www.mediafire.com/file/jdnhqmc3tjg/suite c-moll prelude.wma

http://www.mediafire.com/file/meumzjv2znw/suite c-moll sarabande.wma

http://www.mediafire.com/file/dniwie2jjjj/suite c-moll gavotte.wma
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 19, 2009, 02:21:11 PM

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/512559499_hEpce-M.jpg)


Antoine, Don & Premont - if you're reading this post - the recording above seems to be rather controversial - I'm just getting into the lute harpsichord and must say that the 'small handful' that I own currently are a more pleasant listen than the Goldbergs by Toth - guess that I'm favoring Premont's comments @ the moment about this recording; but, will anyone else record these works on this instrument?  Is this a disc worth saving for historic interest?  Just letting some thoughts in my head coming out in the typing -  ;) :D   Dave
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 19, 2009, 03:03:28 PM
Antoine, Don & Premont - if you're reading this post - the recording above seems to be rather controversial - I'm just getting into the lute harpsichord and must say that the 'small handful' that I own currently are a more pleasant listen than the Goldbergs by Toth - guess that I'm favoring Premont's comments @ the moment about this recording; but, will anyone else record these works on this instrument?  Is this a disc worth saving for historic interest?  Just letting some thoughts in my head coming out in the typing -  ;) :D   Dave



Et tu, Dave? (or: You too, Dave?)  ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on April 19, 2009, 04:10:24 PM

Jaccottet´s performance upon lute-harpsichord of some of the movements from Bach´s suite BWV 995 may serve as an example of vivid and expressive agogics

http://www.mediafire.com/file/jdnhqmc3tjg/suite c-moll prelude.wma

http://www.mediafire.com/file/meumzjv2znw/suite c-moll sarabande.wma

http://www.mediafire.com/file/dniwie2jjjj/suite c-moll gavotte.wma

In my opinion, the late Christiane Jaccottet was a tremendous harpsichordist.  I have a number of her recordings on LP and only recently did I get the Philips DUO where she performed with Arthur Grumiaux.

BTW, the CD cover has an error since she did not play violin in this recording ...

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 19, 2009, 05:38:10 PM
Antoine, Don & Premont - if you're reading this post - the recording above seems to be rather controversial - I'm just getting into the lute harpsichord and must say that the 'small handful' that I own currently are a more pleasant listen than the Goldbergs by Toth - guess that I'm favoring Premont's comments @ the moment about this recording; but, will anyone else record these works on this instrument?  Is this a disc worth saving for historic interest?  Just letting some thoughts in my head coming out in the typing -  ;) :D   Dave

I don't think there's anything controversial about the recording;  some like it, some don't.  So I don't believe it has any historical value.  If I didn't enjoy the performances, the disc would be in the dumpster.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 20, 2009, 12:53:47 AM
Et tu, Dave? (or: You too, Dave?)  ;D

Each to his own, and of course I respect your taste.

Now I am interested in acquiring some of Jaroslav Tuma´s clavichord recordings. An instrument with a more obvious expressive potential than the lute-harpsichord. I think I shall choose the WTC, which is available through JPC. I only know Tuma from his recordings (on organ) of the AoF and his incomplete Clavierübung III. These are serene and introvert interpretations. However this is the way I most often prefer this music (including the fugues from WTC) played.
 

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 20, 2009, 01:01:03 AM
In my opinion, the late Christiane Jaccottet was a tremendous harpsichordist.  I have a number of her recordings on LP and only recently did I get the Philips DUO where she performed with Arthur Grumiaux.

Yes, her recordings always impress me much. Fortunately I own many of her Bach recordings (solo works on Interchord and harpsichord concertos on Vox).

This box contains the lionshare of her Bach solo recordings:

http://www.amazon.com/PREMIUM-40-CD-BOX-SET/dp/B000IFRXV6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1240221566&sr=1-3
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 20, 2009, 06:50:11 PM
Each to his own, and of course I respect your taste.

Now I am interested in acquiring some of Jaroslav Tuma´s clavichord recordings. An instrument with a more obvious expressive potential than the lute-harpsichord. I think I shall choose the WTC, which is available through JPC. I only know Tuma from his recordings (on organ) of the AoF and his incomplete Clavierübung III. These are serene and introvert interpretations. However this is the way I most often prefer this music (including the fugues from WTC) played.
 



If you are looking for serene and introverted performances, this guy will not dissapoint you, Premont. And probably the WTC is even more in this vein than other Tuma's recordings.

BTW, do you know Gergely Sárközy?

If you know him, for some reason I suspect that your opinion will not be favorable. But I would like to know your opinion about him.



Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 21, 2009, 03:12:35 AM
If you are looking for serene and introverted performances, this guy will not dissapoint you, Premont. And probably the WTC is even more in this vein than other Tuma's recordings.

Sounds fine. 


BTW, do you know Gergely Sárközy?

He is not more than a name for me. From the top of my head I can say, that he is a Hungarian multiinstrumentalist who has built his lute-harpsichord himself, and who has recorded only a small amount of Bach. This small amount may be the reason why I have not investigated him yet, - and add to this some unfavorable reviews I recall having read many years ago. Can you recommend some recordings?

I should add that am very receptive to your recommendations. Even if I am not always as enthusiastic about them as you are, I consider the listening to these a profitable and useful widening of my musical horizon.


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on April 22, 2009, 03:40:58 PM
I have this set by Igor Kipnis for some times and I enjoy Kipnis' performance on the harpsichord.  I also have a number of CD's by Kipnis on other harpsichord works by Bach and Scarlatti ...

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/42/d8/023f810ae7a031bca6ba9110.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 01, 2009, 12:39:14 PM
Yes, her recordings always impress me much. Fortunately I own many of her Bach recordings (solo works on Interchord and harpsichord concertos on Vox).

This box contains the lionshare of her Bach solo recordings:

http://www.amazon.com/PREMIUM-40-CD-BOX-SET/dp/B000IFRXV6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1240221566&sr=1-3

Thanks for the excellent Jaccottet’s examples, Premont.
 
Yesterday I was listening her Goldbergs and today a disc with some Inventions & Sinfonias.

It's a shame the general disorder reigning in her catalogue.

She is an artist who deserves a better destiny than this.

Can I ask how many discs by her are included in the box set that you have pointed out?

Or maybe anyone else knows this set?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 01, 2009, 04:10:40 PM
Thanks for the excellent Jaccottet’s examples, Premont.
 
Yesterday I was listening her Goldbergs and today a disc with some Inventions & Sinfonias.

It's a shame the general disorder reigning in her catalogue.

She is an artist who deserves a better destiny than this.

Can I ask how many discs by her are included in the box set that you have pointed out?

Or maybe anyone else knows this set?

There is no description for this set on the Amazon website.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 01, 2009, 04:15:52 PM
Hey, I did find a description of this set and some other 40-CD sets by Cascade ...


http://www.cascade-medien.com/40CD_Box_Katalog.pdf
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 01, 2009, 04:47:34 PM
Hey, I did find a description of this set and some other 40-CD sets by Cascade ...


http://www.cascade-medien.com/40CD_Box_Katalog.pdf

Thanks, Coop!   ;D

13 discs:

CD 9
The Well-Tempered Piano I BWV 846 – 869 Vol. 1

CD 10
The Well-Tempered Piano I BWV 846 – 869 Vol. 2

CD 11
The Well-Tempered Piano II BWV 870 – 893 Vol. 1

CD 12
The Well-Tempered Piano II BWV 870 – 893 Vol. 2

CD 13
French Overture BWV 831 B flat minor
French Suite no. 1 BWV 812 D minor
French Suite no. 2 BWV 813 C minor
French Suite no. 3 BWV 814 B flat minor

CD 14
French Suite no. 4 BWV 815 B Flat major
French Suite no. 5 BWV 816 G major
Italian Concerto BWV 971 F major
(Piano Exercise II)
w/ Dubravka Tomsic, piano

CD 15
English Suite no. 1 BWV 806 A major
English Suite no. 2 BWV 807 A minor
English Suite no. 3 BWV 808 G minor

CD 16
English Suite no. 4 BWV 809 F major
English Suite no. 5 BWV 810 E minor
English Suite no. 6 BWV 811 D minor

CD 17
Inventions and Symphonies BWV 772-801
Various Preludes

CD 21
The Goldberg Variations BWV 988
(Aria with 30 variances from Piano Exercise IV)
Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue
BWV 903 D minor

CD 34
Toccata BWV 913 D minor
Toccata BWV 914 E minor
Toccata BWV 912 D major and other Toccatas

CD 35
Partita for harpsichord BWV 830 E minor
Four Duets from Piano Exercise III BWV
802 - 805
Partita no. 7 BWV 831 B minor (Overture after the French Fashion)

CD 38
Partita for harpsichord BWV 826 C minor
Partita for harpsichord BWV 828 D major
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 01, 2009, 05:07:49 PM
Thanks, Coop!   ;D

13 discs:

CD 9
The Well-Tempered Piano I BWV 846 – 869 Vol. 1

CD 10
The Well-Tempered Piano I BWV 846 – 869 Vol. 2

CD 11
The Well-Tempered Piano II BWV 870 – 893 Vol. 1

CD 12
The Well-Tempered Piano II BWV 870 – 893 Vol. 2

CD 13
French Overture BWV 831 B flat minor
French Suite no. 1 BWV 812 D minor
French Suite no. 2 BWV 813 C minor
French Suite no. 3 BWV 814 B flat minor

CD 14
French Suite no. 4 BWV 815 B Flat major
French Suite no. 5 BWV 816 G major
Italian Concerto BWV 971 F major
(Piano Exercise II)
w/ Dubravka Tomsic, piano

CD 15
English Suite no. 1 BWV 806 A major
English Suite no. 2 BWV 807 A minor
English Suite no. 3 BWV 808 G minor

CD 16
English Suite no. 4 BWV 809 F major
English Suite no. 5 BWV 810 E minor
English Suite no. 6 BWV 811 D minor

CD 17
Inventions and Symphonies BWV 772-801
Various Preludes

CD 21
The Goldberg Variations BWV 988
(Aria with 30 variances from Piano Exercise IV)
Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue
BWV 903 D minor

CD 34
Toccata BWV 913 D minor
Toccata BWV 914 E minor
Toccata BWV 912 D major and other Toccatas

CD 35
Partita for harpsichord BWV 830 E minor
Four Duets from Piano Exercise III BWV
802 - 805
Partita no. 7 BWV 831 B minor (Overture after the French Fashion)

CD 38
Partita for harpsichord BWV 826 C minor
Partita for harpsichord BWV 828 D major


I would pay for the set just to get the CD's by Christiane Jaccottet.  The rest of the artists probably are not that impressive ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 01, 2009, 07:23:24 PM
I would pay for the set just to get the CD's by Christiane Jaccottet.  The rest of the artists probably are not that impressive ...


It's my impression too; although I could be interested in Miklos Spanyi, Milos Jurkovic and Zuzana Ruzickova.  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on May 01, 2009, 11:32:25 PM

It's my impression too; although I could be interested in Miklos Spanyi, Milos Jurkovic and Zuzana Ruzickova.  :)

Yes Spanyi is worth hearing, and also the CD with Esther Sialm. Her Dorian T&F is tremendous.
Also the violin S&P´s and the cellosuites are interesting.
Jurkovic and Ruzickova are dry and boring.
The recorded (and mastered) sound is generally decent.

However the box is a steal for $20  = $½ per CD.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 02, 2009, 06:23:24 AM
Yes Spanyi is worth hearing, and also the CD with Esther Sialm. Her Dorian T&F is tremendous.
Also the violin S&P´s and the cellosuites are interesting.
Jurkovic and Ruzickova are dry and boring.
The recorded (and mastered) sound is generally decent.

However the box is a steal for $20  = $½ per CD.

Well, I was interested, but today the box set appears "temporarily out of stock" on Amazon.

It seems my interest was excessively "public".  :(  I suppose will find it on another site, but the price was excellent.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 02, 2009, 06:27:24 AM
Well, I was interested, but today the box set appears "temporarily out of stock" on Amazon.

It seems my interest was excessively "public".  :(

Which Amazon website did you check?  The US website does not show it being out of stock?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 02, 2009, 06:29:54 AM
Which Amazon website did you check?  The US website does not show it being out of stock?

The link in the Premont's message. I will see another.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on May 02, 2009, 11:24:20 PM
The link in the Premont's message. I will see another.
Here is another:
http://musique.fnac.com/a1889821/Jean-Sebastien-Bach-Bach-Premium-Edition-Coffret-40-CDs-CD-album?Mn=-1&Ra=-29&To=0&Nu=1&Fr=0
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 03, 2009, 08:26:19 AM
Thanks, Premont.

Yesterday I found in a local store the Mozart box set, but not this.

But in replace I found several beautiful discs of the collection "Aus Schlössern un Residenzen" (Pilz Acanta now), with some beautiful recordings from the early seventies.  :)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 08, 2009, 05:11:11 PM
Today I have listened to the Watchorn’s WTC Book 1 for the first time.

It has been a devastating experience: the wonderful sound of the pedal harpsichord, the musicality and warmth of the interpretation, the agogics (as sometimes says our friend Premont) IMO so well chosen in order to “declaim” every prelude and fugue in the best possible way.

Probably I should wait some days to write my impressions about this and to be cautious, but I am so happy that I can’t be prudent...  ;D

A real must-have.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 09, 2009, 03:31:56 AM
I found this interesting discussion (on www.jsbach.org) about the previous recording mentioned by me.

It includes two comments from the performer himself:

Scott Belyea said:

New recording on a pedal harpsichord. Done using the "Lehman" tuning. Extensive & interesting notes with comments on each pair of pieces including comments on the effect of the tuning and the use of pedal.

Have only been through it once, but I like it very much. Everything seems to "work;" nothing is jarring or out of place; and I listened to both CD's with great pleasure. I'm confident that it's a recording which will "wear well."

Lovely recording quality.

Definitely recommended.

Jan Hanford said:

I found this to be a mostly tedious and ponderous performance. There were a few nice moments but too few to make the recording enjoyable, for me.

The frequent use of the 4' stop was very unpleasant; it's the kind of harpsichord sound that makes people not like the harpsichord. The pedal harpsichord doesn't work here either, the sound is too huge and deep for these pieces. The repetition of the first Prelude in C major at the conclusion of the 24 preludes and fugues because it created "closure" where there was none, is just a pompous affectation and comes off like... well, a pompous affectation. The recorded sound is lovely.

As for the tuning I can only say: The emperor has no clothes.

Peter Watchorn said:

Notes from the performer to Jan Hanford's comments above:

1. Bach owned perhaps as many as three pedal harpsichords (they were left to Johann Christian, the youngest son). They were widely used in Germany in Bach's time. The A minor fugue (no.20) is unplayable without an independent pedal. Other pieces also benefit from its use. The instrument would certainly have not seemed "too huge and deep" to an organist used to playing a 60 rank Silbermann organ, with pedal stops down to 32' pitch. And it does not seem so to me: I think this is instrument is tremendously effective in clearly delineating Bach's counterpoint. Majestic, in fact.
2. Bach's harpsichords (and virtually all Northern European instruments from 1560-1809) all had a 4' register, whose use is an integral part of the plein jeu (full harpsichord) sound, and necessary for many of Bach's more imposing preludes & fugues. Many will find it an exciting sound (as I do, and as 17th-18th century musicians clearly did), especially on a Ruckers type instrument like this one. For the listener's information: there is great variety of registration used throughout these performances. Everything from single 8', 2 x 8', different 8's on different manuals and full harpsichord (8',8',4'). If I had had a 16', I would have used that too, on occasion.
3. The reprise of the first prelude was not intended as a "pompous affectation", and should not be characterised as such. Others may well judge it as effective as I did when I had the idea to do it. Bach himself did it in the Goldberg Variations, another cyclical work from 20 years later.

The temperament, which was the product of much compelling research on the part of Bradley Lehman, (www.larips.com) may well prove very effective to those with the experience to hear the point of it (and perhaps, the point of Bach's writing the work to demonstrate it). It is subtle, but more interesting and characterful than equal temperament. It will be obvious to even the casual listener after a few listenings. It should not be lightly dismissed, since it may very well represent the truth of the matter. Lehman's evidence is very well argued, and the ear accepts it right away. No keys sound bad, which is not the case with other unequal tunings in this music.

I believe that, listened to in the right way, these performances will prove enjoyable to many listeners - that is my hope. Please, just take the time to do it and the music will do the rest.

David Hamilton said:

Although I did find Miss Hanford's comments to be somewhat harsh I found Mr. Watchorn's response to be sadly inappropriate from a so-called professional musician. Are we to believe that if one does not praise a recording there is some flaw in the listener, who did not listen "in the right way"? I have no doubt that Miss Hanford is duly capable of listening "in the right way". I myself did enjoy Mr. Watchorn's performance however after reading his comments I'm disinclined to recommend it to my fellow music lovers for fear they may not listen to it "in the right way" thereby forming a bad opinion of it and further distressing Mr. Watchorn.

Peter Watchorn said:

Thanks to Jan for publishing my comments - she was under no obligation to do so. They were meant to inform, not to denote any sense of upset on my part (although I'd prefer it if she liked my work). However, David Hamilton will, I'm sure agree that recordings take a lot of time, money and effort (especially for a small non-profit label such as ours) and it is surely as fair for a professional musician to answer criticism as it is for others to criticize. This is a public forum, and what I sought to do was to provide supplementary information that many readers might find interesting, as well as an alternative view - and invitation for others to investigate what I believe is an interesting release - and not simply because I'm doing the playing!

Ronald K Tacelli SJ said:

I'm an avid reader of jsbach.org and especially of Jan Hanford's reviews. I've come to trust her judgment so much that when she praises a recording I'll order it right away, if she pans one--well, I figure there's no point even bothering to listen to it. Hence I'm glad I'd already heard Peter Watchorn's WTC, Book 1 before Jan's review appeared; I might have missed what I now consider to be the greatest recording of this work ever made. When I first noticed the pedal harpsichord during the C major Fugue I was startled; I'd never thought of the music that way before. So I stopped everything else I was doing and just listened--again, and again, and again. Once I'd heard the Fugue in C# Major I thought: this is the way it was meant to be heard. Now my previous favorite version (by Glen Wilson) seems thin and anemic. Watchorn has instantiated Bach's music both as an Uebung and as a unified work of art: the very opposite of tedious or pedantic. As for the repetition of the Prelude in C major--I don't understand the offense this elicited. Watchorn is presenting Book 1 as an organic unity and he replays the first Prelude at the end (and more beautifully, by the way) to remind us that the ending has developed from a beginning. It's no more pompous than the flute solo introducing Jordi Savall's version of the Musical Offering. If it's an affectation, it's certainly not self-serving. It's clearly meant to serve the music. And for me at least it works. I hope all readers of this great web-site will give Watchorn's WTC, Book 1 a chance. And, Jan, I hope you'll give it a second chance.

Jan Hanford said:

I am delighted that other people love this recording, I really am. But I stand by my opinion, regardless of how much other people would like me to think differently. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on May 09, 2009, 03:44:41 AM
Watchhorn's WTC1: at least it is not expensive to try out. 

ps. You may find a previous discussion about Richard Egarr's WTC1 (using the same Bach/Lehmann tuning) on this website equally "interesting".  I am willing to leave people to their different tastes, especially in Bach.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 09, 2009, 03:57:12 AM
This WTC by Bob van Asperen is on my shopping list for the next month ...

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/5617112.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 09, 2009, 04:02:57 AM
Watchhorn's WTC1: at least it is not expensive to try out. 

ps. You may find a previous discussion about Richard Egarr's WTC1 (using the same Bach/Lehmann tuning) on this website equally "interesting".  I am willing to leave people to their different tastes, especially in Bach.

I have read the previous discussion about Egarr. But usually his individual performances are not “interesting” for me. I like his work as a chamber musician in Bach, accompanied by Manze or Jaap ter Linden.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 09, 2009, 06:01:35 AM
I have read the previous discussion about Egarr. But usually his individual performances are not “interesting” for me. I like his work as a chamber musician in Bach, accompanied by Manze or Jaap ter Linden.

The same here.  I am not sure if I care to get any of his solo CD's.  As some have pointed out, it is not clear if Egarr is indeed a better harpsichordist than Pinnock, Hogwood or Rousset.  So far, he certainly does not seem to be a better band-leader than Pinnock and Hogwood.  He still needs a number of years to prove that he is the equal of Pinnock and Hogwood ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 09, 2009, 06:12:30 AM
I found this interesting discussion (on www.jsbach.org) about the previous recording mentioned by me.

It includes two comments from the performer himself: Re: Peter Watchorn Bach WTC, Book1 on pedal harpsichord.

Antoine - thanks for the comments & quotes concerning the recording above - I don't usually visit that site, so was unaware of the performer's responses.

I have a number of versions of these works on piano, which please me, but have been 'in the market' for a harpsichord option - Glen Wilson has been on my wish list for a while (waiting for either the price to drop and/or a re-issue in a 'cheaper' package!), mainly because of Don's et al recommendations.  However, one commentor in your post and also one in the Amzonian Reviews HERE (http://www.amazon.com/J-S-Bach-Wohltemperierte-Clavier-Book/dp/B000NHKD0C/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1241880840&sr=1-4) state that they prefer this new interpretation over that of Wilson!  Not sure if Don has heard this 'new' set of discs, but if he's reading, then comments appreciated.  Thanks all!  Dave

P.S. Is or will there be a 'second book'?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 09, 2009, 06:37:30 AM
Antoine - thanks for the comments & quotes concerning the recording above - I don't usually visit that site, so was unaware of the performer's responses.
...
P.S. Is or will there be a 'second book'?

You're welcome, Dave.

These are the future Watchorn's releases announced on the Musica Omnia website:

MO 0202: Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Clavier II Peter Watchorn (pedal harpsichord)

MO 0306: Bach: French Suites, BWV 812-817 Peter Watchorn (harpsichord)

MO 0307: Bach: Clavierübung II & III Peter Watchorn (harpsichord)

MO 0403: Bach Partitas, BWV 825-830 Peter Watchorn (harpsichord)

MO 0405: Bach: Harpsichord Concertos, BWV 1052-1055 Penelope Crawford, Peter Watchorn

MO 0411: Bach: Trio Sonatas, BWV 525-530 Peter Watchorn (pedal harpsichord)

MO 0502: Bach: Fantasias & Fugues I Peter Watchorn (harpsichord)

MO 0504: Bach: Harpsichord Concertos, BWV 1056-1059 Penelope Crawford, Peter Watchorn

MO 0505: Bach: Toccatas, BWV 910-916 Peter Watchorn (pedal harpsichord)

MO 0506: Bach: Sonatas, Suites, Capriccios Peter Watchorn, (pedal harpsichord)

MO 0507: Bach: Concerto arrangements, BWV 972-987; 592a Peter Watchorn (harpsichord)

MO 0511: Bach: Die Kunst der Fuge, BWV 1080 Peter Watchorn (pedal harpsichord)

MO 0512: Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 Peter Watchorn (harpsichord)

 :o

Now I'm listening to the Violin Sonatas by Ngai/Watchorn. I'm especially impressed for the great balance between the instruments.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 09, 2009, 06:55:48 AM
Peter Watchorn is really the anchor recording artist for Musica Omnia ...

He is not just a Musica Omnia artist, he is a co-founder, president of the board and owner of the label… And, BTW, a great  harpsichordist and scholar.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 09, 2009, 07:15:39 AM

I have a number of versions of these works on piano, which please me, but have been 'in the market' for a harpsichord option - Glen Wilson has been on my wish list for a while (waiting for either the price to drop and/or a re-issue in a 'cheaper' package!), mainly because of Don's et al recommendations.  However, one commentor in your post and also one in the Amzonian Reviews HERE (http://www.amazon.com/J-S-Bach-Wohltemperierte-Clavier-Book/dp/B000NHKD0C/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1241880840&sr=1-4) state that they prefer this new interpretation over that of Wilson!  Not sure if Don has heard this 'new' set of discs, but if he's reading, then comments appreciated.  Thanks all!  Dave

Yes, I've had Watchorn's WTC I for the better part of a year now and have listened to it a few times.  Watchorn is certainly a "major league player", and I've greatly enjoyed his WTC I each time I played it; I also love the pedal harpsichord.  So I give the set the thumbs-up.

I found it amusing that Watchorn indicated to Hurford that she might not be listening properly.  When I reviewed his English Suites, I had a few negative comments.  His response was to say that I likely hadn't listened enough times to his performance; little did he know that nobody listens more extensively to a disc being reviewed than the Bulldog - 15 to 20 hearings of complete concentration along with numerous comparison versions.  So, in a polite way, Watchorn gets quite defensive.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 09, 2009, 07:21:05 AM
Now I'm listening to the Violin Sonatas by Ngai/Watchorn. I'm especially impressed for the great balance between the instruments.

I've had this set for a few years now and find Watchorn very rewarding.  However, I'm not as enthusiastic about Ngai whose vitality and incisiveness are sometimes insufficient.  So it's a good set but not among the leaders.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 09, 2009, 07:24:05 AM
He is not just a Musica Omnia artist, he is a co-founder, president of the board and owner of the label… And, BTW, a great  harpsichordist and scholar.

My understanding is that Watchorn started his own label to insure that he could progress and complete his Bach recordings without worrying about which labels might take him on.  I like that approach - screw them all and do your own thing.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 09, 2009, 07:32:48 AM
Like Jordi Savall ...   ;D

Sure, although in the last years the artistic quality of Savall’s recordings has been strongly criticized.

Some people believe that the artist has been replaced by the businessman. But the people say so many things…  :)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 09, 2009, 07:44:57 AM
Watchorn is certainly a "major league player"...

That was exactly my thought yesterday. I'm looking forward to listen to Leonhardt again.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 09, 2009, 07:58:26 AM
Sure, although in the last years the artistic quality of Savall’s recordings has been strongly criticized.

Some people believe that the artist has been replaced by the businessman. But the people say so many things…  :)



The major labels are only interested in cranking out more warhorse CD's.  Few of them are genuinely interested in bringing something new and "worthy" to the listening public ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 09, 2009, 08:08:44 AM
The major labels are only interested in cranking out more warhorse CD's.  Few of them are genuinely interested in bringing something new and "worthy" to the listening public ...

I don't think in terms of "major" labels anymore.  There are just a whole bunch of different labels, and I get to have my pick of them.  That's good.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 09, 2009, 08:15:11 AM
I've had this set for a few years now and find Watchorn very rewarding.  However, I'm not as enthusiastic about Ngai whose vitality and incisiveness are sometimes insufficient.  So it's a good set but not among the leaders.

I am enjoying the first disc, but I have not listened to the second one or the disc “Bach as Capellmeister”. But I clearly have noticed a remarkable interest for the balance between the instruments, sometimes difficult in these pieces and the Gamba Sonatas, for example. Obviously my impression is totally incomplete yet, but I don’t know if the search for the balance could be the cause of certain “lack of incisiveness” in the violin.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on May 09, 2009, 09:12:10 AM
These are the future Watchorn's releases announced on the Musica Omnia website:

MO 0202: Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Clavier II Peter Watchorn (pedal harpsichord)

MO 0306: Bach: French Suites, BWV 812-817 Peter Watchorn (harpsichord)

MO 0307: Bach: Clavierübung II & III Peter Watchorn (harpsichord)

MO 0403: Bach Partitas, BWV 825-830 Peter Watchorn (harpsichord)

MO 0405: Bach: Harpsichord Concertos, BWV 1052-1055 Penelope Crawford, Peter Watchorn

MO 0411: Bach: Trio Sonatas, BWV 525-530 Peter Watchorn (pedal harpsichord)

MO 0502: Bach: Fantasias & Fugues I Peter Watchorn (harpsichord)

MO 0504: Bach: Harpsichord Concertos, BWV 1056-1059 Penelope Crawford, Peter Watchorn

MO 0505: Bach: Toccatas, BWV 910-916 Peter Watchorn (pedal harpsichord)

MO 0506: Bach: Sonatas, Suites, Capriccios Peter Watchorn, (pedal harpsichord)

MO 0507: Bach: Concerto arrangements, BWV 972-987; 592a Peter Watchorn (harpsichord)

MO 0511: Bach: Die Kunst der Fuge, BWV 1080 Peter Watchorn (pedal harpsichord)

MO 0512: Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 Peter Watchorn (harpsichord)


I certainly look forward to these releases, but considering the time he needs to complete each of his recordings, I doubt, if he will manage to finish his gigantic project.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 11, 2009, 07:07:10 AM
A question for those of you who have Watchorn's WTC I:

The booklet indicates that Watchorn uses two instruments - a harpsichord and a pedal harpsichord.  However, I didn't notice any information as to which instrument he plays for each piece (except for a few citations in the discussion of each piece).  Am I on the wrong track?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on May 11, 2009, 09:46:34 AM
A question for those of you who have Watchorn's WTC I:

The booklet indicates that Watchorn uses two instruments - a harpsichord and a pedal harpsichord.  However, I didn't notice any information as to which instrument he plays for each piece (except for a few citations in the discussion of each piece).  Am I on the wrong track?

His pedal harpsichord is probably only made up of of the pedalboard. He must have a "usual" harpsichord too (mounted upon the pedalboard) on which he can play the manual parts.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 11, 2009, 09:54:24 AM
His pedal harpsichord is probably only made up of of the pedalboard. He must have a "usual" harpsichord too (mounted upon the pedalboard) on which he can play the manual parts.

Thanks. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 11, 2009, 12:32:26 PM
His pedal harpsichord is probably only made up of of the pedalboard. He must have a "usual" harpsichord too (mounted upon the pedalboard) on which he can play the manual parts.

Don's comments peaked my interest since I just ordered the Peter Watchorn WTC performances; so, did some googling just now and came up w/ a bunch of pictures, such as the one below which is described as "a magnificent pair of instruments, a German double-manual harpsichord and matching pedal harpsichord built by Keith Hill & Phillip Tyre in 1985 " - website HERE (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.claviersbaroques.com/images/JLHT20002Aside.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.claviersbaroques.com/JLHTDblPlusPedal.htm&usg=__s2TFLcwlgfwmz1aGphUUAwXJ5kg=&h=605&w=632&sz=48&hl=en&start=2&um=1&tbnid=gnEYLn5YfWGYZM:&tbnh=131&tbnw=137&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpedal%2Bharpsichord%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4DMUS_enUS315US204%26um%3D1) w/ more images and text - boy, looks like a tough set of instruments to play together!  :o

(http://www.claviersbaroques.com/images/JLHT20002Aside.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 11, 2009, 12:38:11 PM
Don's comments peaked my interest since I just ordered the Peter Watchorn WTC performances; so, did some googling just now and came up w/ a bunch of pictures, such as the one below which is described as "a magnificent pair of instruments, a German double-manual harpsichord and matching pedal harpsichord built by Keith Hill & Phillip Tyre in 1985 " - website HERE (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.claviersbaroques.com/images/JLHT20002Aside.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.claviersbaroques.com/JLHTDblPlusPedal.htm&usg=__s2TFLcwlgfwmz1aGphUUAwXJ5kg=&h=605&w=632&sz=48&hl=en&start=2&um=1&tbnid=gnEYLn5YfWGYZM:&tbnh=131&tbnw=137&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpedal%2Bharpsichord%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4DMUS_enUS315US204%26um%3D1) w/ more images and text - boy, looks like a tough set of instruments to play together!  :o

(http://www.claviersbaroques.com/images/JLHT20002Aside.jpg)

We can handle it.  You take the top; I'll take the bottom.  We'll make beautiful music together.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 11, 2009, 05:23:37 PM
We can handle it.  You take the top; I'll take the bottom.  We'll make beautiful music together.

Well, Don - it's a DATE!  ;D  Maybe I could 'punch out' a few Tin Pan Alley tunes?  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 11, 2009, 06:29:19 PM
After a hard day in the office, it's a pleasure to think about these things.  ;D

During the weekend I found an article by the young harpsichordist Mahan Stefahani (entitled "Putting the Pedal to the WTC") with some additional details about the pedal harpsichord and the recording by Watchorn:

http://www.keyboardmag.com/article/putting-the-pedal/Oct-06/23562

Here a picture of the instrument:

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 16, 2009, 01:24:44 PM
The harpsichord playing by Christiane Jaccottet in this set is just fabulous.  I have already ripped WTC, the French and the English Suites to my desktop ...     ;D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51p63cCYYLL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 21, 2009, 07:45:12 PM
Here is a WTC recording on harpsichord I really would like to have ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HP07BCRSL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on May 21, 2009, 10:24:27 PM
Here is a WTC recording on harpsichord I really would like to have ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HP07BCRSL._SS400_.jpg)

Shouldn't be difficult!
Been re-re-released on two VirginX2 sets and (this incarnation) available at amazon market for a few pennies.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 22, 2009, 03:18:12 AM
Shouldn't be difficult!
Been re-re-released on two VirginX2 sets and (this incarnation) available at amazon market for a few pennies.


It appears to be available as a 4-CD box set as pictured ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on May 22, 2009, 05:42:23 AM


It appears to be available as a 4-CD box set as pictured ...

Has ugly covers (I'd rather listen to than look at Mr van Asperen) in a bulky double jewel box.   But for a couple of quid only I didn't mind and it is what I have.  For a little bit more one can get the same recordings as two veritaX2, a better choice IMO.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 22, 2009, 05:49:13 AM
Has ugly covers (I'd rather listen to than look at Mr van Asperen) in a bulky double jewel box.   But for a couple of quid only I didn't mind and it is what I have.  For a little bit more one can get the same recordings as two veritaX2, a better choice IMO.

My buying binge at MDT will have to slow down since the Pound has gone up some 12% against the USD over the past month.  I have bought some 400 CD's from MDT since January.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on May 22, 2009, 05:54:36 AM
I have bought some 400 CD's from MDT since January.

Well the two Verita twofers are probably available in the US.  

Edit. Yes they are.  Just checked @ Amazon.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 22, 2009, 06:16:26 AM
Well the two Verita twofers are probably available in the US.  

Edit. Yes they are.  Just checked @ Amazon.

Understood.  Every CD I have bought from MDT is also available in the US except that when it comes to small English label, MDT's sale price is just so much better than what is available here stateside.  A typical Hyperion CD is a few dollars cheaper at MDT, even based on the latest pound/dollar exchange rate.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on June 04, 2009, 10:28:21 PM
 

.....the following 40-CD set which includes probably all the Bach keyboard works recorded by the late Christiane Joccottet.  Most of her oirginal recordings are now OOP.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51p63cCYYLL._SS500_.jpg)

Unfortunately not. Threre are at least three CDs more (the lute-harpsichord CD I offered exerpts from in the Bach harpsichord thread, and two more, which I do not own, and which were available only during a short period of time in the late 1980es, containing works which are no part of any collection e.g Fantasia and Fugue a-minor. Add to this her recording (for Vox) of all the Bach harpsichord concertos (for harpsichord and strings to be precise).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 23, 2009, 07:02:47 AM
Some time ago the opinions about Egarr’s Goldberg Variations were not very favorable here. Currently, I have been considering his Book I of the WTC (Harmonia Mundi, 2 CDs). I’m especially intrigued about the tempi used by Egarr. I have believed to hear there some attractive slow tempi and certain doses of well delivered rubato. Any opinion?

BTW, does somebody know the new recording of the AoF on Naxos (by Sergio Vartolo)? Opinions?

Thanks in advance.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on August 23, 2009, 07:07:48 AM
I have the following WTC sets on order ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NXCKE1PHL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HP07BCRSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) 

So the harpsichord version of these works have not been overlooked ...  ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on August 23, 2009, 07:12:10 AM
Some time ago the opinions about Egarr’s Goldberg Variations were not very favorable here. Currently, I have been considering his Book I of the WTC (Harmonia Mundi, 2 CDs). I’m especially intrigued about the tempi used by Egarr. I have believed to hear there some attractive slow tempi and certain doses of well delivered rubato. Any opinion?

BTW, does somebody know the new recording of the AoF on Naxos (by Sergio Vartolo)? Opinions?

Thanks in advance.

 :)
   

I am sitting on the fence with regard to further acquisitons of Egarr's recordings in view of a number of not so favorable reviews of his recent recordings ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 23, 2009, 07:31:18 AM
Many times in the past I thought to purchase that WTC by Kirkpatrick, but I left the idea when I purchased a satisfactory version played on clavichord by Jaroslav Tuma.  But who knows if in the future…  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on August 23, 2009, 07:41:33 AM
Some time ago the opinions about Egarr’s Goldberg Variations were not very favorable here. Currently, I have been considering his Book I of the WTC (Harmonia Mundi, 2 CDs). I’m especially intrigued about the tempi used by Egarr. I have believed to hear there some attractive slow tempi and certain doses of well delivered rubato. Any opinion?

As I wrote earlier, I think Egarr´s WTC I is underarticulated and the agogics contrieved. The Lehmann tuning is interesting, adding to create a rather soft sound I think, but another somewhat more articulate interpretation (Watchorn) uses the same tuning.


BTW, does somebody know the new recording of the AoF on Naxos (by Sergio Vartolo)? Opinions?

Listened to it once, about a month ago. Did not impress me much. Shall relisten after another bunch of Beethoven piano sonatas / Lewis.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on August 23, 2009, 07:48:34 AM
Some time ago the opinions about Egarr’s Goldberg Variations were not very favorable here. Currently, I have been considering his Book I of the WTC (Harmonia Mundi, 2 CDs). I’m especially intrigued about the tempi used by Egarr. I have believed to hear there some attractive slow tempi and certain doses of well delivered rubato. Any opinion?

As a Bach keyboard artist, Egarr is always searching for "cantabile heaven", and I think he succeeds.  However, what suffers is Bach's dark side and sharpness of contours.

Personally, I prefer his WTC I to his Goldbergs.  Concerning slow tempi in his WTC, that's comes primarily through the faster pieces.  The best thing is his rhythmic hesitations and other rubato effects.  Overall, not a great set but quite satisfying as long as you're not looking for the music's underbelly.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 23, 2009, 08:18:21 AM
Thanks, Premont and Don. Although your final impressions are a bit different, the conclusion seems clear:

Pros: Singing approach, rhythmic hesitations, soft sound (Lehmann tuning)

Cons: “Underarticulated” (lack of “sharpness of contours”)

... interesting.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Franco on August 23, 2009, 12:20:04 PM
I've got Bach: The Art Of Fugue, Etc / Richard Troeger (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=102860) on my wish List.  Anyone offer any impressions? 

The clavichord is the instrument used.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on August 23, 2009, 02:21:54 PM
I've got Bach: The Art Of Fugue, Etc / Richard Troeger (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=102860) on my wish List.  Anyone offer any impressions? 

The clavichord is the instrument used.



I like it very much - intimate but with plenty of tension when needed.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on August 23, 2009, 02:56:01 PM
I've got Bach: The Art Of Fugue, Etc / Richard Troeger (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=102860) on my wish List.  Anyone offer any impressions?  
The clavichord is the instrument used.

It is in my listening queue. Don´s post just above makes me consider a "forwarding".
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 24, 2009, 09:06:08 AM
As a Bach keyboard artist, Egarr is always searching for "cantabile heaven", and I think he succeeds.  


Good line, Don. I forgot to say it yesterday, but it is an interesting (and problematic) theme to consider the “cantabile” aspects of some Bach’s keyboard works. It recalls me a previous conversation with Premont. There he said some central things about the Baroque as a musical language:

Baroque music regarded (and Bach certainly the most) as speech, not only as to phrasing and articulation, but also as to conversation. I do not think Harnoncourt invented this point of view, but I always agreed with him. I have had some discussion in another forum concerning the distinction between speech and song, but in my opinion speech is the most adequate description, especially regarding the articulation.
 

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 25, 2009, 05:03:31 AM
Egarr is always searching for "cantabile heaven"

Good line, Don.

My apologies, Don. Just today I understood the reference to the Egarr's essay. I will read it tonight.

BTW, do you see any similarity between Egarr and Ketil Haugsand? (in the style, not in this work obviously)

 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on August 25, 2009, 12:40:49 PM
BTW, do you see any similarity between Egarr and Ketil Haugsand? (in the style, not in this work obviously)


Not really.  Egarr sings and uses much more legato.  Haugsand converses and prefers rather sharp phrasing.  My preference is with Haugsand.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 25, 2009, 04:54:52 PM
My preference is with Haugsand.

That's good to know because I'm considering his Six Partitas BWV 825-830 (Simax).

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on August 27, 2009, 02:41:32 AM
That's good to know because I'm considering his Six Partitas BWV 825-830 (Simax).

Well, Haugsands Bach Partitas is a friendly and nice interpretation, relatively well articulated and with natural agogics. Some may find some of his tempi too much on the slow side though, and I would prefer the Toccata of the e-minor Partita and some of the Gigues played more vivid and with more bite. There is a gereral air of ataraxia throughout.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on August 27, 2009, 02:59:02 AM
I've got Bach: The Art Of Fugue, Etc / Richard Troeger (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=102860) on my wish List.  Anyone offer any impressions? 
Very recommendable. Well articulated playing with ideal transparency. Tempi rather fast and style a little robust and passionate.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on September 11, 2009, 12:51:40 AM
(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0825646896653.jpg)
1. Concerto in C major, BWV 976
(after vln conc. RV 265)
2. Concerto in F major, BWV 978
(after vln conc. RV 310)
3. Concerto in D major, BWV 972
(after vln conc. RV 230)
4. Concerto in G major, BWV 980
(after vln conc. RV 383a)
5. Concerto in G minor, BWV 975
(after vln conc. RV 316a)
6. Concerto in G major, BWV 973
(after vln conc. RV 332)
7. Italian Concerto in F major, BWV 971
Harpsichord not indicated, but it sounds the same as the one on the other disc.

(http://images.play.com/covers/10287953x.jpg)
1. Suite in A minor, BWV 818a
2. Prelude in C major, BWV 846a*
3. Prelude in E minor, BWV 855a*
4. Suite in A major, BWV 832
5. Three Minuets (Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach)*
6. Suite in E flat major, BWV 819a
7. Prelude in C minor, BWV 847*
8. Prelude in D minor, BWV 851*
9. Suite in F minor, BWV 823
10. Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten, BWV 691*
Harpsichord: copy after an anonymous instrument of 1735 from the Silbermann School, made by Anthony Sidey & Frédéric Ball, Paris, 1995.
Clavichord*: double strung clavichord, made by Anthony Sidey, Paris, 1995.

Got these a while ago - both have been reissued a few times before.
I did not hear Olivier Baumont in Bach before, and it is an unqualified pleasure - he should definitely do more! :) Interestingly, I cannot notice any French characteristics in his approach and style. His Bach here is bright and flowing, outward looking. He plays swift but not speedy, never laborious. This reminds me most of Alan Curtis' playing (in the French & English Suites) - no minor compliment. Sheer delight. :)

On the separate issues:
When I heard the Vivaldi adaptations disc, I thought that it easily surpassed the issue by Peter Watchorn on Hänssler, that I have. But on re-listening that, I (luckily) found it is not that simple. Watchorn plays more stately and measured, more probing, if you will. But he has a keen sense of proportion and accentuation, plays a beautiful instrument which is very well recorded. So for a for more comprehensive (complete) recording, Watchorn remains a firm recommendation. But the Baumont is gorgeous. :)

(http://cover7.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/40/372840.jpg)

BTW if you've ever read that this is "inferior" Bach, either because these are adaptations, or because these are adaptations of the music of an "inferior" composer - forget all about it. Besides the fact that Vivaldi composed valuable music (Bach did think so...) this is just wonderfull music, and Bach made any music thouroughly his own when he laid his hands on it.
The disc concludes with a very fine performance of the Italian concerto, in fact one of the best I've heard. Bright, sparkling and upbeat, juicy - avoiding the stiffness occasionally found in other performances.

The second disc contains some of Bach earlier suites, combined with pieces from the Klavierbüchlein (the Preludes also featuring in the WTC), all played on clavichord. All of the above about Baumont's style apply here as well. I liked the performances on the clavichord very much, though a leap to stereo for cranking up the volume is called for. Wonderfull performances, wonderfull disc. For those seeking a more comprehensive survey of Bach earlier keyboard works, I repeat my warm recommendation of the recordings in the Hänssler Bach edition, which include a fair amount of recordings on the lute-harpsichord! And of course Rousset's recording of the Klavierbüchlein.

(http://www.haenssler-classic.de/fileadmin/mediafiles/scm_shopproduct/Bilder/gross/092102000.jpg)(http://www.haenssler-classic.de/fileadmin/mediafiles/scm_shopproduct/Bilder/gross/092103000.jpg)(http://www.haenssler-classic.de/fileadmin/mediafiles/scm_shopproduct/Bilder/gross/092107000.jpg)(http://www.haenssler-classic.de/fileadmin/mediafiles/scm_shopproduct/Bilder/gross/092110000.jpg) (http://multimedia.fnac.com/multimedia//images_produits/ZoomPE/6/7/7/3760020170776.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on September 11, 2009, 01:00:53 AM
(http://multimedia.fnac.com/multimedia//images_produits/ZoomPE/6/7/7/3760020170776.jpg)
Q

in case the case for the Klavierbuechlein hasn't been made forcefully enough (Thanks, Q, for bringing it up again):

The Best Recordings of 2005 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/12/best-recordings-of-2005.html)
#9 (New)
...Alas, all these recordings will have to get their individual reviews in the New Year - and I will pick Christophe Rousset's new Bach recording on the Ambroise label (previously reviewed on Ionarts (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html)). Not the best of Bach's keyboard works (and admittedly by a good margin), these little practise works (a few were included by Bach but actually come from the pen of other composers) for his kid to learn the harpsichord are played with panache, speed, and passion in such ample supply that they transcend their lesser status easily. Absolute purists may be turned off by Rousset's use of what is essentially rubato... but those with a musical, not ideological, soul should be hard pressed not to be moved. Best of all is the sound of the instrument and the recording. It's simply the richest, most blooming harpsichord sound I have heard on any recording. Stunning and too good to resist, even at a high price. Forty-plus dollars is a word for a bit more than one hundred minutes of music, but if the luxury packaging (the booklet could have been more extensive, still) doesn't lure you, the performance ought to. I myself can't wait to get my hands on Rousset's other two Bach recordings for Ambroise, the English Suites and the French Suites.


Harpsichord Like Rarely Ever (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on September 11, 2009, 02:07:07 AM
Thanks Jens, and a very nice review BTW. :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: karlhenning on September 11, 2009, 03:01:59 AM
Have they finished casting Bach in Love yet?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on September 11, 2009, 11:19:37 PM
Thanks, Que, for your views on the Baumont discs. Also, given their relatively inexpensive cost per disc, it now stays fairly high on my wish-pile. :)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 30, 2009, 08:20:56 PM
Any opinion about Helmut Walcha as a harpsichordist?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on October 03, 2009, 04:07:22 AM
Any opinion about Helmut Walcha as a harpsichordist?

Hi Antoine


Helmut Walcha the harpsichordist is (was) not that different from Helmut Walcha the organist.

The EMI recordings (originally Odeon, Germany) were made in the years 1958 – 62 (he later rerecorded the WTC for Archiv on period instruments) and  include

Clavierübung I, II  and IV.
Wohltemperierte Clavier I & II
English and French suites
Inventions & Symphonies
Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue

The complete recordings were rereleased by Japanese HMV on CD more then ten years ago, and it was difficult to get hold of and very expensive. Since long OOP. The only European CD rerelease is the French 5CD HMV box displayed in you post above.

The used instrument is a two manual Ammer modern harpsichord (16´ , 8´, 8´, 4´, and lute stop), built - as it was common in the 1950es - with pianistic ideals in mind and not taking surviving period instruments into account. The sound is not crisp at all but rather harsh and metallic.

The recording was engineered by Eric Thienhaus, who preferred a very close miking. This resulted in a more harsh sound than necessary, but on the other hand added quite a lot of intensity to the sound. A more recent parallel as to effect might be Kovacevic´s EMI Bethoven Sonata recordings.

Stylistically Walcha was entirely his own. He grew up in the time of the organ movement, which – as you know - constituted a reaction towards romanticism -  and had intruduced an ascetic, platonic view upon Bach´s works. Only what was written in the original score should be played (Werktreue). In my opinion they actually confused the score with the work. So Walcha on his own hand (while he was retired to the countryside – in Bruchköbel - during the war) worked out his interpretation of the harpsichord works based upon the naked score and which for the same reason was bound to stress the elementary elements which are notated in the score (rhythm and counterpoint).

In practice his tempi are often fast. His playing is insistent rhythmically but also stiff and mechanical, including the metrical execution of ornamentation. And he never adds ornamentation, even when the music cries out for this. On the other hand his part playing is outstanding and very clear, - this may be the greatest force of his music making. He uses rather much 16´ in his registrations, and this is probably justified, as Bach had access to such instruments and was known to prefer Gravitas at least in organ-registration. Walcha built up his own system of articulation, which implies more legato, than now is considered decent. What e.g. annoys me very much, is his preference for overtied upbeats creating rhythmically odd syncopated effects. His touch is rather forceful  (the effect stressed by the close miking) as if he was playing on a mechanical tracker organ with a heavy action.

What stands out as being the hallmarks of his playing, is his ability to display the intellectual structure (the counterpoint at most) of Bach´s music by means of his extraordinary clear part playing. At the same time his insistent rhythm and forceful touch endows the music with very much intensity, often bordering a kind of extasy. So in addition to his intellectual approach, his music making also has got a strong physical effect. This reflects in my opinion the intrinsic nature of Bach´s music, and it is in this synthesis where Walcha may be considered unsurpassable, even if he - from a HIP point of view - got some of the details wrong. Personally I consider his EMI harpsichord recordings mandatory for every Bach-lover.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 03, 2009, 04:17:03 AM
Just checking Peter Watchorn's website Musica Omnia (http://www.musicaomnia.org/index2.htm) - appears that he's about to release the WTC, Book 2 on the pedal harpsichord - own the first book w/ him which came on 2 discs; this one is listed as 3 discs but not sure why w/o seeing the contents?   :D


(http://www.musicaomnia.org/new_pa30.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 03, 2009, 06:07:00 AM
Hi Antoine


Helmut Walcha the harpsichordist is (was) not that different from Helmut Walcha the organist.

...

Thanks for your reply, Premont. I have read with attention and pleasure your thoughtful insides. Additionally, your reply has a lot of valuable information, not always easy to search. I can almost imagine those ascetic, essentialist performances brought from the organ, "often bordering a kind of extasy". As I have seen that set on Amazon France, I will order it the next week with the Foccroulle's set.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 03, 2009, 06:10:09 AM
Just checking Peter Watchorn's website Musica Omnia (http://www.musicaomnia.org/index2.htm) - appears that he's about to release the WTC, Book 2 on the pedal harpsichord - own the first book w/ him which came on 2 discs; this one is listed as 3 discs but not sure why w/o seeing the contents?   :D


(http://www.musicaomnia.org/new_pa30.jpg)

Excellent news, Dave! That label usually adds an extra CD for “conversations with the performers, instrument builders and restorers, and noted scholars” (“Beyond the Notes”).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on October 03, 2009, 06:29:21 AM
That label usually adds an extra CD for “conversations with the performers, instrument builders and restorers, and noted scholars” (“Beyond the Notes”).

How nice is that! :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on October 03, 2009, 07:14:07 AM
Excellent news, Dave! That label usually adds an extra CD for “conversations with the performers, instrument builders and restorers, and noted scholars” (“Beyond the Notes”).

Would be excellent, but I own Watchorns English suites (2 CDs), WTC book I (2 CDs) and Inventions and Symphonies (1 CD), all on Watchorns own label. But no supplementary CD´s anywhere of the kind you write about. So I am afraid, that the three CDs needed for WTC book II reflects Watchorns tendency to slow tempi, one of the traits he has in common with Isolde Ahlgrimm, you know.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 03, 2009, 07:22:16 AM
Would be excellent, but I own Watchorns English suites (2 CDs), WTC book I (2 CDs) and Inventions and Symphonies (1 CD), all on Watchorns own label. But no supplementary CD´s anywhere of the kind you write about. So I am afraid, that the three CDs needed for WTC book II reflects Watchorns tendency to slow tempi, one of the traits he has in common with Isolde Ahlgrimm, you know.

I remember back when Watchorn's label was inititated.  At that time, the supplementary CD was included.  Since then, not.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on October 03, 2009, 07:25:58 AM
Hi Antoine


Helmut Walcha the harpsichordist is (was) not that different from Helmut Walcha the organist.

The EMI recordings (originally Odeon, Germany) were made in the years 1958 – 62 (he later rerecorded the WTC for Archiv on period instruments) and  include

Clavierübung I, II  and IV.
Wohltemperierte Clavier I & II
English and French suites
Inventions & Symphonies
Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue

The complete recordings were rereleased by Japanese HMV on CD more then ten years ago, and it was difficult to get hold of and very expensive. Since long OOP. The only European CD rerelease is the French 5CD HMV box displayed in you post above.

The used instrument is a two manual Ammer modern harpsichord (16´ , 8´, 8´, 4´, and lute stop), built - as it was common in the 1950es - with pianistic ideals in mind and not taking surviving period instruments into account. The sound is not crisp at all but rather harsh and metallic.

The recording was engineered by Eric Thienhaus, who preferred a very close miking. This resulted in a more harsh sound than necessary, but on the other hand added quite a lot of intensity to the sound. A more recent parallel as to effect might be Kovacevic´s EMI Bethoven Sonata recordings.

Stylistically Walcha was entirely his own. He grew up in the time of the organ movement, which – as you know - constituted a reaction towards romanticism -  and had intruduced an ascetic, platonic view upon Bach´s works. Only what was written in the original score should be played (Werktreue). In my opinion they actually confused the score with the work. So Walcha on his own hand (while he was retired to the countryside – in Bruchköbel - during the war) worked out his interpretation of the harpsichord works based upon the naked score and which for the same reason was bound to stress the elementary elements which are notated in the score (rhythm and counterpoint).

In practice his tempi are often fast. His playing is insistent rhythmically but also stiff and mechanical, including the metrical execution of ornamentation. And he never adds ornamentation, even when the music cries out for this. On the other hand his part playing is outstanding and very clear, - this may be the greatest force of his music making. He uses rather much 16´ in his registrations, and this is probably justified, as Bach had access to such instruments and was known to prefer Gravitas at least in organ-registration. Walcha built up his own system of articulation, which implies more legato, than now is considered decent. What e.g. annoys me very much, is his preference for overtied upbeats creating rhythmically odd syncopated effects. His touch is rather forceful  (the effect stressed by the close miking) as if he was playing on a mechanical tracker organ with a heavy action.

What stands out as being the hallmarks of his playing, is his ability to display the intellectual structure (the counterpoint at most) of Bach´s music by means of his extraordinary clear part playing. At the same time his insistent rhythm and forceful touch endows the music with very much intensity, often bordering a kind of extasy. So in addition to his intellectual approach, his music making also has got a strong physical effect. This reflects in my opinion the intrinsic nature of Bach´s music, and it is in this synthesis where he may be considered unsurpassable, even if he - from a HIP point of view - got some of the details wrong. Personally I consider his EMI harpsichord recordings mandatory for every Bach-lover.



That's a very inspiring post, Premont.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 03, 2009, 07:44:44 AM
Would be excellent, but I own Watchorns English suites (2 CDs), WTC book I (2 CDs) and Inventions and Symphonies (1 CD), all on Watchorns own label. But no supplementary CD´s anywhere of the kind you write about. So I am afraid, that the three CDs needed for WTC book II reflects Watchorns tendency to slow tempi, one of the traits he has in common with Isolde Ahlgrimm, you know.

It's probable because I am just speculating. I have three sets with the additional CD:

Bach - Six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord BWV 1014-1019 (3 CDs, with the third one named "Bach as Capellmeister: Cöthen 1717-1722" with Peter Watchorn).

Felix & Fanny Mendelssohn - Piano Trios (2 CDs; 2nd CD: "The Mendelssohns: The Artist Place in High Society" with Schröder, Sutherland and Crawford).

Gabriel Fauré - Nocturnes (2 CDs; 2nd CD: "Drawn in sound" with Sally Pinkas).

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on October 03, 2009, 07:51:36 AM
I have three sets with the additional CD:

Bach - Six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord BWV 1014-1019 (3 CDs, with the third one named "Bach as Capellmeister: Cöthen 1717-1722" with Peter Watchorn).

Lady Fortuna seems to smile to you.  :)

BTW can you recommend the set with the Bach violin/harpsichord sonatas (the two CDs with the music of course)?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 03, 2009, 08:10:11 AM
Lady Fortuna seems to smile to you.  :)

Just for now.  :D

BTW can you recommend the set with the Bach violin/harpsichord sonatas (the two CDs with the music of course)?

Without any problem. I like the excellent balance between the instruments and the sober, calm, anti-Italianate approach  :D. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 03, 2009, 01:04:03 PM
Excellent news, Dave! That label usually adds an extra CD for “conversations with the performers, instrument builders and restorers, and noted scholars” (“Beyond the Notes”).

Yes, I noticed that w/ the Atlantis Trio Mendelssohn releases - just picked up the one below (left) of the Piano Trio D Minor & the Piano Sextet - just 1 disc (and a recommendation from you to me, I believe, in another thread) - so, put in an order to complete the 'Trio set' w/ Felix's other piano trio and that of his sister, which fits on a single CD, but is described as a 1+1, so I'm assuming that the other disc is what you describe above?  Thanks for the recommendation - enjoyed tremendously!  Dave  :)


(http://www.musicaomnia.org/images/mo0205-fc272x233.jpg)  (http://www.musicaomnia.org/images/mo0105-fc272x233.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 03, 2009, 01:11:31 PM

BTW can you recommend the set with the Bach violin/harpsichord sonatas (the two CDs with the music of course)?

I can recommend the set for Watchorn's exceptional performances.  I'm not as sold on his partner Ngai who I find is too often reserved and emotionally superficial.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 03, 2009, 01:33:57 PM
... (the two CDs with the music of course)?

BTW, Watchorn has a rather pleasant voice.

I have sent you a PM.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 03, 2009, 01:45:51 PM
... so, put in an order to complete the 'Trio set' w/ Felix's other piano trio and that of his sister, which fits on a single CD, but is described as a 1+1, so I'm assuming that the other disc is what you describe above? 

You are totally right.

The second CD is what I described above. It's named "The Mendelssohns: The Artist Place in High Society", a conversation among the performers (Schröder, Sutherland and Crawford).

 :)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 04, 2009, 09:56:26 AM
Just checking Peter Watchorn's website Musica Omnia (http://www.musicaomnia.org/index2.htm) - appears that he's about to release the WTC, Book 2 on the pedal harpsichord - own the first book w/ him which came on 2 discs; this one is listed as 3 discs but not sure why w/o seeing the contents?   :D

Would be excellent, but I own Watchorns English suites (2 CDs), WTC book I (2 CDs) and Inventions and Symphonies (1 CD), all on Watchorns own label. But no supplementary CD´s anywhere of the kind you write about. So I am afraid, that the three CDs needed for WTC book II reflects Watchorns tendency to slow tempi, one of the traits he has in common with Isolde Ahlgrimm, you know.


Mystery solved with the kind help of the performer himself, who has answered me via email. Kindly also, he has authorized me to share his replies here:

- Book 2 really takes 3 CDs for the music alone. The total playing time is 186 minutes (!). I recorded it in three days (God knows how!) and I think this recording is the best yet. I used the large German harpsichord (same one used for the violin sonatas and the 2 & 3 part Inventions/Sinfonias). This time, however, it was placed on the same pedal harpsichord used in Book 1 of the WTC. The sound is unbelievably awesome - we came up with a new set-up that really focused the sound, improving it substantially.

Final mastering is due by October 15th, CDs should be out before end of October.

- Book 2 of the WTC is longer for one main reason: so many of the preludes have repeats, whereas only one does in Book 1. I also added the G major prelude, BWV 902 as an appendix (it is substantial: nearly 9' long, with both repeats played). This was once attached to an early version of the little G major fugue that did make it into the WTC Book 2. It is such a great piece that I decided to include it. Without it Book 2 clocks in at 177 minutes.

Book 2 was recorded in the same space as Book 1. This time, however, we built a "wall" behind the instrument to focus the sound. It worked. Also, for Book 2, I used a different harpsichord (a large German-style instrument) in order to emphasize the differences between Books 1 & 2. I think it turned out well.


BTW, Peter Watchorn is not just one of the most gifted and learned harpsichordists in activity, but a charming person too, interested in the contact with his public.

MUSICA OMNIA WEBSITE (http://www.musicaomnia.org/index2.htm)

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 04, 2009, 02:59:35 PM

Mystery solved with the kind help of the performer himself, who has answered me via email. Kindly also, he has authorized me to share his replies here:

- Book 2 really takes 3 CDs for the music alone..................

Antoine - thanks for contacting Watchorn for an explanation of the upcoming 3-disc release!  I've sent a number of e-mails to performers over the years and several have responded, which has made me respect them much more.  Now, really looking forward to adding the second book to my first one!  Dave  :D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 04, 2009, 03:40:49 PM
Antoine - thanks for contacting Watchorn for an explanation of the upcoming 3-disc release!  I've sent a number of e-mails to performers over the years and several have responded, which has made me respect them much more.  Now, really looking forward to adding the second book to my first one!  Dave  :D

Yes, the new Watchorn is a must-have.  I'm also looking forward to the Pollini Bk. 1.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 28, 2009, 03:31:59 AM
Has somebody listened to these discs?

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on October 28, 2009, 04:59:30 AM

What e.g. annoys me very much, is his preference for overtied upbeats creating rhythmically odd syncopated effects.


So, thanks to your post, Premont,  I have been getting a lot of pleasure from his Harpsichord recordings on EMI recently.

But this point about the upbeats -- I just can't hear it. Can you point out a passage where it's really clear?

Thanks again.

Howard.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 28, 2009, 07:56:49 AM
I was expressing a wish/request for new one to be released, does not exist currently........
his older Goldberg is available for Decca which I have, but his recent work for Ambroisie label is another level higher


I can't agree.  I have Rousset's English Suites on Ambroisie, and his interpretations are rather superficial.  Part of the problem is the sound which I find too bright and diffuse, resulting in a lack of fine detail among the musical lines.  Overall, I much prefer his Decca recordings.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DarkAngel on October 28, 2009, 10:30:58 AM
I can't agree.  I have Rousset's English Suites on Ambroisie, and his interpretations are rather superficial.  Part of the problem is the sound which I find too bright and diffuse, resulting in a lack of fine detail among the musical lines.  Overall, I much prefer his Decca recordings.

Yes I read in previous posts that you don't like the new Ambroisie sound for Rousset......the "wet" sound
It is much different sound/style than the Decca versions, so I am not surprised that some will not be enchanted with Ambroisie versions

I am with Bunny and a few others who think they are among the finest Bach harpsicord available, I want to drown in the wettness.........
I will keep the Decca versions on hand, but always use Ambroisie for my reference.
On my stereo systems the Ruckers used for Ambroisie performances has a full rich toned voice........making most others sound bright/thin by comparison

I can understand the "diffuse" description because part of the richness is the reverberant playing style and sound signature of Ruckers, other versions have a leaner brighter cleaner sound that I find less satisfying, so it is in the end a personal choice of what you like
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 28, 2009, 11:31:54 AM
Yes I read in previous posts that you don't like the new Ambroisie sound for Rousset......the "wet" sound
It is much different sound/style than the Decca versions, so I am not surprised that some will not be enchanted with Ambroisie versions

I am with Bunny and a few others who think they are among the finest Bach harpsicord available, I want to drown in the wettness.........
I will keep the Decca versions on hand, but always use Ambroisie for my reference.
On my stereo systems the Ruckers used for Ambroisie performances has a full rich toned voice........making most others sound bright/thin by comparison

I can understand the "diffuse" description because part of the richness is the reverberant playing style and sound signature of Ruckers, other versions have a leaner brighter cleaner sound that I find less satisfying, so it is in the end a personal choice of what you like

You like the wet sound, I like it dry.  Sounds like we're both getting what we want.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 28, 2009, 01:16:35 PM
What are these "wet" and "dry" sounds? (That's a question asked in all seriousness.) Could you describe it to me?

It's so much easier to refer to a particular recording as wet or dry than provide a description, but I'll give it a shot.

For me, a wet recording sounds to a degree as if the source is slightly submerged in a tub of water - nothing is crisp or clear, so the detail of the various musical lines is blurred.  Although this damages homophonic music, it's a killer in polyphonic/contrapuntal music.

A equally odious sound is over-reverberation that sounds as if the music's source is an airplane hangar.  This type of sound has all the debilitating characteristics of a wet sound.  Of course, there are many who would refer to such sound as rich and gorgeous.

Dry sound is rather clinical with every detail open to the listener's discriminating tastes.  From what I regularly read and hear, most folks do not like dry/clinical sound.

The Rousset/Decca and Ambroisie sounds are so different that they are super examples to determine your preferences.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on October 28, 2009, 01:29:39 PM
It's so much easier to refer to a particular recording as wet or dry than provide a description, but I'll give it a shot.

For me, a wet recording sounds to a degree as if the source is slightly submerged in a tub of water - nothing is crisp or clear, so the detail of the various musical lines is blurred.  Although this damages homophonic music, it's a killer in polyphonic/contrapuntal music.

A equally odious sound is over-reverberation that sounds as if the music's source is an airplane hangar.  This type of sound has all the debilitating characteristics of a wet sound.  Of course, there are many who would refer to such sound as rich and gorgeous.

Dry sound is rather clinical with every detail open to the listener's discriminating tastes.  From what I regularly read and hear, most folks do not like dry/clinical sound.

The Rousset/Decca and Ambroisie sounds are so different that they are super examples to determine your preferences.

Thanks, Don. I appreciate that. :) From that sounds of it (no pun intended), it seems I am someone who prefers the "dry" sound, although I can't be very sure. I'll have to listen to these examples you mention.

BTW, this is slightly off-topic, have you listened to Leonhardt's English Suites on Seon? And if you have, how would you describe it in terms of its "sonic moisture content"?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on October 28, 2009, 01:39:17 PM
BTW, this is slightly off-topic, have you listened to Leonhardt's English Suites on Seon? And if you have, how would you describe it in terms of its "sonic moisture content"?

Interesting question. Especially if you compare with his later recordings for EMI.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on October 28, 2009, 01:42:00 PM
Has somebody listened to these discs?

Not yet. I do not know the performer.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on October 28, 2009, 01:50:37 PM
Thanks, Don. I appreciate that. :) From that sounds of it (no pun intended), it seems I am someone who prefers the "dry" sound, although I can't be very sure. I'll have to listen to these examples you mention.

BTW, this is slightly off-topic, have you listened to Leonhardt's English Suites on Seon? How would you describe it in terms of its "sonic moisture content"?

You are now "on topic" again. 8)

To comment on Rousset's Ambroisie recordings: their sound is uncommonly rich, reverberant if you wish. This is IMO caused by the very rich sounding Ruckers harpsichord in combination with a rich soundstage. I like it, but at first I was put off by the tonal blending - as if Rousset played too fast (although he does play pretty fast), but I quickly got adjusted. Now I'm a big fan of these recordings, can't wait for a WTC.

BTW, besides Rousset my primary recommendation for the English Suites, and for the French Suites for that matter, is Alan Curtis (Warner/Teldec). See post HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg247091.html#msg247091).

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on October 28, 2009, 02:06:47 PM
So, thanks to your post, Premont,  I have been getting a lot of pleasure from his Harpsichord recordings on EMI recently.
But this point about the upbeats -- I just can't hear it. Can you point out a passage where it's really clear?

Very easily.

Almost every fugue-subject with upbeat may serve as an example. F.i. the F-sharp major from book I.

The first notes of the fugue subject are C-sharp F-sharp E-sharp F-sharp. The first note C-sharp is the upbeat, the second note F-sharp the good note.. He (Walcha) ties the first two notes (the upbeat to the good note) making it sound da-a da da, instead of supporting the rhythm by playing the first note detached and tie the second note(the good note) to the third note, making it sound da da-a da. I think he made it in this way in order to let the fugue subject stand out every time it appears.

Tied upbeats became common with the Vienna-classical style, since you on a fortepiano can play tied upbeats without disturbing the rhythm, by stressing the good note dynamically- This is not possible on a harpsichord.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 28, 2009, 03:20:49 PM
Not yet. I do not know the performer.

This is a "Kodak moment" (i.e.: a rare, one time, moment that is captured by a picture, or should have been captured by a picture), dear Premont.  ;D Don't you remember those lovely trio sonatas on lute-harpsichord?

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 28, 2009, 03:41:36 PM
Thanks, Don. I appreciate that. :) From that sounds of it (no pun intended), it seems I am someone who prefers the "dry" sound, although I can't be very sure. I'll have to listen to these examples you mention.

BTW, this is slightly off-topic, have you listened to Leonhardt's English Suites on Seon? And if you have, how would you describe it in terms of its "sonic moisture content"?

I have Leonhardt's English Suites on EMI and assume the Seon set comes from different performances.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 28, 2009, 03:43:55 PM
BTW, besides Rousset my primary recommendation for the English Suites, and for the French Suites for that matter, is Alan Curtis (Warner/Teldec). See post HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg247091.html#msg247091).

Q

I have those Curtis recordings, and they are at the top of the mountain.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on October 28, 2009, 11:35:47 PM
D Don't you remember those lovely trio sonatas on lute-harpsichord?

Oh yes, now I recall, that one of the two performers was called John Paul. :-[
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on October 29, 2009, 12:40:00 AM
I have Leonhardt's English Suites on EMI and assume the Seon set comes from different performances.

I suppose so. That (containing the even-numbered suites) was my first harpsichord CD. I was still at an early stage and was not entirely comfortable with listening to the instrument for long periods of time. And that CD had passages which I found grating -- at times it was just loud sounds, especially when a series of notes was repeated over and over. Of course, in the intervening two or so years, I have come to appreciate works for the harpsichord, and I like it the most when, like you said, every detail can be clearly heard.

I recently bought Leonhardt's Partitas on EMI. I don't have the problem with the sound in that recording.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on November 04, 2009, 04:11:52 AM
To comment on Rousset's Ambroisie recordings: their sound is uncommonly rich, reverberant if you wish. This is IMO caused by the very rich sounding Ruckers harpsichord in combination with a rich soundstage. I like it, but at first I was put off by the tonal blending - as if Rousset played too fast (although he does play pretty fast), but I quickly got adjusted. Now I'm a big fan of these recordings, can't wait for a WTC.

whole-heartedly agree-agree-agree.

Fell in love, instantly, with this Rousset-Ambroise recording:

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html)
(http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4844/292/320/rousset_klavierbuechlein.jpg)

...and the attraction never waned.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on November 21, 2009, 07:49:37 PM
Much talk about Rouset's recordings on Ambroisie lately! :)
For newcomers an excellent opportunity arises with this new issue: a 6CDset with the English & French Suites + the Klavierbüchlein!

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0822186001967.jpg)

At €30 at jpc (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Englische-Suiten-BWV-806-811/hnum/3075965)  you'll get three sets for the price of one! :o :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on November 22, 2009, 03:06:21 AM
Much talk about Rouset's recordings on Ambroisie lately! :)
For newcomers an excellent opportunity arises with this new issue: a 6CDset with the English & French Suites + the Klavierbüchlein!

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0822186001967.jpg)

At €30 at jpc (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Englische-Suiten-BWV-806-811/hnum/3075965)  you'll get three sets for the price of one! :o :)

Q

Oh. My. Gawd.

What a f$%^&()_)^incredible deal. That's less than any one of these sets cost. And the best f%$^&*()(*^% Bach on the Harpsichord* out there.
Just grab that bundle and ask questions later.


* 1.) Blandine Rannou comes close 2.) Rich acoustic may surprise.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Drasko on November 22, 2009, 03:38:04 AM
Oh. My. Gawd.

Indeed! I want that. But the question is: grab it now with jpc exorbitant shipping rates or wait until it shows up at friendlier British sites, will the price there be as good?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on November 22, 2009, 04:03:19 AM
Indeed! I want that. But the question is: grab it now with jpc exorbitant shipping rates or wait until it shows up at friendlier British sites, will the price there be as good?
It's not marked as "specially priced" on jpc, so that factoid would go down on the "let's wait and see" side. If it shows up more expensive, you can still check and see if shipping makes the price difference worth getting it from Germania or not. But get, you must. I justed asked Ambroise if/when this set will be distributed in the US. I hope still this year.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Drasko on November 22, 2009, 04:42:21 AM
http://www.amazon.de/Englische-Suiten-Französische-Christophe-Rousset/dp/B002ONGXV6 (http://www.amazon.de/Englische-Suiten-Französische-Christophe-Rousset/dp/B002ONGXV6)

It is listed at amazon.de at same price, which makes jpc redundant (in my case at least). But it's still worth to wait and see what price will British come up with, especially with their frequent sales.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DarkAngel on November 22, 2009, 08:14:07 AM
Rousset/Ambroise 6CD set is an essential Bach purchase for harpsicord performance

I could probably sell the three Ambroise sets used at Amazon now and make profit over buying new 6CD set............but the individual sets have very lavish packaging which I like and will probably just keep them.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on November 22, 2009, 02:23:23 PM
Rousset/Ambroise 6CD set is an essential Bach purchase for harpsicord performance


Oh, I think there are many other Bach harpsichord recordings of greater priority.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DarkAngel on December 12, 2009, 06:19:49 PM
Harmonia Mundi has kindly collected together a reduced price 4CD boxset of Andreas Staier performances of Bach, just listened to the partitas and have not heard any better for harpsicord including newest Pinnock set, contents:

1)fantasies and fuges (10)
2)partitas 1,2,3
3)partitas 4,5,6
4)Italian Concerto, French Overture

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/82876673782.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on December 12, 2009, 06:26:00 PM
Harmonia Mundi has kindly collected together a reduced price 4CD boxset of Andreas Staier performances of Bach, just listened to the partitas and have not heard any better for harpsicord including newest Pinnock set, contents:

1)fantasies and fuges (10)
2)partitas 1,2,3
3)partitas 4,5,6
4)Italian Concerto, French Overture

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/82876673782.jpg)

All the recordings by Andrea Staier I have were performance on fortepiano ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DarkAngel on December 12, 2009, 06:31:00 PM
All the recordings by Andrea Staier I have were performance on fortepiano ...

The Staier boxset above uses two harpsicords:
-replica of Michael Mietke, Berlin 1702-1704 (CD 1)
-replica of Vorbildern, Germany 1740 (CD 2,3,4)

Keeping things German for Bach.......... ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 13, 2009, 06:12:41 AM
Harmonia Mundi has kindly collected together a reduced price 4CD boxset of Andreas Staier performances of Bach, just listened to the partitas and have not heard any better for harpsicord including newest Pinnock set, contents:

1)fantasies and fuges (10)
2)partitas 1,2,3
3)partitas 4,5,6
4)Italian Concerto, French Overture

Well, I think the CD with Fantasies and Fugues is rather good, but in Staiers Clavierübung II and III I do not hear much other than inarticulate show-off, and actually I have parted with the Clavierübung set again.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on December 13, 2009, 06:48:43 AM
Harmonia Mundi has kindly collected together a reduced price 4CD boxset of Andreas Staier performances of Bach...



Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, to be precise. Originally the German 'brother' label of Harmonia Mundi (sharing the name with its French pendant) before they split and "Deutsche" Harmonia Mundi became an imprint of EMI (until the late 80s). In 1989 BMG took over distribution, in 1991 it bought DHM outright and it has since been part of the Sony/RCA/BMG family.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DarkAngel on December 13, 2009, 06:55:20 AM
Well, I think the CD with Fantasies and Fugues is rather good, but in Staiers Clavierübung II and III I do not hear much other than inarticulate show-off, and actually I have parted with the Clavierübung set again.

As an alternative what do you consider best harpsicord partitas?

One person's "inarticulate show-off" is another person's thrilling performance, I love Staier's Bach
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 13, 2009, 08:31:50 AM
As an alternative what do you consider best harpsicord partitas?

For me, it was Leonhardt, Tureck and Gould for many years.  However, Craig Sheppard's set on Romeo now gets my vote; somewhat like Gould at his best without all the humming.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 13, 2009, 09:06:57 AM
As an alternative what do you consider best harpsicord partitas?
Gustav Leonhardt, either the DHM or EMI recording, Lars Ulrik Mortensen (Kontrapunkt), Kenneth Gilbert (Harmonia Mundi), Walcha (EMI), to mention some.

One person's "inarticulate show-off" is another person's thrilling performance, I love Staier's Bach
Not always. Some degree of objectivity is possible.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 13, 2009, 09:54:09 AM
For me, it was Leonhardt, Tureck and Gould for many years.  However, Craig Sheppard's set on Romeo now gets my vote; somewhat like Gould at his best without all the humming.

The Rousset 4-CD box below includes the Goldberg Variations & the Partitas, plus more, of course on the harpsichord - is this performer 'in the running'?

For piano, I have the 2-CD Nimbus set w/ Roberts - Don's mention of Sheppard, however, interests me (I like his Bk. 1 WTC) - I'm assuming the latter was a 'live' recording (but hopefully audience noise/clapping were eliminated, at least my preference) -  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514WXFFDAQL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GD1TR15CL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 13, 2009, 10:07:27 AM
The Rousset 4-CD box below includes the Goldberg Variations & the Partitas, plus more, of course on the harpsichord - is this performer 'in the running'?

For piano, I have the 2-CD Nimbus set w/ Roberts - Don's mention of Sheppard, however, interests me (I like his Bk. 1 WTC) - I'm assuming the latter was a 'live' recording (but hopefully audience noise/clapping were eliminated, at least my preference) -  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514WXFFDAQL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GD1TR15CL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I forgot about the Partitas from Rousset - definitely one of the best. 

There's a world of difference between the Roberts and Sheppard.  Roberts is good for driving, Sheppard for full attention.  I have noticed that Roberts is much more interesting and adventurous in his live recordings; in the studio, he likes to play nice.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 13, 2009, 10:18:41 AM
Listened to it once, about a month ago. Did not impress me much. Shall relisten after another bunch of Beethoven piano sonatas / Lewis.

Do you have any chance to listen to again TAoF by Vartolo, Premont?

BTW, I have finished agreeing with you about Lewis, especially because of his total insensitivity and uniformity on tempi and agogics.  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DarkAngel on December 13, 2009, 10:19:28 AM
The Rousset 4-CD box below includes the Goldberg Variations & the Partitas, plus more, of course on the harpsichord - is this performer 'in the running'?

Yes the Rousset and new Pinnock harpsicord partitas are very nice.............I would like to hear Rousset record these again for Ambroise label, I think they would be even better as his style has changed over the years as heard on his English and French suites.

We are confusing things discussing piano versions in on the harpsicord thread..............
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DarkAngel on December 13, 2009, 10:31:25 AM
Not always. Some degree of objectivity is possible.

Just because some members here share some agreement about favorite performers does not make them the correct or best way to perform a Bach piece, these are all subjective opinions........

Unless you are saying an artist like Staier is not capable of physically playing the music on the sheets in front of him, then Staier is making subjective choices about what instrument to use and what style he wants to play the piece. We should not assume that we can make an objective case that he is doing it worse than say Leonhardt......you are just giving your opinion, as do I when I say I prefer Staier  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 13, 2009, 10:36:35 AM
Just because some members here share some agreement about favorite performers does not make them the correct or best way to perform a Bach piece, these are all subjective opinions........

Unless you are saying an artist like Staier is not capable of physically playing the music on the sheets in front of him, then Staier is making subjective choices about what instrument to use and what style he wants to play the piece. We should not assume that we can make an objective case that he is doing it worse than say Leonhardt......you are just giving your opinion, as do I when I say I prefer Staier  :)

Fortunately, there are some objective elements such as the use of agogic pauses, hesitations, staccato etc.  Of course, those are just descriptive elements that say nothing about artistry.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on December 13, 2009, 10:44:09 AM
Just because some members here share some agreement about favorite performers does not make them the correct or best way to perform a Bach piece, these are all subjective opinions........

Unless you are saying an artist like Staier is not capable of physically playing the music on the sheets in front of him, then Staier is making subjective choices about what instrument to use and what style he wants to play the piece. We should not assume that we can make an objective case that he is doing it worse than say Leonhardt......you are just giving your opinion, as do I when I say I prefer Staier  :)

DA,    I hear you.  That is why I do not summarily brush off reviews on Amazon as some forum members do when that number exceeds 20 or more for a given recording.  While most  Amazon reviewers do not write for Fanfare but many of them appear to be quite knowledgeable.  Knowledge is something no one can monopolize, particularly in the age of internet. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 13, 2009, 10:52:50 AM
Do you have any chance to listen to again TAoF by Vartolo, Premont?
Yes, it is on my shelf. But it will have to wait until wednesday or so.

BTW, I have finished agreeing with you about Lewis, especially because of his total insensitivity and uniformity on tempi and agogics.  :)
What I expected. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on December 13, 2009, 10:56:09 AM
DA,    I hear you.  That is why I do not summarily brush off reviews on Amazon as some forum members do when that number exceeds 20 or more for a given recording.  While most  Amazon reviewers do not write for Fanfare but many of them appear to be quite knowledgeable.  Knowledge is something no one can monopolize, particularly in the age of internet.

The problem is that knowledge doesn't translate into shared preference.  I very much enjoy reading the opinions of others, but there is no substitute for my own preferences.  As an example, I have read many favorable comments about Beausejour's WTC I.  Unfortunately, I concluded his account is not worthy.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 02, 2010, 06:48:36 AM
Do you have any chance to listen to again TAoF by Vartolo, Premont?

Relistening to Vartolo´s Art of Fugue was a mixed blessing, so to say.

He uses a wonderful, resonant instrument and he is superbly recorded. And he has got a really noble and sensitive touch and articulation. And his generally deliberate pace does not bother me at all. What on the other hand bothers me, is his completely inconsistent relation to tempo and rhythm. He changes the tempo all the time, and contrary to e.g. Wolfgang Rübsam, he does not revert to a basic pulse after his excesses. Of course he tries to be “expressive”, but IMO he detracts very much from the greatness of the music and spoils the flow of the music. Add to this, that his changes of registration in many Contrapuncti  are superfluous and seem contrieved (e.g..end of four part mirror Cpt.s).  Concluding I find, that he pastes unwanted personal expressive measures into the music much in the same way as e.g. Glenn Gould (in Gould´s case not as to tempo but as to articulation), whom I find rightout irritating for the same reason.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DarkAngel on January 02, 2010, 07:21:42 AM
(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/harmoniamundihmc902058.jpg)

Here is something I am really looking forward to, Andreas Staier version of Goldberg Variations.
Presto UK will be selling this Feb. 2010..........it will be mine  ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 02, 2010, 12:42:11 PM
Relistening to Vartolo´s Art of Fugue was a mixed blessing, so to say.

He uses a wonderful, resonant instrument and he is superbly recorded. And he has got a really noble and sensitive touch and articulation. And his generally deliberate pace does not bother me at all. What on the other hand bothers me, is his completely inconsistent relation to tempo and rhythm. He changes the tempo all the time, and contrary to e.g. Wolfgang Rübsam, he does not revert to a basic pulse after his excesses. Of course he tries to be “expressive”, but IMO he detracts very much from the greatness of the music and spoils the flow of the music. Add to this, that his changes of registration in many Contrapuncti  are superfluous and seem contrieved (e.g..end of four part mirror Cpt.s).  Concluding I find, that he pastes unwanted personal expressive measures into the music much in the same way as e.g. Glenn Gould (in Gould´s case not as to tempo but as to articulation), whom I find rightout irritating for the same reason.

Hi, Premont. I agree about all your favorable points on Vartolo’s recording (instrument, sound quality, touch and articulation) , but I don't feel his changes of pulse during the performance as being detrimental to the greatness of the work. On the contrary, I feel them like very welcomed touches of sober expressiveness. I like equally the recording and the performance, particularly that immense contrapunctistic clarity brought by Vartolo to this set. Besides, his documentation is impressive, especially in the extended version of the booklet available on-line:  www.naxos.com/libretti/570577.htm   

In short, one of my preferred versions together with Leonhardt, Menno van Delft and, probably, Robert Hill (I don't have Walcha's version yet). 

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on January 02, 2010, 12:55:49 PM
Relistening to Vartolo´s Art of Fugue was a mixed blessing, so to say.

He uses a wonderful, resonant instrument and he is superbly recorded. And he has got a really noble and sensitive touch and articulation. And his generally deliberate pace does not bother me at all. What on the other hand bothers me, is his completely inconsistent relation to tempo and rhythm. He changes the tempo all the time, and contrary to e.g. Wolfgang Rübsam, he does not revert to a basic pulse after his excesses. Of course he tries to be “expressive”, but IMO he detracts very much from the greatness of the music and spoils the flow of the music. Add to this, that his changes of registration in many Contrapuncti  are superfluous and seem contrieved (e.g..end of four part mirror Cpt.s).  Concluding I find, that he pastes unwanted personal expressive measures into the music much in the same way as e.g. Glenn Gould (in Gould´s case not as to tempo but as to articulation), whom I find rightout irritating for the same reason.

There you go - I don't find either Vartolo or Gould irritating.  I used to hate tempo changes such as those used by Vartolo, but in recent years I'm smitten with them (for the most part).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 02, 2010, 01:43:20 PM
In short, one of my preferred versions together with Leonhardt, Menno van Delft and, probably, Robert Hill (I don't have Walcha's version yet). 

If we are talking of harpsichord versions exclusively, I share these your preferences - would add Moroney though, maybe instead of Hill. Especially I enjoy the calm pace and clear part playing of van Delft. And Leonhardt, who´s intense expressivity of course is very individual, but which in these ears borders congeniality. Hill is competent but a bit too hard driven for my taste, finding him more convincing elsewhere. Moroney delivers at first listening maybe the most "objective" interpretation of all, but repeated listening uncovers his introvert expression.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 02, 2010, 01:52:09 PM
There you go - I don't find either Vartolo or Gould irritating.  I used to hate tempo changes such as those used by Vartolo, but in recent years I'm smitten with them (for the most part).

My taste has also changed during the years, generally in the way, that I have become more tolerant to a wider spectrum of interpretations. On the other hand I have got a more strict idea of stylistics, and I do not find pleasure in interpretations, which my mind tells me are out of style as is the case with Gould and Vartolo.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on January 02, 2010, 10:55:38 PM
(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/harmoniamundihmc902058.jpg)

Here is something I am really looking forward to, Andreas Staier version of Goldberg Variations.
Presto UK will be selling this Feb. 2010..........it will be mine  ;)

Devil!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on January 03, 2010, 03:01:10 AM
(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/harmoniamundihmc902058.jpg)

Here is something I am really looking forward to, Andreas Staier version of Goldberg Variations.
Presto UK will be selling this Feb. 2010..........it will be mine  ;)

Sofar I've not been entirely convinced by Staier's Bach. ::) I think the man is a Classicist.  :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DarkAngel on January 03, 2010, 05:48:42 AM
Sofar I've not been entirely convinced by Staier's Bach. ::) I think the man is a Classicist.  :)
Q

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/82876673782.jpg)

As far as being a classicist, guilty as charged......I have nothing but high praise for the few Haydn, Mozart releases so far by Staier. Even his Schubert is causing some waves

Did you pick up Staier's 4 CD Bach boxset?
I was very impressed especially the Bach six partitas, took a long time to get a Goldberg for his followers, I would be surprised if he did not deliver anything short of an inspired performance...........
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DarkAngel on January 03, 2010, 05:51:05 AM
Devil!

Just trying to keep the classical music economy alive...........and a small payback for our favorite artists
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on January 03, 2010, 07:58:07 AM
(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/82876673782.jpg)

As far as being a classicist, guilty as charged......I have nothing but high praise for the few Haydn, Mozart releases so far by Staier. Even his Schubert is causing some waves

Did you pick up Staier's 4 CD Bach boxset?
I was very impressed especially the Bach six partitas, took a long time to get a Goldberg for his followers, I would be surprised if he did not deliver anything short of an inspired performance...........

I like Staier's Haydn and have 2 CD's in their original HM "jackets".  I will wait and see as my experience has been not all tried and true "classical" pianists were successful in transforming themselves into notable performers of Bach keyboard works.  Helene Grimaud and Daniel Barenboim came to mind ...   :-\
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jwinter on January 03, 2010, 04:14:25 PM
Purchase and tip of the day:  should you happen to see a super-cheapie 4 disc box called "Bach: The Well-Tempered Piano" on Kannon Records, which gives no indication at all on the outside as to who's performing, it's actually the full WTC on harpsichord by Christiane Jaccottet. 

On first listen I think the performances are fine, and very well-recorded.   I'm quite pleased, particularly since I paid less than 5 bucks for the whole set.  Found it in a discount book store, in a bin with lots of strange live & compilation CDs of big bands and old 60s pop.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on January 03, 2010, 04:30:02 PM
Purchase and tip of the day:  should you happen to see a super-cheapie 4 disc box called "Bach: The Well-Tempered Piano" on Kannon Records, which gives no indication at all on the outside as to who's performing, it's actually the full WTC on harpsichord by Christiane Jaccottet. 

On first listen I think the performances are fine, and very well-recorded.   I'm quite pleased, particularly since I paid less than 5 bucks for the whole set.  Found it in a discount book store, in a bin with lots of strange live & compilation CDs of big bands and old 60s pop.

The late Christiane Jaccottet was an outstanding harpsichordist IMO.  I have a number of her recordings on works by JS Bach on LP and on CD.  It was not until a few months ago I was able to get "probably" all the Bach keyboard works she had recorded through this set, which I got for around $20 before shipping (set is going for almost $117 now).  However, the most important finds for me were the WTC Books 1 & 2 ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51p63cCYYLL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jwinter on January 03, 2010, 04:46:40 PM
The late Christiane Jaccottet was an outstanding harpsichordist IMO.  I have a number of her recordings on works by JS Bach on LP and on CD.  It was not until a few months ago I was able to get "probably" all the Bach keyboard works she had recorded through this set, which I got for around $20 before shipping (set is going for almost $117 now).  However, the most important finds for me were the WTC Books 1 & 2 ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51p63cCYYLL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Thanks for the info!  I was quite pleasantly surprised by the contents -- I was assuming it would be on piano, given the title and the picture on the box, and took a shot.  Nicely fills a hole for me -- the only WTC on harpsichord I had was Leon Berben in the Brilliant Bach set, and an MP3 of Davitt Maroney that I ripped from the library ages ago.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on January 03, 2010, 04:58:02 PM
Thanks for the info!  I was quite pleasantly surprised by the contents -- I was assuming it would be on piano, given the title and the picture on the box, and took a shot.  Nicely fills a hole for me -- the only WTC on harpsichord I had was Leon Berben in the Brilliant Bach set, and an MP3 of Davitt Maroney that I ripped from the library ages ago.

I am not familiar with Leon Berben, a quick google shows that he is pretty young.  I have the following set by Davitt Moroney, who is an excellent harpsichordist.  I just love the interpretation Christiane Jaccottet had for the WTC and how the performance flowed ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41G1E0CXKVL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on January 04, 2010, 11:30:23 AM
The late Christiane Jaccottet was an outstanding harpsichordist IMO.  I have a number of her recordings on works by JS Bach on LP and on CD.  It was not until a few months ago I was able to get "probably" all the Bach keyboard works she had recorded through this set, which I got for around $20 before shipping (set is going for almost $117 now).  However, the most important finds for me were the WTC Books 1 & 2 ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51p63cCYYLL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Thanks for the info!  I was quite pleasantly surprised by the contents -- I was assuming it would be on piano, given the title and the picture on the box, and took a shot.  Nicely fills a hole for me -- the only WTC on harpsichord I had was Leon Berben in the Brilliant Bach set, and an MP3 of Davitt Maroney that I ripped from the library ages ago.

The "Well Tempered Piano" as well as Jaccottet's Goldbergs are available at Itunes for a lot less than $119.   ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 04, 2010, 01:53:57 PM
The late Christiane Jaccottet ..I was able to get "probably" all the Bach keyboard works she had recorded through this set,

As I told you before, three CDs with "odd" harpsichord works are missing from the set as well as her recording of the harpsichord concertos.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 04, 2010, 01:59:16 PM
I am not familiar with Leon Berben, a quick google shows that he is pretty young. 

He was young at the time of the recording of the WTC, which accordingly is rather immature. He has matured since, and his recent recording of the Bach Toccatas manualiter is excellent.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 04, 2010, 02:00:50 PM
Sofar I've not been entirely convinced by Staier's Bach. ::) I think the man is a Classicist.  :)

Exactly my thoughts.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 04, 2010, 04:53:18 PM
As I told you before, three CDs with "odd" harpsichord works are missing from the set as well as her recording of the harpsichord concertos.

How many of those "odd" harpsichord works are played on lute-harpsichord, Premont? I am sure they are not currently available, but I am curious about what label issued those works?

BTW, I have seen a 3-CD set with Jaccottet's harpsichord concertos on Concerto Royale (is it a pirate label?).   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 05, 2010, 07:13:24 AM
How many of those "odd" harpsichord works are played on lute-harpsichord, Premont? I am sure they are not currently available, but I am curious about what label issued those works?

Of the three CDs (label Intercord) with odd works I only own one, the one with works played on lute-harpsichord, which are:

Suite E-major       BWV 1006a (after the third Partita for solo violin)
Suite e-minor       BWV   996
Suite g-minor       BWV   995   (after the fifth Suite for solo violoncello)
Prelude, Fugue and Allegro Es-major  BWV 998
Musette D-major BWV Anhang 126 (Clavierbüchlein A M Bach)

The two other CDs (played on harpsichord) contain if IRRC among other works the Fantasy and Fugue a-minor BWV 904, the Fantasy c-minor BWV 906 and the two Suites in French style BWV 808 a-minor and 809 Es-major.

BTW, I have seen a 3-CD set with Jaccottet's harpsichord concertos on Concerto Royale (is it a pirate label?).

This 3 CD Concerto Royale set contains the WTC book II, the Fifth and Sixth French Suite and the French Ouverture. I do not know the exact relation between Concerto Royale and Intercord, but I know positively, that Concerto Royale has released quite a number of Vox recordings without any kind of license from Vox, among others the "complete" Bach harpsichord concertos with Christiane Jaccottet (omitting BTW the d-minor concerto BWV 1052 for some unknown reason).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 06, 2010, 02:24:20 AM
Of the three CDs (label Intercord)...

Thanks for the detailed information, Premont. It is really very useful in the confusion of Jaccottet's discography.  :)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 06, 2010, 07:37:27 AM
Just arrived at my doorstep this morning!

Bach, JS - WTC II w/ Peter Watchorn on the pedal harpsichord; 3-CDs packaged in a cardboard foldout w/ an interesting plastic flip device for the discs - overall the package is just slightly thicker than a single jewel box!  Have not begun my listening yet -  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWTCIIWatchornA/758744700_Cj5Ky-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on January 06, 2010, 07:54:24 PM
As I told you before, three CDs with "odd" harpsichord works are missing from the set as well as her recording of the harpsichord concertos.

My focus has always been on Jaccottet's solo performance and I have more than enough HIP Bach Harpsichord Concertos to more than offset a few that were no doubt non-HIP performances anyway ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 10, 2010, 09:48:09 AM
Just to mention again a well-discussed performer on this thread,  Robert Hill - this 2-CD offering has him performing on the harpsichord (entire first disc; one work on second disc), lautenwerk (or lute-harpsichord, i.e. gut strung harpsichord), and clavichord (latter two instruments on the second disc).

The sources for this music are varied; the first disc contains transcriptions of the solo violin partitas/sonatas, one by Hill (BWV 1104) and the other two by Bach; the other disc has several works written specifically for solo clavier, several Bach adaptations, and a final Hill transcription (BWV 1001) of a solo violin work.

This set now complements the other two that I own w/ him (Art of Fugue & Lautenwerk disc - currently at BRO for $8!  :D


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachHill2CDs/760904753_2XEtq-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DarkAngel on January 13, 2010, 07:08:57 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41S0MaVrgzL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) 

I purchased this 2008 release by Staier which contains early works by a young Bach not included in the boxset, very vital exciting performance that makes you wonder why almost everyone else sounds so restrained. I know some more traditional Bach fans will dismiss this as pure showmanship, for me it is a revelation and pushes the envelope in a positive way for Bach solo keyboard works  ;)

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/82876673782.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on January 13, 2010, 08:03:36 PM
Just to mention again a well-discussed performer on this thread,  Robert Hill - this 2-CD offering has him performing on the harpsichord (entire first disc; one work on second disc), lautenwerk (or lute-harpsichord, i.e. gut strung harpsichord), and clavichord (latter two instruments on the second disc).

The sources for this music are varied; the first disc contains transcriptions of the solo violin partitas/sonatas, one by Hill (BWV 1104) and the other two by Bach; the other disc has several works written specifically for solo clavier, several Bach adaptations, and a final Hill transcription (BWV 1001) of a solo violin work.

This set now complements the other two that I own w/ him (Art of Fugue & Lautenwerk disc - currently at BRO for $8!  :D


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachHill2CDs/760904753_2XEtq-O.jpg)

I have noticed BRO often has these Hanssler recordings at major discount.  I will probably place my third BRO order at the end of this month.  At these prices, I always tend to buy at least 20 CD's per order ...    ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on January 13, 2010, 11:56:36 PM
I have noticed BRO often has these Hanssler recordings at major discount.  I will probably place my third BRO order at the end of this month.  At these prices, I always tend to buy at least 20 CD's per order ...    ;)

All the issues of Bach's solo keyboard music on Hänssler with Robert Hill are highly recommendable! I also like the multiple performer series with the organ works.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on January 16, 2010, 12:16:42 PM
All the issues of Bach's solo keyboard music on Hänssler with Robert Hill are highly recommendable! I also like the multiple performer series with the organ works.

Q

Agreed.  I bought up all the solo keyboard recordings in the series; my only disappointment was Kay Johannsen.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: The new erato on February 08, 2010, 02:13:16 PM
(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/AM196.jpg)

6 CD box set, cheap!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bunny on February 12, 2010, 06:05:55 PM
(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/AM196.jpg)

6 CD box set, cheap!

That's the collected French Suites, English Suites, and Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedrich -- quite a nice set.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 11, 2010, 04:17:05 AM
I'm sure that this disk has been discussed, but scanning 41 pages for the review is too much, even for the Gurnatron 5500TM. :)  So anyway, I just ran across this item and picked it up out of sheer curiosity (plus I like the tocattas!).

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Tocattacover.jpg)

So, is it a famous winner or a sad tribute to losers?  ;)  Time will tell.

8)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 11, 2010, 02:14:46 PM
I have noticed BRO often has these Hanssler recordings at major discount.  I will probably place my third BRO order at the end of this month.  At these prices, I always tend to buy at least 20 CD's per order ...    ;)

Stuart - yep - just picked up a recommendation of the Bach Partitas w/ Weiss on harpsichord, but added 3 other CDs to counteract the S/H which is pretty cheap anyway from this place - happy hunting! Dave  :D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 15, 2010, 03:30:03 PM
(http://www.resmusica.com/images/alpha_bach_alard.jpg)

After his excellent organ trio sonatas the young Benjamin Alard have recorded the complete Clavier-Übung I.

Here his live performance of Bach’s Partita No.3 in A minor, BWV 827:

1.- Fantasia:

http://www.youtube.com/v/9LQ1DpwK-GA


2.- Allemande:

http://www.youtube.com/v/eGmNq848gsY


3.- Courante:

http://www.youtube.com/v/eSgsLAmVu9o


4.- Sarabanda:

http://www.youtube.com/v/EAbn5NkiIwQ


5.- Burlesca & Scherzo:

http://www.youtube.com/v/3kDFqJbShWY


6.- Gigue

http://www.youtube.com/v/fL52wkAqGik


Enjoy! (despite the low sound quality)  :)




Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on May 15, 2010, 11:18:43 PM
(http://www.resmusica.com/images/alpha_bach_alard.jpg)

After his excellent organ trio sonatas the young Benjamin Alard have recorded the complete Clavier-Übung I.

I have sampled that set a while ago and were, and remain so after these samples, unconvinced.  ::) This seemingly overly academic and somewhat "wooden" approach (he "brakes down" the music without keeping proper impetus IMO) pales next to Rousset's (Decca) elegance, imagination and vigor.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DarkAngel on May 16, 2010, 05:51:46 AM
(http://www.resmusica.com/images/alpha_bach_alard.jpg)

After his excellent organ trio sonatas the young Benjamin Alard have recorded the complete Clavier-Übung I.

Here his live performance of Bach’s Partita No.3 in A minor, BWV 827:

Hmmmmm.......think I will also pass on these harpsichord partitas
a bit too straight forward and earth bound for me, seems to be just causually playing them and not giving us an inspired rendition. My favorite harpsichord partitas are the dramatic Scott Ross and Andreas Staier sets (Staier boxset mentioned above previously), Rousset Decca boxset not far behind
 
As for Roussett I think in general his early Decca/Lyre Bach recordings done when he was younger are very good but have been eclipsed overall by his own excellent new recordings for Ambroisie label, he has raised the bar even higher. We just need to wait for more Ambroise recordings to appear (partitas, goldberg, WTC etc), the current Ambroisie boxset is an absolute essential Bach purchase and at reduced price a must own harpsichord document........
 
(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/AM196.jpg)
 
I purchased the full price individual digipak releases from this set when first released, must take solace in knowing that I have beautiful artwork of these lushly packaged releases to cherish
 
 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 16, 2010, 06:48:10 AM

Hmmmmm.......think I will also pass on these harpsichord partitas
a bit too straight forward and earth bound for me, seems to be just causually playing them and not giving us an inspired rendition. My favorite harpsichord partitas are the dramatic Scott Ross and Andreas Staier sets (Staier boxset mentioned above previously), Rousset Decca boxset not far behind
 
As for Roussett I think in general his early Decca/Lyre Bach recordings done when he was younger are very good but have been eclipsed overall by his own excellent new recordings for Ambroisie label, he has raised the bar even higher. We just need to wait for more Ambroise recordings to appear (partitas, goldberg, WTC etc), the current Ambroisie boxset is an absolute essential Bach purchase and at reduced price a must own harpsichord document........
 
(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/AM196.jpg)
 
I purchased the full price individual digipak releases from this set when first released, must take solace in knowing that I have beautiful artwork of these lushly packaged releases to cherish

I was impressed with Rousset going back to the days when he performed with the AAM under Christopher Hogwood.  The CD's of Bach Concertos for 3 & 4 harpsichords and Harpsichord Concertos are nothing short of fabulous IMO ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41A9FBNW3YL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 16, 2010, 06:56:23 AM
I have sampled that set a while ago and were, and remain so after these samples, unconvinced.  ::) This seemingly overly academic and somewhat "wooden" approach (he "brakes down" the music without keeping proper impetus IMO) pales next to Rousset's (Decca) elegance, imagination and vigor.

Q

Q,  I trust your judgment.  I am only after the tried and true performers.  There are just so many keyboard artists out there and not everyone can be a true virtuoso, who has to be more than just technically flawless to deserve such accolade.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 16, 2010, 07:19:00 AM
Just about all Christophe Rousset's CD on L'oiseau Lyre
are commanding big bucks.  Here are just a few of them ...

http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Harpsichord-Concertos-concerto-Schroder/dp/B000004CYP/ref=sr_1_25?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1274026492&sr=1-25

http://www.amazon.com/J-S-Bach-Concerto-Chromatic-LOiseau-Lyre/dp/B00000E4VY/ref=sr_1_21?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1274025957&sr=1-21

http://www.amazon.com/Christophe-Rousset-Bach-Goldberg-Variations/dp/B000004CYL/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1274025957&sr=1-16
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 16, 2010, 07:19:34 AM
(http://www.resmusica.com/images/alpha_bach_alard.jpg)

After his excellent organ trio sonatas the young Benjamin Alard have recorded the complete Clavier-Übung I.

Thanks for the samples.  I enjoyed them except for the Fantasia and Gigue; those performances could use greater vibrancy and faster tempos.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 16, 2010, 12:10:27 PM
Thanks for the samples.  I enjoyed them except for the Fantasia and Gigue; those performances could use greater vibrancy and faster tempos.

You’re welcome, Don. I also enjoyed them.

Apparently, the Fantasia and Gigue sound more satisfactory in the CD (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Partiten-BWV-825-860/hnum/3547428).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 16, 2010, 12:24:17 PM
Q,  I trust your judgment.  I am only after the tried and true performers.  There are just so many keyboard artists out there and not everyone can be a true virtuoso, who has to be more than just technically flawless to deserve such accolade.

I find this statement totally incomprehensible. Why a music lover should accept another’s member judgment, when he can listen to exactly the same samples or watch the same videos. After all, Q has said that he has only heard some samples online and, apparently, he hasn’t listened to Benjamin Alard before (for example, his excellent organ sonatas). 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on May 16, 2010, 12:37:29 PM
I have sampled that set a while ago and were, and remain so after these samples, unconvinced.  ::) This seemingly overly academic and somewhat "wooden" approach (he "brakes down" the music without keeping proper impetus IMO) pales next to Rousset's (Decca) elegance, imagination and vigor.

Surprising. I own two Bach CDs by Benjamin Allard (not the Partitas though), and in these I think he manages very well to use his scholarship and his inagination in a fruitful way, without breaking the music down.

And while we are at Rousset, IMO his Bach Partita´s pale next to Suzuki´s and Walcha´s passion, Haugsands imagination, Mortensens colourfulness, Gilbert´s elegance, Leonhardts expressiveness, Ross´vigor -and I could go on.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on May 17, 2010, 03:27:29 AM
(http://www.resmusica.com/images/alpha_bach_alard.jpg)

After his excellent organ trio sonatas the young Benjamin Alard have recorded the complete Clavier-Übung I.

Here his live performance of Bach’s Partita No.3 in A minor, BWV 827: [....]

Enjoy! (despite the low sound quality) :)
Thanks for posting these!
I enjoy his reading of the Trio Sonatas, and my first impressions of this Partita are positive, too.

Such beautiful music anyhow, apart from any personal preference. :)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 17, 2010, 06:56:00 AM
Q,  I trust your judgment.  I am only after the tried and true performers. 

First, Alard is "tried and true".  His recordings for Hortus and Alpha have received much praise.

Second, one of the exciting aspects of classical music is discovering new composers and artists.

Third, are you such a lazy listener that you allow others to do the listening for you?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Scarpia on May 17, 2010, 10:31:22 AM
First, Alard is "tried and true".  His recordings for Hortus and Alpha have received much praise.

Second, one of the exciting aspects of classical music is discovering new composers and artists.

Third, are you such a lazy listener that you allow others to do the listening for you?

Hmmm, maybe you're on to something.  He claims to work 14 hours a day, and the listening thread seems to indicate 12 hours listening per day.  Perhaps he has an entire staff listening to all these recordings for him.   ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 17, 2010, 11:22:07 AM
Hmmm, maybe you're on to something.  He claims to work 14 hours a day, and the listening thread seems to indicate 12 hours listening per day.  Perhaps he has an entire staff listening to all these recordings for him.   ;D

That's a good one. ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 17, 2010, 11:58:31 AM
Keyboard Patitas w/ Kenneth Weiss on the harpsichord - a 2-CD set from BRO (just $14 and still available at present) - I was prompted to buy this performance from a superlative review in Fanfare reprinted HERE (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=72816); excellent liner notes and plenty of information on the Satirino Website HERE (http://www.satirino.fr/eng_rec_sr011.php), including a description of the harpsichord used (quoted below) -  :D

But out of curiosity, I wanted to look at some other reviews, and found a rather 'negative' one on the Bach Cantata Site (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NonVocal/Klavier-Partitas-Weiss-Kirk.htm) - now I do not know this reviewer (attention - Don!), but I must say that these discrepant opinions (in fact, a 2010 Disc from the Year for the Fanfare review!) always interests me?

At present, I'm listening to the second disc of these set; indeed, the harpsichord is just superb to my ears - I'm really enjoying this performance - will keep the set (my other performance is Rousset in a box I own - have not done any comparisons) - will be quite curious of the thoughts from fellow members here - thanks!  ;D


Quote
The Harpsichord on this recording is from the Anthony Sidey workshop, based on a mid-18th-century German instrument from the Gottfried Silbermann workshop. It was built in Paris in 1995 by Anthony Sidey and Frédéric Bal and was tuned for the present recording by Anthony Sidey.

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachPartitasWeiss/863184249_SXcsj-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Scarpia on May 17, 2010, 12:31:48 PM
Keyboard Patitas w/ Kenneth Weiss on the harpsichord - a 2-CD set from BRO (just $14 and still available at present) - I was prompted to buy this performance from a superlative review in Fanfare reprinted HERE (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=72816); excellent liner notes and plenty of information on the Satirino Website HERE (http://www.satirino.fr/eng_rec_sr011.php), including a description of the harpsichord used (quoted below) -  :D

But out of curiosity, I wanted to look at some other reviews, and found a rather 'negative' one on the Bach Cantata Site (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NonVocal/Klavier-Partitas-Weiss-Kirk.htm) - now I do not know this reviewer (attention - Don!), but I must say that these discrepant opinions (in fact, a 2010 Disc from the Year for the Fanfare review!) always interests me?

At present, I'm listening to the second disc of these set; indeed, the harpsichord is just superb to my ears - I'm really enjoying this performance - will keep the set (my other performance is Rousset in a box I own - have not done any comparisons) - will be quite curious of the thoughts from fellow members here - thanks!  ;D


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachPartitasWeiss/863184249_SXcsj-O.jpg)

I can understand reading reviews before you have heard the set, particularly if you are trying to decide whether to get the set or another.  Buy what interest is there in reviews after you have heard it for yourself?   If you have your own opinion of the recording, why give a fig whether every review every published confirms your opinion?


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 17, 2010, 01:03:00 PM
Keyboard Patitas w/ Kenneth Weiss on the harpsichord - a 2-CD set from BRO (just $14 and still available at present) - I was prompted to buy this performance from a superlative review in Fanfare reprinted HERE (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=72816); excellent liner notes and plenty of information on the Satirino Website HERE (http://www.satirino.fr/eng_rec_sr011.php), including a description of the harpsichord used (quoted below) -  :D

But out of curiosity, I wanted to look at some other reviews, and found a rather 'negative' one on the Bach Cantata Site (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NonVocal/Klavier-Partitas-Weiss-Kirk.htm) - now I do not know this reviewer (attention - Don!), but I must say that these discrepant opinions (in fact, a 2010 Disc from the Year for the Fanfare review!) always interests me?

I know the person who wrote that review on the Bach Cantata Site and the person who wrote the feedback.  Both are highly informed Bach enthusiasts who often review Bach recordings.  That being said, their opinions are just that, as is the opinion of the Fanfare reviewer.  Since SonicMan already has the Weiss set and enjoys it, his opinion is the only one that counts (for him).

Edit:  I happened to find on the internet that Weiss has twice recorded the Goldbergs: once back in the late 1990's and more recently for Satirino.  Anyone familiar with either disc?

 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 17, 2010, 01:31:15 PM
I know the person who wrote that review on the Bach Cantata Site and the person who wrote the feedback.  Both are highly informed Bach enthusiasts who often review Bach recordings.  That being said, their opinions are just that, as is the opinion of the Fanfare reviewer.  Since SonicMan already has the Weiss set and enjoys it, his opinion is the only one that counts (for him).

Scarpia & Don - thanks for your thoughts - not a problem for me at all!  I agree w/ the Fanfare reviewer - this is an excellent set on a well-listening harpsichord, and I enjoy this performer's interpretations - maybe I like his 'slow vs. faster' movement interpretations.

But, just wanted to obtain thoughts from others 'for the record' - others who may not own these recordings, esp. in harpsichord versions, may appreciate a 'conglomerate opinion' in deciding on a purchase - that was my reason for leaving a post here  - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on May 17, 2010, 03:53:43 PM
Hmmm, maybe you're on to something.  He claims to work 14 hours a day, and the listening thread seems to indicate 12 hours listening per day.  Perhaps he has an entire staff listening to all these recordings for him.   ;D

First, my 14-hour workday does not include the weekend.  Second, my goal has always been to put together the most comprehensive classical music library spanning the early music through early 20th century for myself.  While my total CD's and LP's in works of Bach are approaching 1500, I also have over 25 Beethoven cycles, 4 Bruckner cycles, 4 Mahler cycles and 4 Wagner Rings, almost all the Handel oratorios and operas and the list goes on.  I do not care to own every Bach organ recording, I am highly selective, period.  8 Complete Bach Organ Works that include Walcha (2), Koopman, Rogg, Hurford, Weinberger, jacob and most of second cycle by Marie-Claire Alain plus numerous individual recordings by Preston, Rubsam, etc. are enough for me.

Jealousy certainly does not get you very far, buddy.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 18, 2010, 05:35:20 AM
First, my 14-hour workday does not include the weekend.  Second, my goal has always been to put together the most comprehensive classical music library spanning the early music through early 20th century for myself.  While my total CD's and LP's in works of Bach are approaching 1500, I also have over 25 Beethoven cycles, 4 Bruckner cycles, 4 Mahler cycles and 4 Wagner Rings, almost all the Handel oratorios and operas and the list goes on.  I do not care to own every Bach organ recording, I am highly selective, period.  8 Complete Bach Organ Works that include Walcha (2), Koopman, Rogg, Hurford, Weinberger, jacob and most of second cycle by Marie-Claire Alain plus numerous individual recordings by Preston, Rubsam, etc. are enough for me.

Jealousy certainly does not get you very far, buddy.

Nobody said you didn't have a fine record collection, so you can stop bragging.  Most of us have the collections we want and would not entertain switching them with any other member's collection.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 19, 2010, 08:17:50 AM
I know the person who wrote that review on the Bach Cantata Site and the person who wrote the feedback.  Both are highly informed Bach enthusiasts who often review Bach recordings.  That being said, their opinions are just that, as is the opinion of the Fanfare reviewer.  Since SonicMan already has the Weiss set and enjoys it, his opinion is the only one that counts (for him).

Edit:  I happened to find on the internet that Weiss has twice recorded the Goldbergs: once back in the late 1990's and more recently for Satirino.  Anyone familiar with either disc?

Well, I'm now familiar with both Weiss Goldbergs.  I think the earlier one can be dismissed: tempos that are too quick and disagreeable harpsichord sound.  However, the Satirino version is wonderful; after just three variations I knew that the performances were entirely in my comfort zone.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on May 19, 2010, 08:45:35 AM
Nobody said you didn't have a fine record collection, so you can stop bragging.  Most of us have the collections we want and would not entertain switching them with any other member's collection.
Mmm, I think I might like your collection though .... or Premont's .... or Harry's!! :)

Seriously now: I like to read reviews, before and after purchasing them myself (or just after listening).

If a certain composer or genre is reviewed by the mostly the same person(s), I can get quite a good idea about their opinions and therefore also if a certain disc will be satisfying. And, after buying, it's nice to read what others think about it. Sometimes reviewers mention things that I did not discover myself. Mind you, I also abuse this board for these reasons. ;)

But, it's true: in the end, it's my own listening experience, my own taste and my own opinion that counts. Sometimes these can change though. That's why I very rarely throw discs in the dustbin .... if ever.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on May 19, 2010, 09:27:52 AM
Mmm, I think I might like your collection though .... or Premont's .... or Harry's!! :)

Seriously now: I like to read reviews, before and after purchasing them myself (or just after listening).

Me also.  I read reviews just for the enjoyment of it, so it makes no difference whether I've acquired the recording or not.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on July 04, 2010, 07:22:47 AM
Johann Sebastian Bach – Partitas. Clavier-Übung I (1731) BWV 825-830
Pascal Dubreuil (harpsichord)
Instrument: Titus Crijnen (Amsterdam, 1996) after Hans Ruckers II (1624)
Recorded in October 2007 at the Church of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Basse-Bodeux, Belgium
2-CD set
Ramée   

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514dvKHI%2BYL._SL500_.jpg)

(http://www.ramee.org/images/pascal2.jpg)

“The publication of the Partitas led to some ferment among music lovers in Germany. Some praised the works, others criticized them, but always in terms which suggest that they represented a turning point in harpsichord composition. Following the lead of the theoretician Johann Mattheson, the critics' principal complaint was the extreme technical demands, and the complexity of writing. In his biography of Bach, Johann Nikolaus Forkel writes of the Partitas: »One has hitherto seldom seen or heard harpsichord compositions of such excellence. He who learned to play some of these pieces well, was able to do well with them in the world; and even in our time a young artist can gain honour with them - brilliant, pleasing, expressive, and constantly fresh as they are.«

As noted in the quote above, the Partitas are among Bach's most technically demanding works for harpsichord, but Pascal Dubreuil succeeds to create a sensation of effortless fluency here. I have felt that this version combines to high degree two aspects very difficult to combine: Rhetoric expressivity and a deep knowledge of the structure and nature of the dances that make up every Partita (spoken word/dance). Additionally, the recorded sound and the instrument are just excellent and nice and erudite notes are provided. Enthusiastically recommended.  :)


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on July 04, 2010, 08:44:15 AM
Johann Sebastian Bach – Partitas. Clavier-Übung I (1731) BWV 825-830
Pascal Dubreuil (harpsichord)
Instrument: Titus Crijnen (Amsterdam, 1996) after Hans Ruckers II (1624)
Recorded in October 2007 at the Church of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Basse-Bodeux, Belgium
2-CD set
Ramée   

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514dvKHI%2BYL._SL500_.jpg)

(http://www.ramee.org/images/pascal2.jpg)

“The publication of the Partitas led to some ferment among music lovers in Germany. Some praised the works, others criticized them, but always in terms which suggest that they represented a turning point in harpsichord composition. Following the lead of the theoretician Johann Mattheson, the critics' principal complaint was the extreme technical demands, and the complexity of writing. In his biography of Bach, Johann Nikolaus Forkel writes of the Partitas: »One has hitherto seldom seen or heard harpsichord compositions of such excellence. He who learned to play some of these pieces well, was able to do well with them in the world; and even in our time a young artist can gain honour with them - brilliant, pleasing, expressive, and constantly fresh as they are.«

As noted in the quote above, the Partitas are among Bach's most technically demanding works for harpsichord, but Pascal Dubreuil succeeds to create a sensation of effortless fluency here. I have felt that this version combines to high degree two aspects very difficult to combine: Rhetoric expressivity and a deep knowledge of the structure and nature of the dances that make up every Partita (spoken word/dance). Additionally, the recorded sound and the instrument are just excellent and nice and erudite notes are provided. Enthusiastically recommended.  :)

I just listened to the samples on the Ramee website - highly rewarding.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on July 04, 2010, 02:25:37 PM
I just listened to the samples on the Ramee website - highly rewarding.

Here two examples on You Tube (poor sound quality, sorry):


http://www.youtube.com/v/nWtivySqOw4


http://www.youtube.com/v/cnPKi7cWAFc

 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: bassio on August 08, 2010, 04:10:33 PM
http://www.youtube.com/v/D3pxaIiSujQ


Enough said.  8)

(Any information/reviews about the recording/ensemble/harpsichordist is welcome.)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 09, 2010, 09:25:58 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/D3pxaIiSujQ

Enough said.  8)

(Any information/reviews about the recording/ensemble/harpsichordist is welcome.)

One of the most demential and confused versions I've heard in some time, bassio. If that is the Allegro, I can't really imagine the Presto of the same concerto...

I would try Leonhardt/Leonhardt Consort or Asperen/Melante Amsterdam:


http://www.youtube.com/v/dVtA2F8A9zc
 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 16, 2010, 08:09:18 AM
Any opinion about the WTC by Daniel Chorzempa? It's a complete 4-CD set played on harpsichord, clavichord, organ and fortepiano. Although I am not generally a fan of Chorzempa, I have been listening some excerpts and it seems a rather enticing, "intimate" lecture.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on September 06, 2010, 09:31:08 AM
Can anyone provide information (make/type) about the harpsichord played by Herbert Tachezi in the CMW's recording of the Musical Offering? My copy (a recent re-issue) does not contain any, and my best effort at searching with Google was fruitless.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on September 09, 2010, 10:16:48 AM
Did Wilson use a different instrument (I mean, a lute-harpsichord instead of a harpsichord) for the F minor prelude from Book II? ???
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on September 09, 2010, 11:08:37 AM
Did Wilson use a different instrument (I mean, a lute-harpsichord instead of a harpsichord) for the F minor prelude from Book II? ???

No, but a good question.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on September 09, 2010, 11:38:49 AM
No, but a good question.

So he just played it in a way that makes it sound like one, then? Amazing, if that's the case.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on September 09, 2010, 11:52:35 AM
So he just played it in a way that makes it sound like one, then? Amazing, if that's the case.

Perhaps, but if you listen closely to that particular Wilson prelude and then switch to a lute-harpsichord recording, you'll notice a difference.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on September 09, 2010, 11:57:24 AM
Perhaps, but if you listen closely to that particular Wilson prelude and then switch to a lute-harpsichord recording, you'll notice a difference.

Thanks. Will check that out.

Of course, I'm still wondering why that particular piece has been made to stand out like that. ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Scarpia on September 09, 2010, 12:35:46 PM
So he just played it in a way that makes it sound like one, then? Amazing, if that's the case.

Some harpsichords have multiple choirs of strings.  He might have switched to a different configuration for that particular prelude.  The harpsichord action doesn't allow for much change in tone due to touch, so a change in the keyboard coupling would be the most likely explanation.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Drasko on September 09, 2010, 02:04:33 PM
He probably used buff stop, or at least that is how description sounds to me.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Scarpia on September 09, 2010, 05:24:26 PM
Can anyone provide information (make/type) about the harpsichord played by Herbert Tachezi in the CMW's recording of the Musical Offering? My copy (a recent re-issue) does not contain any, and my best effort at searching with Google was fruitless.

I have the set on LP.  The notes say:

Cembali: R. Schutze, Heidelberg, in niederlandischer Bauweise
Martin Skowroneck, Bremen, nach einem italieniscen Instrument um 1720
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on September 09, 2010, 08:38:45 PM
He probably used buff stop, or at least that is how description sounds to me.

Yes indeed, the use of a buff stop or lute-stop, seems to me likely.

From the Encyclopeadia Britannica:
..register controlled by both manuals, using the lute stop for the upper manual and leaving the lower manual with its own unison register. Many harpsichords of all countries were also equipped with a buff stop (sometimes also called a lute stop), a device that presses pieces of soft leather against one of the sets of unisonstrings, producing a muted, pizzicato tone.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on September 09, 2010, 09:24:54 PM
Thanks for the input, gentlemen. The track is available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlxF5zm98IY. Also, found a discussion on this very issue at another forum (http://haydnesque.createforum.net/phpbb2/haydnesque-post-15658.html) (it forms the second half of the thread); it turns out that he indeed used a lute-stop. (Now, off to Wikipedia I go, to delve into the mechanics of the harpsichord.)

I have the set on LP.  The notes say:

Cembali: R. Schutze, Heidelberg, in niederlandischer Bauweise
Martin Skowroneck, Bremen, nach einem italieniscen Instrument um 1720

Thanks again, Scarpia. I've grown to love the sound of the instrument in that particular recording. I don't know whether it has anything to do with the music as such, but I'd like to search for performances of other works that uses the same or a similar instrument.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on December 04, 2010, 08:16:36 AM
What's up with Rousset's latest Bach effort? :)

It does seem his switch of label is definitive BTW.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/414scU0BrpL.jpg)

Fantasia in A minor BWV922; Fantasia & Fugue in A minor BWV904; Prelude & Fugue in F major BWV901; Capriccio sopra la lontananza des fratello dilettissimo BWV992; Prelude Fugue & Allegro in E flat major BWV998; Adagio in G major from Violin Sonata in C major BWV968; Prelude & Fughetta in G major BWV902; Prelude & Fugue in A minor BWV894; Aria variata in A minor BWV989.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Clever Hans on December 04, 2010, 09:51:07 AM
What's up with Rousset's latest Bach effort? :)

Well it received a Diapason d'Or.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 04, 2010, 01:47:57 PM
Well it received a Diapason d'Or.

Oh yes, but that prize is only the "Certificate of Origin" of French discs.  ;D 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Clever Hans on December 04, 2010, 02:17:01 PM
Oh yes, but that prize is only the "Certificate of Origin" of French discs.  ;D

Indeed, but they are certainly more reliable and less guilty of favoritism than the Gramophone. They are also more consistent, not contradicting previous reviews or editorials every five years.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: czgirb on December 22, 2010, 05:14:50 PM
So ... what is the recommendation records for:
* Harpsichord Concertos ...
* English Suite ...
* French Suite ...

Regarding to Well-Tempered ... I own Gould, Landowska, Schiff (Decca), & Turreck (a gift from my sister)
Regarding to Rosalyn Tureck ... amazon.com said it was labeled "New Style", but I don't know how it sound quality if compare to DGG or BBC ... can someone inform me?
http://www.amazon.com/J-S-Bach-Well-Tempered-Clavier/dp/B000AC5EG8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1293066677&sr=1-3
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on December 22, 2010, 06:40:39 PM
So ... what is the recommendation records for:
* Keyboard Concertos ... Angela Hewitt (if you don't mind the modern piano) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000E1XOVC/nectarandambr-20) ...otherwise maybe Egarr / Manze / Harmonia Mundi or Rousset / Hogwood / Decca
* English Suites... Blandine Rannou (ZigZag) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000092OX8/goodmusicguide-20) or, on the piano, Andrea Bacchetti
* French Suites ... Christophe Rousset (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002ONGXV6/goodmusicguide-20) (also available singly (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000C8WXZ/goodmusicguide-20))

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on January 23, 2011, 05:59:18 AM
As per usual, I can't find the Bach/Harpsichord thread. :-(


A New Label for Christophe Rousset
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2640



(http://www.weta.org/fmblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Neuchatel_Harpsichord_2_550.png)
 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2640)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on January 24, 2011, 10:42:58 PM
As per usual, I can't find the Bach/Harpsichord thread. :-(

Such a neophyte... always misses the sacred incantation. ::)

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289

(Thanks for the article.)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on January 25, 2011, 04:35:25 AM
now that i was pointed in the right direction...


A New Label for Christophe Rousset
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2640



(http://www.weta.org/fmblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Neuchatel_Harpsichord_2_550.png)
 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2640)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 26, 2011, 10:53:30 AM
Who is the moderator who has put this thread in the composer discussion board and why?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on January 26, 2011, 11:40:00 AM
Who is the moderator who has put this thread in the composer discussion board and why?

Laß ihn kreuzigen!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 26, 2011, 11:57:38 AM
Laß ihn kreuzigen!

Bien sur. Que est ce que il a fait?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on January 26, 2011, 12:35:14 PM
Bien sur. Que est ce que il a fait?

Marc probably never looked into the composers section.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on January 26, 2011, 12:41:36 PM
Marc probably never looked into the composers section.

AFAIK, this thread was originally in the 'Great Recordings And Reviews' section. I'm mainly a lurker here and I enjoy it! :D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: FideLeo on January 26, 2011, 01:19:26 PM
AFAIK, this thread was originally in the 'Great Recordings And Reviews' section. I'm mainly a lurker here and I enjoy it! :D

It IS in the "Great Recordings" section...Sorry, I am a bit confused by what you wrote above.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 26, 2011, 01:22:33 PM
It IS in the "Great Recordings" section...Sorry, I am a bit confused by what you wrote above.

It has been put back without further comments.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on January 26, 2011, 01:28:36 PM
It has been put back without further comments.

No one wants to be crucified.

OTOH ..... aber Jesus schwieg stille. :-\

Anyway, listening to a certain Bach right now (Watchorn playing Toccatas) .... and off to bed!

This is Member Marcus sayin' good night to yez all, and God bless yez.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 22, 2011, 09:55:27 AM
These are some of my favorite Bach HIP recordings (does this belong in another forum?):

Bach: Partitas for Harpsichord/Masaaki Suzuki
Bach: 6 Partitas BWV 825-830/Gustav Leonhardt
Virgin Veritas - Bach: French Suites/Davitt Moroney
The French Suites/Bradley Brookshire
Bach: Variations Goldberg, BWV 988/Pierre Hantai
Variations Glodberg/Scott Ross
Bach: Goldberg Variations/Kenneth Gilbert
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Books I&II/Kenneth Gilbert
The Well-Tempered Clavier/Glen Wilson
Bach: The Well Tempered Clavier/Robert Levin
Johann Sebastian Bach, the Art of Fugue BWV 1080/Christian Rieger
The Art Of The Fugue/Bradley Brookshire
Bach: English Suites/Gustav Leonhardt
Bach: Inventions and Sinfonias/Christiane Jaccottet
Bach, J.S.: Harpsichord Works/Christophe Rousset
Bach: Works for Lute Harpsicord/Robert Hill
Bach: Concertos Pour Clavecin/Bertrand Cuiller, Daniel Cuiller & Stradivaria
Bach - Complete Harpsichord Concerti on Antique Instruments/Moroney/Kim/Haas/Flint/Pearl
Bach: Harpsichord Concertos/Ottavio Dantone & Accademia Bizantina
Bach: 8 Violin Sonatas/Elizabeth Blumenstock & John Butt

Anyone have any suggestions as to the Toccatas? I have recordings by Tilney and Troeger...Perhaps I should acquire another set?

Knowing > 80% of these recordings I agree about their exellency, even if they do not always represent the ones I prefer. F.i. I find Brookshires AoF too mannered, not the least compared to Rieger, whom you mention too. Concerning the Toccatas manualiter my favorite (and Que´s) is Leon Berben. Another safe choice is van Asperen (his second recording for Teldec).

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 22, 2011, 11:22:19 AM
Knowing > 80% of these recordings I agree about their exellency, even if they do not always represent the ones I prefer. F.i. I find Brookshires AoF too mannered, not the least compared to Rieger, whom you mention too.

That's interesting that you consider Brookshire's AoF mannered.  I think there's validity in your opinion, although I'd prefer to call it distinctive playing.  Regardless, I do love listening to his account now and then.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 23, 2011, 02:51:09 PM
Knowing > 80% of these recordings I agree about their exellency, even if they do not always represent the ones I prefer. F.i. I find Brookshires AoF too mannered, not the least compared to Rieger, whom you mention too. Concerning the Toccatas manualiter my favorite (and Que´s) is Leon Berben. Another safe choice is van Asperen (his second recording for Teldec).

I can understand this point about Brookshire. I hesitated to throw it up there. The Reiger is perhaps a deeper and more reliable interpretation by far. I would also hesitate to use the term "mannered." I think Watchorn's Bach recordings are mannered. Brookshire is, in my very uneducated opinion, a lot of fun even if he's not profound. But as I say, I know so little about music. I love hearing opinions from more knowledgeable people like yourselves.   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 23, 2011, 02:59:32 PM
Knowing > 80% of these recordings I agree about their exellency, even if they do not always represent the ones I prefer. F.i. I find Brookshires AoF too mannered, not the least compared to Rieger, whom you mention too. Concerning the Toccatas manualiter my favorite (and Que´s) is Leon Berben. Another safe choice is van Asperen (his second recording for Teldec).

I'd love to get your opinion about recordings that you prefer. I'm going to check out Berben. I hesitate on Van Asperen because the downloadable recording is together with Goldbergs and I don't know if I can justify another Goldberg. Incidentally, I just got Staier's Goldbergs. I'm really enjoying them. The instrument is interesting. Perhaps there are weak points and inconsistencies. But I love Staier. I really like his version of variation 20. I wonder if you'll object to his liberal use of various registers? 

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 23, 2011, 03:16:21 PM
Knowing > 80% of these recordings I agree about their exellency, even if they do not always represent the ones I prefer. F.i. I find Brookshires AoF too mannered, not the least compared to Rieger, whom you mention too. Concerning the Toccatas manualiter my favorite (and Que´s) is Leon Berben. Another safe choice is van Asperen (his second recording for Teldec).

To continue this, any ideas about the Partitas? I love the two I mentioned. I'm crazy about Bach's partitas for harpsichord. I have Pinnock but I don't think he stands up to Leonhardt and Suzuuki here. What about the French suites? I also have the highly acclaimed Cates recording. Somehow it doesn't grab me like Moroney's recording does.  I'd also like to hear about people's favorite Couperin (F) recordings but perhaps it's for another forum.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 23, 2011, 05:20:36 PM
To continue this, any ideas about the Partitas? I love the two I mentioned. I'm crazy about Bach's partitas for harpsichord. I have Pinnock but I don't think he stands up to Leonhardt and Suzuuki here. What about the French suites? I also have the highly acclaimed Cates recording. Somehow it doesn't grab me like Moroney's recording does.  I'd also like to hear about people's favorite Couperin (F) recordings but perhaps it's for another forum.

You'll find plenty of recommendations in this thread, but just to drop some names: :)
For the Partitas Chritophe Rousset (Decca) (I notice that he doesn't show on your list at all, maybe you don' like his Bach?)
For the French Suites - and for the English Suites, for that matter: Alan Curtis (Teldec/Warner) and again Rousset, but now his newer recordings on Ambroisie.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on April 23, 2011, 08:00:43 PM
To continue this, any ideas about the Partitas? I love the two I mentioned. I'm crazy about Bach's partitas for harpsichord. I have Pinnock but I don't think he stands up to Leonhardt and Suzuuki here. What about the French suites? I also have the highly acclaimed Cates recording. Somehow it doesn't grab me like Moroney's recording does.  I'd also like to hear about people's favorite Couperin (F) recordings but perhaps it's for another forum.

The French Suites : I like a light touch and a strong dancey rhythm

HIP or not I think that Landowska's pre war Suite 6 is worth hearing for sure. (The CD below also has some wonderful toccatas). Swinging rhythms and a light touch. The tone of her Playel harpsichord is not so forceful here as in post war recordings. The English Suite there is post war and IMO much less interesting.

Ditto for Kirkpatrick. The instrument is so colourful and the rhythms are so swinging. I like the elastic bad twanginess of his harsichord, which gives to my ears a lovely earthy quality to some of the dances

Walcha is good IMO (I put it on symponyshare). though maybe not as supremely excellent here as in the English Suites. The instrument is a bit clangy, but it's not problematic. I like the fast tempos, the high energy.

The more I play it the more I appreciate Koopman's CD, but I find him bland compare with Landowska and Kirkpatrick and Walcha.

I can't get into David Cates's slow tempos, which just seem to wallow sentimentally  to me.


The Partitas are easier as there are piles of really characterful and enjoyable CDs

I have Leonhardt on Virgin Veritas and I love it, becuae it's so focussed. I'm sorry if I can't explain that better, but he just seems to lead you inevitably through the argument of the music. I love Kirkpatrick too -- maybe even more than in the French Suites. Kirkpatrick's box of 1950s recordings is generally one of the most fun Bach Harpsichord sets I own. It's coming to the desert island.













Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 23, 2011, 08:15:48 PM
You'll find plenty of recommendations in this thread, but just to drop some names: :)
For the Partitas Chritophe Rousset (Decca) (I notice that he doesn't show on your list at all, maybe you don' like his Bach?)
For the French Suites - and for the English Suites, for that matter: Alan Curtis (Teldec/Warner) and again Rousset, but now his newer recordings on Ambroisie.

Q

He's there. I love his French Overture but for some reason I don't have his partitas. I'll have to get them! The 6 Partitas are my favorite Bach at the moment. I'll have to check out Curtis! Thanks! I also have Rousset's Goldbergs which I like. For some reason I can't seem to take to Richard Troeger's Partitas or Inventions. I just love Suzuuki's Partitas!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 23, 2011, 08:30:19 PM
What about the French suites? I also have the highly acclaimed Cates recording. Somehow it doesn't grab me like Moroney's recording does. 

I love both the Cates and Moroney sets; also I second the Curtis.  Another favorite of mine comes from Francesco Cera on the ARTS label; his ornamentation and changes of registration in the repeats is stunning.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 23, 2011, 11:04:36 PM
He's there. I love his French Overture but for some reason I don't have his partitas. I'll have to get them! The 6 Partitas are my favorite Bach at the moment.

Of his Decca recordings I think next the Goldbergs the Partitas are actually the pick of the bunch:



Since then his style developed further. If you can take the swiftness, the elaborate brilliance and the very rich sound stage I defintely recommend this box set of his recordings on Ambroisie:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iuGBFEy1L.jpg)

Quote
I can't seem to take to Richard Troeger's Partitas or Inventions.

Don't worry, neither can I! :o ;D Put me off Troeger all together.

Another favorite of mine comes from Francesco Cera on the ARTS label; his ornamentation and changes of registration in the repeats is stunning.

A new star I need to check out - I like the Italian touch in Bach, Dantone's Goldberg Variations or WTC for instance.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 24, 2011, 01:11:09 AM
Of his Decca recordings I think next the Goldbergs the Partitas are actually the pick of the bunch:

Can you believe I had Rousset's Partitas on my hard-drive and didn't realize it? I guess I bought this set with the Goldbergs and Overture and put it away for some reason. Well, I have some listening to do! 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: marvinbrown on April 24, 2011, 02:01:13 AM


   Bach fans I am still missing the French suites on harpsichord and am torn between these 2 sets:

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51buzSNxF9L._SS500_.jpg)

  OR

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510DPJfMIlL._SS500_.jpg)


  I have Moroney's Art of Fugue and find his approach a bit "clinical" at times.  I am not sure I would welcome this approach with the French suites.  Hogwood is unfamiliar to me.  I was hoping to find a recording with Leonhardt on harpsichord but there does not seem to be one??  as some of you might know I have his Partitas (German Suites) and his English Suites which I love.  No Leonhardt  >:(! What do I do?

  marvin
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 24, 2011, 02:10:24 AM

   Bach fans I am still missing the French suites on harpsichord and am torn between these 2 sets:


  I have Moroney's Art of Fugue and find his approach a bit "clinical" at times.  I am not sure I would welcome this approach with the French suites.  Hogwood is unfamiliar to me.  I was hoping to find a recording with Leonhardt on harpsichord but there does not seem to be one??  as some of you might know I have his Partitas (German Suites) and his English Suites which I love.  No Leonhardt  >:(! What do I do?

  marvin

There is little to choose between. Both are stylish and  recommendable PI recordings, and Moroney is not as clinical as one might suppose.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 24, 2011, 02:12:50 AM

   Bach fans I am still missing the French suites on harpsichord and am torn between these 2 sets:

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51buzSNxF9L._SS500_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510DPJfMIlL._SS500_.jpg)


  I have Moroney's Art of Fugue and find his approach a bit "clinical" at times.  I am not sure I would welcome this approach with the French suites.  Hogwood is unfamiliar to me.  I was hoping to find a recording with Leonhardt on harpsichord but there does not seem to be one??  as some of you might know I have his Partitas (German Suites) and his English Suites which I love.  No Leonhardt  >:(! What do I do?

Leonhardt did indeed record them for RCA, they were issued on the Sony Seon series - probably OOP right now.

As for the given choice: I agree with your assessment of Moroney - though he is superb in French repertoire - wouldn't opt for Hogwood either. See a few posts back for my rec. of Curtis & Rousset. If you like Leonhardt, Alan Curtis would be the more logical choice..

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 24, 2011, 04:11:37 AM
Leonhardt did indeed record them for RCA, they were issued on the Sony Seon series - probably OOP right now.

As for the given choice: I agree with your assessment of Moroney - though he is superb in French repertoire - wouldn't opt for Hogwood either. See a few posts back for my rec. of Curtis & Rousset. If you like Leonhardt, Alan Curtis would be the more logical choice..

Q

The choice was between Hogwood and Moroney. Both a safe choice. But of course Curtis (Teldec) would be preferable. My own favorite BTW is Koopman (Erato), who offers a nice relaxed interpretation with surprising modest and well working varied reprises. And Lars Ulrik Mortensen (Kontrapunkt) who offers a colourful and  well articulated reading. Leonhardt (RCA) has but recorded these works once, and whether available or not I think that he was rather unfortunate this time as the interpretations lack his usuals tense and individual playing. I am not captivated by Rousset´s "Limousine" approach. And I find Cates a bit bland. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 24, 2011, 04:20:59 AM
[On Rousset] Since then his style developed further. If you can take the swiftness, the elaborate brilliance and the very rich sound stage [...]

I am not captivated by Rousset´s "Limousine" approach.

What a great way of putting it! :D

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 24, 2011, 05:28:09 AM

   Bach fans I am still missing the French suites on harpsichord and am torn between these 2 sets:


 


  I have Moroney's Art of Fugue and find his approach a bit "clinical" at times.  I am not sure I would welcome this approach with the French suites.  Hogwood is unfamiliar to me.  I was hoping to find a recording with Leonhardt on harpsichord but there does not seem to be one??  as some of you might know I have his Partitas (German Suites) and his English Suites which I love.  No Leonhardt  >:(! What do I do?

  marvin


Might as well add my two cents. I don't know the Hogwood but I love the Moroney recording, especially the last three suites. I don't find Moroney's Frech suites to be clinical. I've never gotten into the Cates by the way. I've tried. Others may disagree, but I find Bradley Brookshire's truncated version of the French Suites to be otherworldly and exciting. Incidentally, I uploaded and listened to a bit of Rousset's Partitas tonight - as I was recommended to do. I've really enjoyed what I've heard so far. Furthermore, at the moment I'm checking out Francesco Cera's French Suites, also per recommendations from helpful contributors to this forum. After the first two suites I can say that this recording is also shaping up to be quite wonderful.   

 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on April 24, 2011, 06:22:42 AM
The choice was between Hogwood and Moroney. Both a safe choice. But of course Curtis (Teldec) would be preferable. My own favorite BTW is Koopman (Erato), who offers a nice relaxed interpretation with surprising modest and well working varied reprises. And Lars Ulrik Mortensen (Kontrapunkt) who offers a colourful and  well articulated reading. Leonhardt (RCA) has but recorded these works once, and whether available or not I think that he was rather unfortunate this time as the interpretations lack his usuals tense and individual playing. I am not captivated by Rousset´s "Limousine" approach. And I find Cates a bit bland.

How about Pierre Hantai?  I just ordered his Goldberg Variations, which unfortunately is out of stock for now ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 24, 2011, 06:57:34 AM
How about Pierre Hantai?  I just ordered his Goldberg Variations, which unfortunately is out of stock for now ...

As far as I know he has not recorded the French Suites.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on April 24, 2011, 11:21:17 AM
This one joins me (ir)regularly whilst travelling to and from work:

(http://i51.tinypic.com/v4qnh3.jpg)

On a disc-man with moderate headphones, it's OK listening. Elina Mustonen's no-nonsense approach is quite to my likings, but on a better hifi equipment the both flat and 'spikey' sound of the harpsichord makes listening a rather tiring experience. Could be caused by the sound engineering of course ....
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 24, 2011, 12:22:21 PM

On a disc-man with moderate headphones, it's OK listening. Elina Mustonen's no-nonsense approach is quite to my likings, but on a better hifi equipment the both flat and 'spikey' sound of the harpsichord makes listening a rather tiring experience. Could be caused by the sound engineering of course ....

A couple of years ago I acquired Mustonen´s English suites. Well, good and middle of the road interpretations, but not exceptional. So I have not investigated her French suites. Maybe I should? However I recently ordred Baumont´s French suites, and the next will be Cera´s.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on April 24, 2011, 12:39:10 PM
I don't have that many recordings of the French Suites, but as far as I knew mrs. Mustonen had not been mentioned yet. So, I decided to say something (nice) about her, also to let everybody know that I'm still alive despite 3 weeks of silencio. ;D

So yes, I think Mustonen is OK, but definitely not exceptional.
And I'm sure there are better recordings available.

But this mr. Bach is turning me into a poor man .... all those different recordings I ought to buy!

Hab' Mitleid!
(Verschone mich!)


Post Scriptum: Premont, how do you rate the sound quality of Mustonen's English Suites?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: marvinbrown on April 24, 2011, 11:10:28 PM

 
  Thank you all for your recommendations and responses  :).  I am investigating the others sets especially the Curtis set and will make up my mind soon. 
 

  marvin
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 25, 2011, 11:07:33 AM
... also to let everybody know that I'm still alive despite 3 weeks of silencio. ;D

Much appreciated.  :)

Quote from: Marc
But this mr. Bach is turning me into a poor man .... all those different recordings I ought to buy!

Me too.

Quote from: Marc
Post Scriptum: Premont, how do you rate the sound quality of Mustonen's English Suites?

Your word "spiky" covers my impression well. It is metallic in a bad sense. It is interesting to note, that neither the cover nor the booklet are mentioning the origin of the instrument at all.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 25, 2011, 11:11:13 AM
I'd love to get your opinion about recordings that you prefer. But I love Staier. I really like his version of variation 20. I wonder if you'll object to his liberal use of various registers?

I have often considered him a bit showman-like, but in his Goldbergs I think he uses an interesting instrument in an interesting way.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 25, 2011, 11:26:16 AM
To continue this, any ideas about the Partitas? I love the two I mentioned. I'm crazy about Bach's partitas for harpsichord. I have Pinnock but I don't think he stands up to Leonhardt and Suzuuki here.

Concerning the Partitas:
Yes, Pinnock is a bit too workman-like to my taste.

My preferences at the moment are:

Suzuki (BIS)  who is outstanding, offering an interpretation which is passionate to a degree which is most unusual for him.
Leonhardt (DHM or EMI - I prefer the DHM by a close margin).
Lars Ulrik Mortensen (Kontrapunkt), who even here offers a colourful and expressive interpretation.
Pieter-Jan Belder (Brilliant Classics) Beautiful no-nonsense subtle expresive interpretation.


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: zauberharfe on April 25, 2011, 11:29:29 AM
(http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/2343/coverryc.jpg)

It seems this set has gone unobserved by the members here - a bit undeservedly, I think! It was recorded on the 'celebrated Blanchet-Taskin harpsichord in the collection of Kenneth Gilbert' in 2007. For me it is a performance showing a very good taste - no excesses, but the playing is amazing nevertheless.

disc info: Metronome MET CD 1078

EDIT: I don't know whether sampling is allowed here: if yes, I would willingly upload the Gavotte from Suite n.6.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on April 25, 2011, 12:30:22 PM
Blandine Verlet recorded the partitas twice, once for Naïve and once for Philips. I only have the earlier Philips recording, and I love it because she is spontaneous and imaginative and bold and joyful and passionate and energetic. She doesn't have the patrician stateliness of Leonhardt -- but that's not necessarily a hardship. Neither is her reading particularly contemplative.

Anyway, my question is, has anyone listened to both the earlier and the later sets, who can say something about the differences?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: zauberharfe on April 25, 2011, 12:36:55 PM
Bad luck - only the Naive set on this side  ::)

But I would be interested in the (eventual) differences, too!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 25, 2011, 06:38:25 PM
Concerning the Partitas:
Yes, Pinnock is a bit too workman-like to my taste.

My preferences at the moment are:

Suzuki (BIS)  who is outstanding, offering an interpretation which is passionate to a degree which is most unusual for him.
Leonhardt (DHM or EMI - I prefer the DHM by a close margin).
Lars Ulrik Mortensen (Kontrapunkt), who even here offers a colourful and expressive interpretation.
Pieter-Jan Belder (Brilliant Classics) Beautiful no-nonsense subtle expresive interpretation.

Premont, thank you very much for that list! :) I do need to update on the Partitas.

A recording that has some fame but you didn't mention, is Ketil Haugsand on Simax. Have you heard that? :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on April 25, 2011, 07:36:27 PM
Elina Mustonen's no-nonsense approach [of the French Suites] is quite to my likings, but on a better hifi equipment the both flat and 'spikey' sound of the harpsichord makes listening a rather tiring experience. Could be caused by the sound engineering of course ....
[....]
Premont, how do you rate the sound quality of Mustonen's English Suites?

Your word "spiky" covers my impression well. It is metallic in a bad sense. It is interesting to note, that neither the cover nor the booklet are mentioning the origin of the instrument at all.

Booklet on Mustonen's French Suites:
Harpsichord: Willem Kroesbergen (Utrecht 1993, after Couchet). Tuning: unequal temperament.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 26, 2011, 02:33:02 AM
Concerning the Partitas:
Yes, Pinnock is a bit too workman-like to my taste.

My preferences at the moment are:

Suzuki (BIS)  who is outstanding, offering an interpretation which is passionate to a degree which is most unusual for him.
Leonhardt (DHM or EMI - I prefer the DHM by a close margin).
Lars Ulrik Mortensen (Kontrapunkt), who even here offers a colourful and expressive interpretation.
Pieter-Jan Belder (Brilliant Classics) Beautiful no-nonsense subtle expresive interpretation.

I also love the Suzuki and Leonhardt recordings. There's something really special in the Suzuki. But I did enjoy the Rousset today. Are the Mortensen and Belder recordings must-have? I'm hoping I don't have to buy them! My wallets getting thin!   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 26, 2011, 07:45:50 AM
Blandine Verlet recorded the partitas twice, once for Naïve and once for Philips. I only have the earlier Philips recording, and I love it because she is spontaneous and imaginative and bold and joyful and passionate and energetic. She doesn't have the patrician stateliness of Leonhardt -- but that's not necessarily a hardship. Neither is her reading particularly contemplative.

Anyway, my question is, has anyone listened to both the earlier and the later sets, who can say something about the differences?

I used to own her first recording on LP. Parted with it many years ago, when I changed to CD. Haven´t left but a faint memory, and agree with the words bold and energetic. Surely a competent interpretation, but I did not like it - maybe I fouund it to be too imaginative.

However her second recording is even more spontaneous and imaginative, bordering the wilful. And tell you what, I really like it. So I have considered to reaquire her first recording (on CD).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 26, 2011, 07:52:48 AM
I also love the Suzuki and Leonhardt recordings. There's something really special in the Suzuki. But I did enjoy the Rousset today. Are the Mortensen and Belder recordings must-have? I'm hoping I don't have to buy them! My wallets getting thin!   

It depends upon how many recordings you want to own, as I find the Leonhardt and Suzuki more "essential" than the Belder and Mortensen.
If I get the time I may write a list of all the recordings I own and rank them with a few words.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 26, 2011, 07:57:18 AM
Booklet on Mustonen's French Suites:
Harpsichord: Willem Kroesbergen (Utrecht 1993, after Couchet). Tuning: unequal temperament.

Thanks for this information. I might have guessed Kroesbergen, because Mustonen is a pupil of Koopman, who prefers Kroesbergen. On the other hand I do not think that Mustonen´s Kroesbergen sounds like the one´s Koopman and Suzuki use to use for recordings, so the culprit in the case of Mustonen may be the engineer.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 26, 2011, 08:02:49 AM

A recording that has some fame but you didn't mention, is Ketil Haugsand on Simax. Have you heard that? :)


Oh, yes. A sympatic and rather individual interpretation. But still I consider the ones I mentioned to be superior, and I could not mention all recordings I know in this context.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 26, 2011, 09:11:01 AM
Oh, yes. A sympatic and rather individual interpretation. But still I consider the ones I mentioned to be superior, and I could not mention all recordings I know in this context.

It's curious that you use the word "individual" because one of my principal problems with Ketil Haugsand has been that I don't get to recognize his individual voice in these pieces. I mean all the particular aspects are well delivered (and he perfectly manages all the Baroque rhetorical resources), but I miss his own general vision and some sense of fun and enjoyment. With some of my favorite performers one or two words, a definition, come easily to my mind, for instance: Verlet II, passion, emotional turbulence; Dubreuil, Cartesian clarity; Leonhardt II, canonical (even without repetitions) and so, but the definition of Haugsand eludes me.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 26, 2011, 01:52:49 PM
It's curious that you use the word "individual" because one of my principal problems with Ketil Haugsand has been that I don't get to recognize his individual voice in these pieces. I mean all the particular aspects are well delivered (and he perfectly manages all the Baroque rhetorical resources), but I miss his own general vision and some sense of fun and enjoyment. With some of my favorite performers one or two words, a definition, come easily to my mind, for instance: Verlet II, passion, emotional turbulence; Dubreuil, Cartesian clarity; Leonhardt II, canonical (even without repetitions) and so, but the definition of Haugsand eludes me.

Writing "individual" I mean, that Haugsand´s interpretation is unlike what I have heard from others. I do not think it is necessary to put a label upon him. BTW if I should it would be something like human nobility, i.e. he displays the greatness of these works in a very human expressive way,  I think this is caused by his imagination rather than just by his mastery of rhetorical ressources.

On the other hand Dubreuil = clarity, yes ideal clarity, but in a neutral and almost impersonal way IMO, not far from what I have heard from some others e.g. James Weaver, who´s recording also displays ideal clarity. I do not intend to detract from Dubreuil and Weaver, just to state, that I think they to a certain extent lack individuality.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 26, 2011, 03:14:04 PM
Writing "individual" I mean, that Haugsand´s interpretation is unlike what I have heard from others. I do not think it is necessary to put a label upon him. BTW if I should it would be something like human nobility, i.e. he displays the greatness of these works in a very human expressive way,  I think this is caused by his imagination rather than just by his mastery of rhetorical ressources.

I will listen to him with your words in mind the next time.

On the other hand Dubreuil = clarity, yes ideal clarity, but in a neutral and almost impersonal way IMO, not far from what I have heard from some others e.g. James Weaver, who´s recording also displays ideal clarity. I do not intend to detract from Dubreuil and Weaver, just to state, that I think they to a certain extent lack individuality.

My approach is different here. I see Dubreuil's version like a very sunny and singing (cantabile) version, where these highly virtuosistic suites naturally recover their dance origins and the music speaks by itself. It's like a very hard work delivered with elegance, without apparent effort.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 27, 2011, 02:57:04 AM

It depends upon how many recordings you want to own, as I find the Leonhardt and Suzuki more "essential" than the Belder and Mortensen.
If I get the time I may write a list of all the recordings I own and rank them with a few words.

My feeling is that Leonhardt and Suzuki are enough for me. I enjoyed the Rousset but will probably not listen to it much. The Leonhardt and Suzuki recordings are such pieces of heaven. 

Your list would be greatly appreciated! 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 27, 2011, 03:32:52 AM

It depends upon how many recordings you want to own, as I find the Leonhardt and Suzuki more "essential" than the Belder and Mortensen.
If I get the time I may write a list of all the recordings I own and rank them with a few words.

I'm always interested in people's essentials. By the way, after listening to the Cera, and enjoying it, I still go back to the Moroney. I find myself attached to it. Take Moroney's Gigue in number 5. It's so down and dirty! I just love it.

What about Well Tempered Clavier? I love Kenneth Gilbert. Recently I acquired Glen Wilson, which I quite enjoy. I also got my hands on Leonhardt's book one. It's stupendous. Will anyone hold it against me if I say that Robert Levin's quirky WTC is among my favorites? I even enjoy his nasty sounding fortepiano.
I have a feeling that people will tell me I'm missing something essential. I'm ready to hear what it is. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 27, 2011, 09:04:40 AM
I'm always interested in people's essentials. By the way, after listening to the Cera, and enjoying it, I still go back to the Moroney. I find myself attached to it. Take Moroney's Gigue in number 5. It's so down and dirty! I just love it.

What about Well Tempered Clavier? I love Kenneth Gilbert. Recently I acquired Glen Wilson, which I quite enjoy. I also got my hands on Leonhardt's book one. It's stupendous. Will anyone hold it against me if I say that Robert Levin's quirky WTC is among my favorites? I even enjoy his nasty sounding fortepiano.
I have a feeling that people will tell me I'm missing something essential. I'm ready to hear what it is.

I have no idea why you might think you're missing something essential.  The WTC's you mentioned have much to offer, so enjoy!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on April 27, 2011, 11:18:13 AM
.
I have a feeling that people will tell me I'm missing something essential. I'm ready to hear what it is.

The intimacy and coloufulnesss  of Kirkpatrick's Clavichord.
I think Landowska does some pretty unique and enjoyable things with WTC too.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 27, 2011, 11:42:24 AM

What about Well Tempered Clavier? I love Kenneth Gilbert. Recently I acquired Glen Wilson, which I quite enjoy. I also got my hands on Leonhardt's book one. It's stupendous. Will anyone hold it against me if I say that Robert Levin's quirky WTC is among my favorites? I even enjoy his nasty sounding fortepiano.
I have a feeling that people will tell me I'm missing something essential. I'm ready to hear what it is.

Well. exactly Leonhardt, Wilson and Gilbert are my essentials concerning the WTC, so nor do I see, what you are missing.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 27, 2011, 11:50:40 AM
My approach is different here. I see Dubreuil's version like a very sunny and singing (cantabile) version, where these highly virtuosistic suites naturally recover their dance origins and the music speaks by itself. It's like a very hard work delivered with elegance, without apparent effort.

I agree very much with this. My point is, that Dubreuil isn´t the only one with that kind of approach.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on April 27, 2011, 08:20:16 PM
Spurred by this thread I'm doing a Partitas survey  :D for a possible 2nd harpsichord recording (next to Rousset, which is admittedly in a very personal style). Suzuki sounds very good indeed, Leonhardt is off the list  - I have never been big on him and he skips repeats.

Anyone familiar with this? :)

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0885470000398.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 27, 2011, 08:47:48 PM
I have no idea why you might think you're missing something essential.  The WTC's you mentioned have much to offer, so enjoy!

A sigh of relief! I love these versions so (Gilbert's Goldberg is also great) and another version might be a distraction! I just can't resist when there's a consensus on the merits of an interpretation I don't have. I've often put my finger near the download button for Kirkpatrick but always stopped short.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on April 27, 2011, 09:02:10 PM
The reason to listen to Kpk is that it's very different from Gilbert and Wilson. Same with Ldk, though that is so poorly recorded that I can imagine lots of people would find their pleasure limited. Kpk and Ldk are poets in their own way, at least as creative as Wilson and Gilbert.

 I don't believe in these lists of essentials. I think you should try to listen to everything - or at least everything that's creative and original.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 28, 2011, 05:51:00 AM
The reason to listen to Kpk is that it's very different from Gilbert and Wilson. Same with Ldk, though that is so poorly recorded that I can imagine lots of people would find their pleasure limited. Kpk and Ldk are poets in their own way, at least as creative as Wilson and Gilbert.

 I don't believe in these lists of essentials. I think you should try to listen to everything - or at least everything that's creative and original.

"Essentials" is just a way of saying the same thing. It's hard to listen to everything - and it's expensive. Also, I'm always afraid I'm going to wear it out. If someone has something important to say in a performance then I'm game. But I'm musically uneducated. I can't really say what that is. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 28, 2011, 09:26:52 AM

Anyone familiar with this? :)

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0885470000398.jpg)

It is in my "to be listened to" pile.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 28, 2011, 09:28:24 AM
The reason to listen to Kpk is that it's very different from Gilbert and Wilson. Same with Ldk, though that is so poorly recorded that I can imagine lots of people would find their pleasure limited. Kpk and Ldk are poets in their own way, at least as creative as Wilson and Gilbert.

 I don't believe in these lists of essentials. I think you should try to listen to everything - or at least everything that's creative and original.

Do you consider variety an aim per se?

Swingle singers and Wendy Carlos were also quite original.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on April 28, 2011, 09:50:43 AM
I've often put my finger near the download button for Kirkpatrick but always stopped short.

Kirkpatrick´s Bach harpsichord recordings for Archive from the late 1950es and the early 1960es are certainly most interesting. It is amazing how many strange but still efficient sounds he could "worm" out from his far from period Neupert model Bach harpsichord, and his rhytmic sense is mesmerizing. He was an extrovert and energetic kind of artist and one looks (almost) in vain for introspection, but it is certainly fun and stimulating. I am less convicted by his clavichord recordings. IMO his playing is too extrovert to the intimate character of that instrument.   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on April 28, 2011, 10:52:20 AM
Kirkpatrick´s Bach harpsichord recordings for Archive from the late 1950es and the early 1960es are certainly most interesting. It is amazing how many strange but still efficient sounds he could "worm" out from his far from period Neupert model Bach harpsichord, and his rhytmic sense is mesmerizing. He was an extrovert and energetic kind of artist and one looks (almost) in vain for introspection, but it is certainly fun and stimulating. I am less convicted by his clavichord recordings. IMO his playing is too extrovert to the intimate character of that instrument.

The trick to coming to terms with Kptk's clavichord recording is to turn the amplifier volume down very low. Anyway, I suspect you  have a predilection for contemplative introspective  interpretations. But maybe I'm wrong  (you did say you like Verlet -- I've bought the Astree! Velet's  the exception that proves the rule maybe.) ;)

I think that it's good to have an open mind to authentic sincere musicians. They all deserve a good hearing.  And personally I'm amazed at the pleasure I get from trying to take in what they do. I think, in fact, that recorded music is a very high art form, to be treated critically and seriously.

I'm not so sure how authentic and sincere Swingle singers were -- as opposed to just making a fast buck out of some crisp vocalise.

As I'm writing this I realise I'm coming dangerously close to some form of intentionalism, which I really want to avoid . . .

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 28, 2011, 03:01:12 PM
Kirkpatrick´s Bach harpsichord recordings for Archive from the late 1950es and the early 1960es are certainly most interesting. It is amazing how many strange but still efficient sounds he could "worm" out from his far from period Neupert model Bach harpsichord, and his rhytmic sense is mesmerizing. He was an extrovert and energetic kind of artist and one looks (almost) in vain for introspection, but it is certainly fun and stimulating. I am less convicted by his clavichord recordings. IMO his playing is too extrovert to the intimate character of that instrument.

What do you think of Levin's strange recording? He uses clavichord, harpsichord, organ, and fortepiano. Perhaps it could be thought to be eccentric? I find it compelling. It rounds things out for me. I'm not sure I can adjust my ears to the Neupert. I've also listened to samples of Kirkpatrick's clavichord and they didn't entice me whereas Levin's versions on clavichord leave me satisfied (I bought Tilney's version on clavichord a few years back and only listened to it once or twice). Sometimes I'm afraid my ears are going to get crowded! Do you ever worry you'll wear things out? I listened to the Goldbergs so many times that, honestly, now I can only listen to it once or twice a year. When I look at Donald Satz reviews I marvel at how he can go through so many versions without spoiling the music. On the other hand, of course a really great performance can bring me back to a piece so I hear it in a new way. The new Staier Goldberg did that for me. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 28, 2011, 03:22:35 PM
What do you think of Levin's strange recording? He uses clavichord, harpsichord, organ, and fortepiano. Perhaps it could be thought to be eccentric? I find it compelling. It rounds things out for me. I'm not sure I can adjust my ears to the Neupert. I've also listened to samples of Kirkpatrick's clavichord and they didn't entice me whereas Levin's versions on clavichord leave me satisfied (I bought Tilney's version on clavichord a few years back and only listened to it once or twice). Sometimes I'm afraid my ears are going to get crowded! Do you ever worry you'll wear things out? I listened to the Goldbergs so many times that, honestly, now I can only listen to it once or twice a year. When I look at Donald Satz reviews I marvel at how he can go through so many versions without spoiling the music. On the other hand, of course a really great performance can bring me back to a piece so I hear it in a new way. The new Staier Goldberg did that for me.

There's nothing strange about Levin's set; I just think of it as a diverse use of instruments.

Concerning my Goldbergs reviews, and a few others, the key to going through dozens of versions is to possess a great love of the music.  At one time, I was going to do similar reviews of the Brandenburgs.  I lined up the versions I owned and acquired many more in preparation.  Unfortunately, I found that my love of those works wasn't strong enough for me to spend so much time on this one project.  I learned from that mistake.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on April 28, 2011, 04:58:58 PM
Kirkpatrick´s Bach harpsichord recordings for Archive from the late 1950es and the early 1960es are certainly most interesting. It is amazing how many strange but still efficient sounds he could "worm" out from his far from period Neupert model Bach harpsichord, and his rhytmic sense is mesmerizing. He was an extrovert and energetic kind of artist and one looks (almost) in vain for introspection, but it is certainly fun and stimulating. I am less convicted by his clavichord recordings. IMO his playing is too extrovert to the intimate character of that instrument.

IIRC, Kirkpatrick was professor of harpsichord at Yale and was a musicologist in addition to being an outstanding harpsichordist.  I bought the following set over a year ago.  I also have his WTC I & II ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hDGXMawTL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 28, 2011, 08:43:50 PM
There's nothing strange about Levin's set; I just think of it as a diverse use of instruments.

Concerning my Goldbergs reviews, and a few others, the key to going through dozens of versions is to possess a great love of the music.  At one time, I was going to do similar reviews of the Brandenburgs.  I lined up the versions I owned and acquired many more in preparation.  Unfortunately, I found that my love of those works wasn't strong enough for me to spend so much time on this one project.  I learned from that mistake.

Well the reviews are a great service to listeners. I go back to them again and again for insights. Many thanks!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 28, 2011, 08:46:41 PM
There's nothing strange about Levin's set; I just think of it as a diverse use of instruments.

Concerning my Goldbergs reviews, and a few others, the key to going through dozens of versions is to possess a great love of the music.  At one time, I was going to do similar reviews of the Brandenburgs.  I lined up the versions I owned and acquired many more in preparation.  Unfortunately, I found that my love of those works wasn't strong enough for me to spend so much time on this one project.  I learned from that mistake.

I think it was your reviews that first led me to the Levin set. I wonder what you think of the new Staier...Variation 20, for example, is marvelous (for me).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on April 28, 2011, 08:51:27 PM
There's nothing strange about Levin's set; I just think of it as a diverse use of instruments.

Concerning my Goldbergs reviews, and a few others, the key to going through dozens of versions is to possess a great love of the music.  At one time, I was going to do similar reviews of the Brandenburgs.  I lined up the versions I owned and acquired many more in preparation.  Unfortunately, I found that my love of those works wasn't strong enough for me to spend so much time on this one project.  I learned from that mistake.

I think it was you who once said that you couldn't enjoy classical music that doesn't have a keyboard. I can't listen to much classical without a keyboard (except for occasional lute music and some choral music). I posted in the forum about the NY Times top 10 list. I wonder what a list of top ten keyboard composers would look like. I have my favorites. Of course Bach is Ichiban! It would be interesting for me to see this idea played out in the other forum.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on April 28, 2011, 11:12:43 PM
IIRC, Kirkpatrick was professor of harpsichord at Yale and was a musicologist in addition to being an outstanding harpsichordist.  I bought the following set over a year ago.  I also have his WTC I & II ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hDGXMawTL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

One of the things tht's very good about the style there is that he's often so irreverent and good humoured.

So often with the harpsichordists recommended here -- Leonhardt especially, but also  Wilson and Cates -- they are sometimes serious and scholarly with the music. Kirkpatrick is often an antidote to that -- a reminder that there are other ways. Same for Walcha at his best (like in the English suites); Landowska at her best (pre-war); Puyana . . .

 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 29, 2011, 12:10:54 PM
I think it was you who once said that you couldn't enjoy classical music that doesn't have a keyboard.

I sure don't remember saying anything like the above.  Although solo keyboard is my favorite category, I also enjoy string and wind chamber music, concertos of all types, orchestral music/symphonies, sacred choral works and even a few operas.

Concerning Staier's Goldbergs, I haven't heard it yet(except for snippets on the JPC website).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on April 29, 2011, 12:15:53 PM
I wonder what a list of top ten keyboard composers would look like. I have my favorites. Of course Bach is Ichiban! It would be interesting for me to see this idea played out in the other forum.

My top ten would be:

Bach - Froberger - Buxtehude - Schumann - Beethoven - Schubert - Chopin - Scriabin - Shostakovich - Ravel.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on April 30, 2011, 01:55:18 AM
Listening to the French Suites played by Joseph Payne, the man of the famous/notorious Spaced-Out Bach LP's in the seventies (never heard them, though).

The suites were originally released by BIS and then sold to Brilliant Classics for their Bach Integral.

(http://i54.tinypic.com/jph15i.jpg)

It's solid playing IMHO, but really nothing more. Rather stiff even, and the instrument is also sounding a bit 'light-weight', with problems concerning the lute stop. Some of the lower notes don't sound like a lute but return to the 'normal' harpsichord sound, as if the machinery isn't working properly.
Whilst I was listening I thought: if Payne played the organ in this style, with proper registrations, it would sound quite good. I have neglected the harpsichord for the last few years because of my sudden fast and furious growing love for the organ, but could it be that playing Bach on a harpsichord requires a more involved and imaginative way of playing, just because the organ is more able to decorate the music with various beautiful registration possibilities? Just wondering.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on April 30, 2011, 02:28:03 AM
Spurred by this thread I'm doing a Partitas survey  :D for a possible 2nd harpsichord recording (next to Rousset, which is admittedly in a very personal style). Suzuki sounds very good indeed, Leonhardt is off the list  - I have never been big on him and he skips repeats.

Anyone familiar with this? :)

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0885470000398.jpg)
Francesco Corti - Partitas - Berlin Classics (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0040MTWDU/nectarandambr-20)

I'm re-listening to them right now. Very good stuff but without that immediate kick that would make you (or me, at least) recommend it to everyone who utters the word "Partita". Not as personal as Rousset (though I wish he'd record his Partitas anew on the ApArTe label and that Neuchâtel Ruckers or the "Nightingale" Colmar Ruckers that Schornsheim used for her WTC I [not yet released]. (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2640)

Sturdy, solid... wonderful to listen to very loud. I must be annoying tons of neighbors right now. :-)



(some partitas on piano: http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2890 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2890) --- though it doesn't mention (at the time I had not heard it) how truly, truly excellent Schiff's second (!!) recording (ECM) is.

A sigh of relief! I love these versions so (Gilbert's Goldberg is also great) and another version might be a distraction! I just can't resist when there's a consensus on the merits of an interpretation I don't have. I've often put my finger near the download button for Kirkpatrick but always stopped short.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hDGXMawTL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Kirkpatrick - Complete Archiv Bach Recordings - Archiv (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002ANQW2/nectarandambr-20)

I recently "had" to recommend this set to a pianist (or rather the WTC from it) because it's really the only easily available WTC on the clavichord. Felt kind of guilty about it, because I think it's the most deadly boring Bach. His premonitions (see quote) turned out to be true for him, too. It's just one of those things one wants to be better than it really is, I feel.

Quote
"Ha! Now I remember. When I was a Tanglewood student (playing WTC I for the first time...), I heard the Kirpatrick in the "listening lab." I recall nothing whatsoever about the performances. And I know I heard the whole thing."


WTC on Clavichord:


Jaroslav Tuma (Supraphon). Unfortunately his set(s) seem out of print in the US and are available only as downloads:
Book 1 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002GUNY7S/goodmusicguide-20)

The complete, 4-disc of Books 1 & 2, set is available from Germany (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001KYJOKC/classicalweta-21), though:



Robert Levin plays his WTC on three different instruments: fortepiano, organ, and the clavichord (Haenssler):
Book 1 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004WJNI/goodmusicguide-20)

Book 2 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004WJNJ/goodmusicguide-20)


Daniel Chorzempa (Philips) (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000060AS/classicalweta-21) has a similar multi-instrumented approach that includes the clavichord.
His cycle (both books) seems solidly out of print... last seen in Austria.

Michael Thomas (Psyche). Never made if off LP, I think.

Ditto Hermann Iseringhausen (MDG).

Colin Tilney (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000002ZM3/goodmusicguide-20) (hyperion) uses the clavichord and harpsichord.
Out of print... a few copies left used in the US (and Germany (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000002ZM3/classicalweta-21)):

And most famously, if perhaps not most convincingly, of all:

Ralph Kirkpatrick on Archiv:
Book I (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004R7WZ/goodmusicguide-20)

Book II (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000058BGT/goodmusicguide-20)

Collected performances. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002ANQW2/goodmusicguide-20)
(WTC not included? I can't remember... It's been a while since I've had that set which I could not bother to keep.)


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on April 30, 2011, 03:52:33 AM
Thankyou for your list.

I don't think that the box in the pic contains the WTC, does it? I may be mistaken.

Anyway, I can't agree with your rather dismissive judgement.   I think his WTC on clavichord is really exciting.


Listen, for example, to Kirkpatrick on clavichord in the E flat minor and E major of Book  1.  Joyful, committed, colourful music making. I love the instrument --  I love the way it's so un-slick. Intimate and gentle  in the gentle  prelude to the E flat minor; rustic in the  E major fugue. And the  quietness (amp turned down) makes these pieces fit my living room  perfectly.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on April 30, 2011, 06:00:44 AM
Thankyou for your list.

I don't think that the box in the pic contains the WTC, does it? I may be mistaken.

Anyway, I can't agree with your rather dismissive judgement.   I think his WTC on clavichord is really exciting.


Listen, for example, to Kirkpatrick on clavichord in the E flat minor and E major of Book  1.  Joyful, committed, colourful music making. I love the instrument --  I love the way it's so un-slick. Intimate and gentle  in the gentle  prelude to the E flat minor; rustic in the  E major fugue. And the  quietness (amp turned down) makes these pieces fit my living room  perfectly.

You are correct.  The Kirkpatrick's box does not include the WTC's.  They are pretty easy to find and I bought both WTC I and II last year as well ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on April 30, 2011, 06:26:47 AM
Listening to the French Suites played by Joseph Payne, the man of the famous/notorious Spaced-Out Bach LP's in the seventies (never heard them, though).

The suites were originally released by BIS and then sold to Brilliant Classics for their Bach Integral.

(http://i54.tinypic.com/jph15i.jpg)

It's solid playing IMHO, but really nothing more. Rather stiff even, and the instrument is also sounding a bit 'light-weight', with problems concerning the lute stop. Some of the lower notes don't sound like a lute but return to the 'normal' harpsichord sound, as if the machinery isn't working properly.
Whilst I was listening I thought: if Payne played the organ in this style, with proper registrations, it would sound quite good. I have neglected the harpsichord for the last few years because of my sudden fast and furious growing love for the organ, but could it be that playing Bach on a harpsichord requires a more involved and imaginative way of playing, just because the organ is more able to decorate the music with various beautiful registration possibilities? Just wondering.

Here is a wonderful CD I bought in the early 90's.  At the time, the Yale Manuscript had only been recently discovered ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51flhg9fGoL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 30, 2011, 07:07:23 AM
The trick to coming to terms with Kptk's clavichord recording is to turn the amplifier volume down very low...

You're right, but I think that's the "trick" to listen to the clavichord in general because it's an instrument thought to speak in sotto voce, quietly; for that reason it's probably the most "domestic" of all the usual Baroque keyboards, a wonderful instrument, for instance, to practice when the family was sleeping. Unfortunately, the great majority of us grew up in a world which only knew a single keyboard instrument (and I am a big piano fan, especially if it is a fortepiano or a pianoforte) and our ideas about keyboards are totally modelled on it.

Anyway, I suspect you  have a predilection for contemplative introspective  interpretations. But maybe I'm wrong  (you did say you like Verlet -- I've bought the Astree! Velet's  the exception that proves the rule maybe.) ;)

I think Verlet is not one of the natural preferences of our Premont; in any case, a laboriously acquired taste.  :)  Anyway, I love Verlet's second rendition of the Partitas, so personal, feminine and turbulent at times that it's really irresistible to me (I have thought about that version as a sort of intimate diary)... Additionally, she delivers my favorite second partita (and the second partita is my favorite piece of that Clavier-Übung).  :) 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on April 30, 2011, 07:21:07 AM
The trick to coming to terms with Kptk's clavichord recording is to turn the amplifier volume down very low.

This can be tricky if the amplifier does not have good low volume resolution ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on April 30, 2011, 09:28:10 AM
Here is a wonderful CD I bought in the early 90's.  At the time, the Yale Manuscript had only been recently discovered ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51flhg9fGoL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Thanks for the tip! Ordered it at the library. I'm curious how Payne treats these Neumeisters.

Post Scriptum: there is a plus to Payne's French Suites: even though they are less interesting to take a deep dive in, it's good working and/or reading with the sound of these performances on the background. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 01, 2011, 07:15:44 AM
Listening to the French Suites played by Joseph Payne, the man of the famous/notorious Spaced-Out Bach LP's in the seventies (never heard them, though).

The suites were originally released by BIS and then sold to Brilliant Classics for their Bach Integral.

(http://i54.tinypic.com/jph15i.jpg)

It's solid playing IMHO, but really nothing more. Rather stiff even, and the instrument is also sounding a bit 'light-weight', with problems concerning the lute stop. Some of the lower notes don't sound like a lute but return to the 'normal' harpsichord sound, as if the machinery isn't working properly.
Whilst I was listening I thought: if Payne played the organ in this style, with proper registrations, it would sound quite good. I have neglected the harpsichord for the last few years because of my sudden fast and furious growing love for the organ, but could it be that playing Bach on a harpsichord requires a more involved and imaginative way of playing, just because the organ is more able to decorate the music with various beautiful registration possibilities? Just wondering.

I agree with you. Beyond the performance (and "stiff" is a good adjective, IMO) the instrument (a 1979 copy by William Dowd after a two-manual instrument of Johannes Ruckers, 1628) is not working out properly, although my problem is not principally with its lute-stop, but with the "normal" sound of the harpsichord, especially the high notes which sound quite shrilling and unstable in these ears.

Joseph Payne is not a favorite of mine, but I enjoyed his Klavierbüchlein for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach recorded on Hänssler, principally because of the variety of instruments and maybe because his less flexible style is not inappropriate to the propaedeutic goals of this collection.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41N7NXS3N5L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on May 01, 2011, 12:51:21 PM
Olga Martynova has made some wonderful SACD recordings for Caro Mitis, a Russian audiophile label.
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Z1fiwT9nL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on May 01, 2011, 07:37:11 PM
Olga Martynova has made some wonderful SACD recordings for Caro Mitis, a Russian audiophile label.

Thanks for the tip!
Made me curious enough to ....

;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on May 07, 2011, 06:31:43 AM
The trick to coming to terms with Kptk's clavichord recording is to turn the amplifier volume down very low.

Of course, but I do not think it makes wonders in the case of Kirkpatrick. As I wrote above - I do not think his way of playing suits the instrument.

Quote from: Mandryka
Anyway, I suspect you  have a predilection for contemplative introspective  interpretations. But maybe I'm wrong  (you did say you like Verlet -- I've bought the Astree! Velet's  the exception that proves the rule maybe.) ;)

You may be right, but I can mention many other exceptions, which prove the rule.  :)


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on May 07, 2011, 01:25:27 PM

(http://i54.tinypic.com/jph15i.jpg)

It's solid playing IMHO, but really nothing more. Rather stiff even, and the instrument is also sounding a bit 'light-weight',


Yes, deserves oblivion IMO.

Quote from: Marc
Whilst I was listening I thought: if Payne played the organ in this style, with proper registrations, it would sound quite good. I have neglected the harpsichord for the last few years because of my sudden fast and furious growing love for the organ, but could it be that playing Bach on a harpsichord requires a more involved and imaginative way of playing, just because the organ is more able to decorate the music with various beautiful registration possibilities? Just wondering.

Not sure. In my experience it is more difficult to articulate clearly on an organ (even on a small organ in a small church with ultra dry acoustics) than on a harpsichord because of the marginally slower action of the organ trackers. And articulation is IMO more important for the interest than registration - within sensible limits of course. On the other hand you are right in assuming, that Joseph Payne´s organ recordings are more interesting than his harpsichord recordings. He has BTW made a small number of interesting harpsichord recordings f.i. a recording of music by John Bull and another with suites ascribed to Pachelbel, both for BIS.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on May 07, 2011, 01:41:51 PM
What do you think of Levin's strange recording? He uses clavichord, harpsichord, organ, and fortepiano. Perhaps it could be thought to be eccentric? I find it compelling. It rounds things out for me.

Nothing strange about it at all. Like Chorzempa (in his WTC set) Levin is chosing the instrument which he finds most suited to the piece in question. Their choices are not similar all way through though. This kind of interpretation results in less "integration",  but it displays the different character and style of the pieces in a  convincing way in its own right. And I am sure, that the integration mattered less in Bach´s days, where no one would get the idea to listen to - or rather play the entire WTC in one mouthful.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on May 08, 2011, 06:46:01 AM
Listening to the French Suites played by Joseph Payne, the man of the famous/notorious Spaced-Out Bach LP's in the seventies (never heard them, though).

The suites were originally released by BIS and then sold to Brilliant Classics for their Bach Integral.
[....]
It's solid playing IMHO, but really nothing more. Rather stiff even, and the instrument is also sounding a bit 'light-weight', with problems concerning the lute stop. Some of the lower notes don't sound like a lute but return to the 'normal' harpsichord sound, as if the machinery isn't working properly.

[....]
Joseph Payne is not a favorite of mine, but I enjoyed his Klavierbüchlein for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach recorded on Hänssler, principally because of the variety of instruments and maybe because his less flexible style is not inappropriate to the propaedeutic goals of this collection.
[....]

Thanks for the tip. Might turn into another library order. :)
(Have to slow down on buying .... >:( >:( >:( .... I need more MONEY!!)

Whilst I was listening I thought: if Payne played the organ in this style, with proper registrations, it would sound quite good. I have neglected the harpsichord for the last few years because of my sudden fast and furious growing love for the organ, but could it be that playing Bach on a harpsichord requires a more involved and imaginative way of playing, just because the organ is more able to decorate the music with various beautiful registration possibilities? Just wondering.

[....]
Not sure. In my experience it is more difficult to articulate clearly on an organ (even on a small organ in a small church with ultra dry acoustics) than on a harpsichord because of the marginally slower action of the organ trackers. And articulation is IMO more important for the interest than registration - within sensible limits of course. On the other hand you are right in assuming, that Joseph Payne´s organ recordings are more interesting than his harpsichord recordings. He has BTW made a small number of interesting harpsichord recordings f.i. a recording of music by John Bull and another with suites ascribed to Pachelbel, both for BIS.

Yes, I agree that articulation is very important.
And I also have the idea that a harpsichord is a more suitable instrument for proper articulation. But Payne's articulation in the French Suites isn't all that bad IMO. He's at least not putting me asleep with ponderous and/or sticky legato playing.

Still, it's too strict and uninspired to get me enthousiastic.

That's why I thought: this way of playing might work out better on organ, with some colourful registration added.

Well, let's wait and see, sorry: hear. Maybe I'm going to enjoy Payne's performance of the Neumeister chorales .... another poor man's library order :P, arriving presumably next week.

Now give me money (that's what I want)
That's what I want (that's what I want)
Oh yeah, I wanna be free (that's what I want)
Oh, whole lot of money (that's what I want)
That's what I want, oh yeah (that's what I want)
That's what I want!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on May 08, 2011, 07:09:51 AM
But Payne's articulation in the French Suites isn't all that bad IMO. He's at least not putting me asleep with ponderous and/or sticky legato playing.

Still, it's too strict and uninspired to get me enthousiastic.

Strict, yes, and even if it is not at all that bad, it is not at all that good either. And that is why he puts me asleep with his French suites.


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on May 08, 2011, 09:03:36 AM
Strict, yes, and even if it is not at all that bad, it is not at all that good either. And that is why he puts me asleep with his French suites.

Sweet dreams! :D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on May 08, 2011, 09:26:32 AM
Sweet dreams! :D

Yes, and fortunately I fall asleep "tout suite"  (it is the French suites!)  ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on May 10, 2011, 04:56:55 PM
Olga Martynova has made some wonderful SACD recordings for Caro Mitis, a Russian audiophile label.
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Z1fiwT9nL._SS400_.jpg)

This recording received a rave review in the new issue of Fanfare.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on May 10, 2011, 08:32:11 PM
This is real joyful, fun music making. Unreservedly recommended:



I only hav one other recording from Raphael Puyana -- a CD called "The Golden Age of Harpsichord Music" which is similarly a pleasure from start fo finish. A pupil of Wanda Landowska, Puyana clearly inherits some of her capacity for infectious rhythms and her inspired approach to tone and colour. His Cd of Scarlatti sonatas has arrived in the post -- but so far it's unexplored.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on May 11, 2011, 12:07:12 AM
This recording received a rave review in the new issue of Fanfare.

Well, I think it is good but not exceptional. Not even in my  top ten harpsichord recordings of these works.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 11, 2011, 01:35:58 AM
Well, I think it is good but not exceptional. Not even in my  top ten harpsichord recordings of these works.

Re: Olga Martynova has made some wonderful SACD recordings for Caro Mitis, a Russian audiophile label.

Premont - thanks for the comments on the above recording; the Fanfare review was indeed excellent and placed on my 'too consider' list; already own Curtis & Jaccottet, so the new recording was not a MUST for me - :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: haydnguy on May 18, 2011, 01:53:14 PM


Yes, deserves oblivion IMO.

Not sure. In my experience it is more difficult to articulate clearly on an organ (even on a small organ in a small church with ultra dry acoustics) than on a harpsichord because of the marginally slower action of the organ trackers. And articulation is IMO more important for the interest than registration - within sensible limits of course. On the other hand you are right in assuming, that Joseph Payne´s organ recordings are more interesting than his harpsichord recordings. He has BTW made a small number of interesting harpsichord recordings f.i. a recording of music by John Bull and another with suites ascribed to Pachelbel, both for BIS.

(http://i54.tinypic.com/jph15i.jpg)

I have this disk and was disappointed in it. Anyone have any recommendations for a replacement to this disk? Thanks.  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: kishnevi on May 18, 2011, 04:32:07 PM
I have this one.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51mB6KmaOGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Meets my needs, but I seem to respond more to Bach on the piano than the harpsichord.

The prices on Amazon marketplace for new copies are rather outrageous--I paid list price for it, which was Virgin's standard two-for price of $11.99, and there are plenty of alternatives.  (The used prices have a much more reasonable range.)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: haydnguy on May 18, 2011, 06:34:26 PM
I'm listening to some Bach in harpsichord right now from the Archiv concertos boxed set and enjoying it very much. I think I'll give the Payne another spin and see if I get a different reaction this time before looking at another one.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41S66AHXRPL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: kishnevi on May 18, 2011, 07:00:58 PM
Uh wrong picture there! ;D

I saw it and fixed it.  But you were quick on the draw!  The wrong image was only up for about two minutes!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on May 18, 2011, 08:43:00 PM
(http://i54.tinypic.com/jph15i.jpg)

I have this disk and was disappointed in it. Anyone have any recommendations for a replacement to this disk? Thanks.  :)

You should visit this thread more often! :) We just went through the French Suites topic - start reading HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg508490.html#msg508490).

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: DavidW on May 19, 2011, 06:30:29 AM
I saw it and fixed it.  But you were quick on the draw!  The wrong image was only up for about two minutes!

Yeah I had been sitting at my computer ripping music, copying files etc bored out of my mind! :D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on June 26, 2011, 01:40:06 AM
Quote from: (: premont :) link=topic=981.msg500356#msg500356 date=1301092873 On the thread:Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)


Concerning the different dynamic variation in these two recordings it is important to remember, that the dynamic range of baroque instuments is more limited than the dynamic range of their romantic counterparts.


Quote from: (: premont :) link=topic=289.msg510017#msg510017 date=1304015304 on the thread Re: Bach on the Harpsichord (lute-harpsichord, clavichord, etc.)
Do you consider variety an aim per se?

Swingle singers and Wendy Carlos were also quite original.


Your point about dynaic variation is understood, but sometimes I find that it's a problem. In the Goldberg Variations I like the varied dynamics that some pianists bring to the music -- by contrast the harpsichord can sometimes be stifling, sufforcating.

But you and others here have made me aware that pianists tend tp sweeten  the music, and I can see that that isn't always good thing.

For these reasons I've started to explore  transcriptions of Bach's music  for guitar -- a plucked instrument with more dynamic variation than the harpsichord. I'm exploring this one at the moment.

I'd like to find a WTC in the same style -- anyone any ideas?




One thing I like about it is that there's a sense of fun in the music making. There's nothing reverential, nothing poker faced.  I like Busoni's transcription of The Goldbergs for piano for similar reasons.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on June 26, 2011, 12:14:41 PM


Your point about dynaic variation is understood, but sometimes I find that it's a problem. In the Goldberg Variations I like the varied dynamics that some pianists bring to the music -- by contrast the harpsichord can sometimes be stifling, sufforcating.

But you and others here have made me aware that pianists tend tp sweeten  the music, and I can see that that isn't always good thing.

For these reasons I've started to explore  transcriptions of Bach's music  for guitar -- a plucked instrument with more dynamic variation than the harpsichord. I'm exploring this one at the moment.

I'd like to find a WTC in the same style -- anyone any ideas?




One thing I like about it is that there's a sense of fun in the music making. There's nothing reverential, nothing poker faced.  I like Busoni's transcription of The Goldbergs for piano for similar reasons.

I love Rodarmer's disc. Of course, he used multi-tracking technology in order to be able to play all of the notes, but the results are outstanding. Joszef Eotvos has a single guitar version and he has a multi-tracked version of The Art of the Fugue. No WTC that I know of...yet!

Here's a video of him playing the Aira and 1st variation:

http://www.youtube.com/v/82yHKIsQ13Y
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on June 28, 2011, 03:28:52 AM
Your point about dynaic variation is understood, but sometimes I find that it's a problem. In the Goldberg Variations I like the varied dynamics that some pianists bring to the music -- by contrast the harpsichord can sometimes be stifling, sufforcating.

Wel, a question of taste. As you may guess, I do not usually find that this is a problem, but of course it depends upon the harpsichordist´s imagination and expression.

Quote from: Mandryka
One thing I like about it is that there's a sense of fun in the music making. There's nothing reverential, nothing poker faced.  I like Busoni's transcription of The Goldbergs for piano for similar reasons.

I am tempted to recommend to you the recording of the Goldberg variations by Elena Barshai on Brilliant Classics. Ther you will find a rewarding sense of fun in the music making.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on June 28, 2011, 07:41:57 AM

I am tempted to recommend to you the recording of the Goldberg variations by Elena Barshai on Brilliant Classics. Ther you will find a rewarding sense of fun in the music making.

I'll try it -- I've learned that nearly everything you suggest is interesting.

Don't forget that you promised to think of CU3 recordings for me -- I've played parts of  it (Walcha mono and stereo) most every day for the mast month now and I love the music.


Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on June 28, 2011, 09:02:53 AM
I've learned that nearly everything you suggest is interesting.

Thanks.  :)

Don't forget that you promised to think of CU3 recordings for me -- I've played parts of  it (Walcha mono and stereo) most every day for the mast month now and I love the music.

Yes, I have this in my mind.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: springrite on July 26, 2011, 07:28:47 AM
On the just completed business trip, I brought along Karl Richter's Goldberg Variation recording and finally Bach begin to sound good on the harpsichord. Now I have put a number of Bach harpsichord recordings in my shopping cart, various recordings by Egarr, Hill, Hantai, etc. This thread has been a major help for me in this regard. Thanks!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: kishnevi on July 26, 2011, 05:36:50 PM
On the just completed business trip, I brought along Karl Richter's Goldberg Variation recording and finally Bach begin to sound good on the harpsichord. Now I have put a number of Bach harpsichord recordings in my shopping cart, various recordings by Egarr, Hill, Hantai, etc. This thread has been a major help for me in this regard. Thanks!

If it is not too late, delete Egarr from your cart and put on Staier.  Egarr's performance seems to provide proof of the old legend that Bach wrote the Variations as a cure for a listener's insomnia.
The only real virtue to his recording is that he includes the Canons.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on July 31, 2011, 05:54:04 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AnTtc4ynL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
Reviewers I trust have been fairly critical of efforts to record the Goldbergs on the Organ. Donald Satz was less than impressed with an organ version by Bernard Lagacé and Kirk McElhearn went so far as to suggest (reviewing Käte van Trich) that "the music just does not work on this instrument." I've trusted these particular reviewers because I've found their recommendations and warnings to be right on the money. Thus,  I approached this recording with a bit of trepidation. However, this interpretation on organ by Gunther Rost really thrills me. One reviewer on amazon called it, disparagingly, "drunken Bach." But I'm just loving it. I wonder what others think.
I decided not to post this in the organ forum. That might be wrong. If so, I hope we can move this post.
 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 31, 2011, 09:31:42 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AnTtc4ynL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
Reviewers I trust have been fairly critical of efforts to record the Goldbergs on the Organ. Donald Satz was less than impressed with an organ version by Bernard Lagacé and Kirk McElhearn went so far as to suggest (reviewing Käte van Trich) that "the music just does not work on this instrument." I've trusted these particular reviewers because I've found their recommendations and warnings to be right on the money. Thus,  I approached this recording with a bit of trepidation. However, this interpretation on organ by Gunther Rost really thrills me. One reviewer on amazon called it, disparagingly, "drunken Bach." But I'm just loving it. I wonder what others think.
I decided not to post this in the organ forum. That might be wrong. If so, I hope we can move this post.
 

Don Satz of course is our own 'Bulldog' - I read his review mentioned above and will be curious if he has heard this newer recording; on Amazon, Scott Morrison gave this only a 1* rating w/ many derogatory comments, somewhat unusual for him but obviously not his 'cup of tea' (and he is one of the few reviewers on Amazon that I do read positively).

I have a half dozen or so recordings of these works and on different instruments, including guitar, clavichord, harp, & woodwind ensemble, but I do not own an organ version - so will be interested in others' comments - :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on July 31, 2011, 09:35:10 AM

I have a half dozen or so recordings of these works and on different instruments, including guitar, clavichord, harp, & woodwind ensemble, but I do not own an organ version - so will be interested in others' comments - :)

I gave it a couple of shots, but found it unconvincing without being bad.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on July 31, 2011, 10:00:54 AM
[....]
I have a half dozen or so recordings of these works and on different instruments, including guitar, clavichord, harp, & woodwind ensemble, but I do not own an organ version - so will be interested in others' comments - :)

I am tempted to recommend [....] the recording of the Goldberg variations by Elena Barshai on Brilliant Classics. There you will find a rewarding sense of fun in the music making.

Seconded.

(http://i52.tinypic.com/2v3h5rd.jpg)

http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Goldberg-Variations-Johann-Sebastian/dp/B001EQPD38/

Gunther Rost's version I do not know yet (?).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on July 31, 2011, 12:13:29 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AnTtc4ynL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
Reviewers I trust have been fairly critical of efforts to record the Goldbergs on the Organ. Donald Satz was less than impressed with an organ version by Bernard Lagacé and Kirk McElhearn went so far as to suggest (reviewing Käte van Trich) that "the music just does not work on this instrument." I've trusted these particular reviewers because I've found their recommendations and warnings to be right on the money. Thus,  I approached this recording with a bit of trepidation. However, this interpretation on organ by Gunther Rost really thrills me. One reviewer on amazon called it, disparagingly, "drunken Bach." But I'm just loving it. I wonder what others think.

I think of it as a mixed bag.  On the positive side, some of the pieces are a blast to listen to (23/27/29 and more) and I've never heard a more beautiful var. 21.  Unfortunately, Rost seems to have an addiction for screwing around with tempo; it's not just in the form of rhythmic hesitations but more the slowing down of an entire phrase.  This addiction is strongest in the first half of the performance, so I did prefer the second half.  Overall, I wouldn't mind having this recording, but it's not one I would seek out.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on July 31, 2011, 12:49:58 PM
Don Satz of course is our own 'Bulldog' - I read his review mentioned above and will be curious if he has heard this newer recording; on Amazon, Scott Morrison gave this only a 1* rating w/ many derogatory comments, somewhat unusual for him but obviously not his 'cup of tea' (and he is one of the few reviewers on Amazon that I do read positively).

I have a half dozen or so recordings of these works and on different instruments, including guitar, clavichord, harp, & woodwind ensemble, but I do not own an organ version - so will be interested in others' comments - :)
What version do you have on clavichord? How is it? I came across a clavichord version on itunes by someone named Benjamin-Joseph Steens. I'd never heard of him before and the samples didn't entice me.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on July 31, 2011, 12:58:17 PM
I think of it as a mixed bag.  On the positive side, some of the pieces are a blast to listen to (23/27/29 and more) and I've never heard a more beautiful var. 21.  Unfortunately, Rost seems to have an addiction for screwing around with tempo; it's not just in the form of rhythmic hesitations but more the slowing down of an entire phrase.  This addiction is strongest in the first half of the performance, so I did prefer the second half.  Overall, I wouldn't mind having this recording, but it's not one I would seek out.

Thanks for your comments.
Is there another organ version that you recommend? What about a version on clavichord? Incidentally, have you heard the Gamba sonatas by Markus Hunninger & Paolo Pandolfo? This is something else that's rather new that I'm enjoying.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on July 31, 2011, 01:10:20 PM
What version do you have on clavichord? How is it? I came across a clavichord version on itunes by someone named Benjamin-Joseph Steens. I'd never heard of him before and the samples didn't entice me.

Jaroslav Tůma.

It's a 2-CD set with two complete interpretations, both on clavichord (a "two-manual" clavichord, read the info below) and harpsichord.

http://www.youtube.com/v/v7IyetFoUkI
(This ClarkVega is a nice chap!  ;D)


Here you will find all the information that you need: http://www.arta.cz/index.php?p=f10136en&site=en

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 31, 2011, 01:51:29 PM
What version do you have on clavichord? How is it? I came across a clavichord version on itunes by someone named Benjamin-Joseph Steens. I'd never heard of him before and the samples didn't entice me.

Hi Milk - the performer shown on the disc below (left) is Jaroslav Tůma - actually a 2-CD package (in a 1-disc sized jewel box - love it!) - Goldbergs are played on the clavichord on 1 disc & on a harpsichord on the 2nd disc - cannot remember where I purchased this set but a great combo if the price is right!

Also, if you like the clavichord, I own the 4-CD set w/ the same performer doing the WTC, both books - Dave  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachGoldbergTuma/949289381_nFEdn-O.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWTCTuma/949289393_zRK8V-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 31, 2011, 02:00:19 PM
I think of it as a mixed bag.  On the positive side, some of the pieces are a blast to listen to (23/27/29 and more) and I've never heard a more beautiful var. 21.  Unfortunately, Rost seems to have an addiction for screwing around with tempo; it's not just in the form of rhythmic hesitations but more the slowing down of an entire phrase.  This addiction is strongest in the first half of the performance, so I did prefer the second half.  Overall, I wouldn't mind having this recording, but it's not one I would seek out.

Hi Don - I believe that a number of us are curious as to 'organ' versions of the Goldberg Variations - for myself, I'd like a 'smaller' and more intimate organ (and not an 'organ expert' -  ;) :D) - would appreciate any thoughts of those recordings that you know - thanks, as always - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on July 31, 2011, 03:12:55 PM
Hi Don - I believe that a number of us are curious as to 'organ' versions of the Goldberg Variations - for myself, I'd like a 'smaller' and more intimate organ (and not an 'organ expert' -  ;) :D) - would appreciate any thoughts of those recordings that you know - thanks, as always - Dave  :)

As far as I know, there aren't many organ versions to be had, and I haven't been very fond of the ones I've heard.  But there is an organ arrangement I very much like:

Wilhelm Middelschulte - Organ Works, Vol. 4
Goldberg Variations Arranged for Organ
MDG 777215 [2cds - 100:54]

This is a "heavy" performance, rather slow and every repeat is observed.  That's the opposite of the Rost recording; his thorough answer to how to handle the repeats is to delete them from the landscape.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on July 31, 2011, 06:01:45 PM
Incidentally, have you heard the Gamba sonatas by Markus Hunninger & Paolo Pandolfo?

Yes I have as well as Pandolfo's first recording these works on Harmonia Mundi back in the 1990's.  I wasn't impressed then, and I can't say I'm impressed by the new recording.  My problem with Pandolofo is that I don't find his playing sufficiently powerful at times.  Basically, I just don't connect with him.

My favored recording is Quintana and Frisch on Harmonia Mundi.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on August 01, 2011, 03:02:29 AM
Yes I have as well as Pandolfo's first recording these works on Harmonia Mundi back in the 1990's.  I wasn't impressed then, and I can't say I'm impressed by the new recording.  My problem with Pandolofo is that I don't find his playing sufficiently powerful at times.  Basically, I just don't connect with him.

My favored recording is Quintana and Frisch on Harmonia Mundi.

Thanks. I followed the advice in your comparative review and purchased the Quintana and Frisch version a while back. I wasn't disappointed. I also like the Crum version which I believe you recommended - with reservations. I probably own all the various Bach recordings you've recommended. As for Pandolfo, while I didn't enjoy his gamba version of the cello suites (I'm really in love with the Kuijken da spalla version - another recording to ask you about!), I do enjoy his new gamba sonatas. But I've read closely all your reservations in regards to the cello suites and gamba sonatas and avoided some recordings based on those observations. 
Incidentally, have you written any reviews recently? I'd like to know where to look in case you're publishing anything online. I've looked at the cantatas site countless times. I wish I could see more discussion between you, Bradley Lehman and Kirk McElhearn as well as more reviews. A few years ago I fell in love with Bach kind of out of the blue - I had no previous interest in classical music. I think all those discussions and reviews on the Cantata site encouraged me and facilitated my interest in this music. That's a valuable service to the music...not a small thing.       
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on August 01, 2011, 03:03:43 AM
Jaroslav Tůma.

It's a 2-CD set with two complete interpretations, both on clavichord (a "two-manual" clavichord, read the info below) and harpsichord.

http://www.youtube.com/v/v7IyetFoUkI
(This ClarkVega is a nice chap!  ;D)


Here you will find all the information that you need: http://www.arta.cz/index.php?p=f10136en&site=en

 :)

Thanks. That's a great link. Now I must machinate over whether I need this!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on August 01, 2011, 03:07:40 AM
Hi Milk - the performer shown on the disc below (left) is Jaroslav Tůma - actually a 2-CD package (in a 1-disc sized jewel box - love it!) - Goldbergs are played on the clavichord on 1 disc & on a harpsichord on the 2nd disc - cannot remember where I purchased this set but a great combo if the price is right!

Also, if you like the clavichord, I own the 4-CD set w/ the same performer doing the WTC, both books - Dave  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachGoldbergTuma/949289381_nFEdn-O.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWTCTuma/949289393_zRK8V-O.jpg)

I had the Tuma WTC at one point and, for some reason, didn't fall in love with it. But maybe I should search for it and try again.
So, do you feel the this version really adds something to your life? Would you say this is a must-have (these questions are for Tonito also)? I do like the clavichord. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 01, 2011, 04:36:39 AM
I had the Tuma WTC at one point and, for some reason, didn't fall in love with it. But maybe I should search for it and try again.
So, do you feel the this version really adds something to your life? Would you say this is a must-have (these questions are for Tonito also)? I do like the clavichord.

Well, I'm not sure that a 'clavichord' version of the Goldberg Variations is a 'must-have' in your life; of course, you must like the instrument which I do - listening to the disc as I type and enjoying; the instrument is well made & tuned and Tuma does play quite well.  I've just been a collector of these works performed in different ways and on various types of instruments - have always enjoyed 'transcriptions' (like to the guitar) of classical pieces, so do search them out; others may have the opposite feeling?  Good luck in your choice(s) - :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on August 01, 2011, 08:03:35 AM
Incidentally, have you written any reviews recently? I'd like to know where to look in case you're publishing anything online. I've looked at the cantatas site countless times. I wish I could see more discussion between you, Bradley Lehman and Kirk McElhearn as well as more reviews.

I haven't written any reviews in recent years.  When I retired, I thought I would be doing more reviews than ever.  However, the reviews became a chore for me so I stopped.  Maybe that will change, don't know.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on August 01, 2011, 03:41:08 PM
I haven't written any reviews in recent years.  When I retired, I thought I would be doing more reviews than ever.  However, the reviews became a chore for me so I stopped.  Maybe that will change, don't know.
It's interesting that no one else has attempted anything like it (as far as I've found). Some day I'd like to see a comparison of recordings of Bach's harpsichord concertos.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on August 02, 2011, 09:14:59 AM
It's interesting that no one else has attempted anything like it (as far as I've found). Some day I'd like to see a comparison of recordings of Bach's harpsichord concertos.

Those reviews I did took a huge number of hours; most folks don't want to devote so much time to one work or body of works.

I have to admit that, even if I was still doing those long reviews, I wouldn't tackle the harpsichord concertos.  You have to possess great love for music that you listen to for dozens of hours.  That wasn't any problem for me with works such the Goldbergs and WTC, but I would tire of the concertos long before the review process was concluded; that's exactly what happened to me when I tried it with the Brandenburgs.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 02, 2011, 03:56:30 PM
Those reviews I did took a huge number of hours; most folks don't want to devote so much time to one work or body of works.

Milk - I fully understand Don's point although I do not write musical reviews; I'm a 'just retired' academic radiologist who in a 34-year career did a lot of research and writing - often the published articles were only 3-4 pages in length (the usual nature of medical articles), but the time spent in collecting the data, in analyzing the results, in writing and finalizing the final drafts; then submitting the article to a peer-reviewed journal which if possibly accepted required more time & revisions - THIS takes much time - Don's point is well taken - just another viewpoint -  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on August 03, 2011, 04:03:13 AM
Milk - I fully understand Don's point although I do not write musical reviews; I'm a 'just retired' academic radiologist who in a 34-year career did a lot of research and writing - often the published articles were only 3-4 pages in length (the usual nature of medical articles), but the time spent in collecting the data, in analyzing the results, in writing and finalizing the final drafts; then submitting the article to a peer-reviewed journal which if possibly accepted required more time & revisions - THIS takes much time - Don's point is well taken - just another viewpoint -  :)
Yeah sure. I get it. I'm an M.A. in a humanities-related field and a university instructor. I'm pretty lazy when it comes to researching/publishing. But I think medical research is much more arduous. I can imagine. And this music is a real love. We can see the love Don has for the music but also the incredible concentration and time that goes into the articles. I'd love to see updates from Don if he ever feels the need to do any. I've tried to find/follow his reviews as much as possible. I think, if I'm not mistaken, he did a nice one for Handel's keyboard suites (I have the Dantone which I think was his recommendation). I can also see his point about the Brandenburgs and the concertos. I have a particular love for the concertos (has anybody heard the Plectra live recordings? - great!). But there is a lesser complexity - perhaps - to them. Solo keyboard music - especially Bach's - is more amenable to this kind of process I guess. Bach's keyboard music is as deep as the ocean - as it were (including my favorite: the partitas!). I'll be patient and see if more reviews emerge in the years to come. In the meantime, I can always go back to them to gain more insight. Of course, the insight is in the music itself. As I said before, the reviews really helped me deepen my journey into the music. That's the important thing isn't it. Sorry for my rambling!     
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on August 30, 2011, 10:19:33 PM
I enjoyed the second French suite on this recording from Thurston Dart which I found on spotify

(http://127.0.0.1:9000/spotifyimage/spotify:image:d9a550669bb28275f7a73e3c31b0fe6f4a170d5a/cover.jpg)

I listened to a few recordings of FR2 and this is the one that appealed the most. His clavichord is as twangy and colourful as Kirkpatrick's harpsichord on Archiv . But although I like Kirkpatrick I found that the sound of his instrument became annoying after a few of the movements while I was happy to stay the course with Dart's clavichord.

Another thing I like about Dart is that he doesn't hang around. But it's  not bravura style at all, he's a thinker not a showman. Anyway it's well worth trying if you've got spotify, and if anyone knows any other good clavichord recordings of these suites  please let me know.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: PaulSC on August 31, 2011, 08:50:53 AM
I enjoyed the second French suite on this recording from Thurston Dart which I found on spotify

(http://127.0.0.1:9000/spotifyimage/spotify:image:d9a550669bb28275f7a73e3c31b0fe6f4a170d5a/cover.jpg)

I listened to a few recordings of FR2 and this is the one that appealed the most. His clavichord is as twangy and colourful as Kirkpatrick's harpsichord on Archiv . But although I like Kirkpatrick I found that the sound of his instrument became annoying after a few of the movements while I was happy to stay the course with Dart's clavichord.

Another thing I like about Dart is that he doesn't hang around. But it's  not bravura style at all, he's a thinker not a showman. Anyway it's well worth trying if you've got spotify, and if anyone knows any other good clavichord recordings of these suites  please let me know.
I haven't tapped into spotify, but I'll get there someday. I would enjoy hearing the Dart performance on clavichord.

I wasn't sure whether to post this here or on the “Recordings That You Are Considering” thread, but since it's tangentially related, Ilton Wjuniski's French Suites are indeed a recording that I am considering, and one that might interest you as well. Wjuniski plays the six standard French Suites on harpsichord, adding preludes from the rest of Bach's oeuvre. But he also plays the suites BWV 819 (E flat) and 818a (A minor), both on clavichord. Judging from the previews at the iTunes Store, I like both the interpretations and the instrument choices.

(http://media.jazzstore.com/cache/w200/products-00-0022-00223573-ilton-wjuniski-bach-french-suites.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: PaulSC on September 04, 2011, 06:48:18 PM
Assuming “non-piano” means “harpsichord”, the Cates you've got is certainly a fine version. I also like Davitt Moroney and Bradley Brookshire (respectively a bit straightlaced and a bit loosey-goosey — both in a good way). And I just recently acquired this set (http://www.gmrecordings.com/gm2075.htm) by Iltan Wjuniski on GM, which is also very fine and which has the added appeal of bundling in the extra suites BWV 818a, 819 (with the extra Allemande from 819a) and 823 (incomplete) — all of these extras played on clavichord. If I'm not mistaken, Cates gives you most of the same extras, but on harpsichord.

(http://www.gmrecordings.com/images/gm2075s.jpg)

Christophe Rousset's extroverted performances also have many fans. But for me all of Rousset's recordings on Ambroisie are spoiled by excessively reverberant acoustics. If you haven't already heard the Rousset, checking out the previews at a site like Amazon will be enough to tell you if you can tolerate — possibly even revel in — all that reverb.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on September 04, 2011, 07:18:54 PM
Christophe Rousset's extroverted performances also have many fans. But for me all of Rousset's recordings on Ambroisie are spoiled by excessively reverberant acoustics.

It's good to know that I'm not the only person who finds Rousset/Ambroisie overly reverberant. 8)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on September 04, 2011, 09:52:21 PM
It's good to know that I'm not the only person who finds Rousset/Ambroisie overly reverberant. 8)

You're not the only person. Those recordings are overly reverberant.
It's just that I LOVE it!  ;)

They are in fact my favorite recording of the French Suites, a spot they share with Blandine Rannou (ZigZag).

I don't have a favorite piano version, yet... so by default it probably is Angela Hewitt. (That I like Keith Jarrett in that repertoire is a personal quirk that I wouldn't try to argue with too much force.)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 05, 2011, 07:05:32 AM
Assuming “non-piano” means “harpsichord”, the Cates you've got is certainly a fine version. I also like Davitt Moroney and Bradley Brookshire (respectively a bit straightlaced and a bit loosey-goosey — both in a good way). And I just recently acquired this set (http://www.gmrecordings.com/gm2075.htm) by Iltan Wjuniski on GM, which is also very fine and which has the added appeal of bundling in the extra suites BWV 818a, 819 (with the extra Allemande from 819a) and 823 (incomplete) — all of these extras played on clavichord. If I'm not mistaken, Cates gives you most of the same extras, but on harpsichord.

(http://www.gmrecordings.com/images/gm2075s.jpg)



Paul - forgot to mention that I also have the 3 discs of Alan Curtis doing both sets on the harpsichord, so w/ Cates, I'm happy w/ those 2 versions; but the mention of the clavichord above peaked my interest - just have a handful of discs played on that instrument - I'm assuming that Iltan Wjuniski performs the suites on a harpsichord?  Thanks - Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: PaulSC on September 05, 2011, 09:59:22 AM
Paul - forgot to mention that I also have the 3 discs of Alan Curtis doing both sets on the harpsichord, so w/ Cates, I'm happy w/ those 2 versions; but the mention of the clavichord above peaked my interest - just have a handful of discs played on that instrument - I'm assuming that Iltan Wjuniski performs the suites on a harpsichord?  Thanks - Dave :)
SonicMan, that's right — the 6 French Suites on harpsichord, and 3 (really 2 1/2) bonus suites on clavichord.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on September 05, 2011, 10:20:16 AM
Paul - forgot to mention that I also have the 3 discs of Alan Curtis doing both sets on the harpsichord, so w/ Cates, I'm happy w/ those 2 versions; but the mention of the clavichord above peaked my interest - just have a handful of discs played on that instrument - I'm assuming that Iltan Wjuniski performs the suites on a harpsichord?  Thanks - Dave :)

The same here.  I have about a dozen of recordings with Alan Curtis on the keyboard.  That is in addition to having just about every Handel opera recorded by him ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on September 19, 2011, 08:51:47 PM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Baumont-K01-4a%5BErato-CD%5D.jpg)

Hi Q - assume the same Baumont performance shown below (on the cheaper Apex label) - for myself, I own the 2-CD set of the 'Complete Transcriptions' w/ Elizabeth Farr - some 'mixed' reviews on Amazon (although 5* comments from Scott Morrison), but a superlative review from Fanfare, reprinted HERE (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=309785), which prompted my purchase! - Dave :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41iWWzMKc7L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GfuysznNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)   

Indeed it is the same, Dave.  :)

I don't know the set by Elizabeth Farr, wasn't even aware of its existence.
I have the complete set of arranged concertos by Peter Watchorn - pictured below. Solid, serviceable performances in comparison to Baumont's utter elegance and charm.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Ilr2U8l4L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 20, 2011, 05:05:10 AM
Indeed it is the same, Dave.  :)

I don't know the set by Elizabeth Farr, wasn't even aware of its existence.
I have the complete set of arranged concertos by Peter Watchorn - pictured below. Solid, serviceable performances in comparison to Baumont's utter elegance and charm.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Ilr2U8l4L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Thanks Q - I do have Watchorn in a number of Bach's keyboard works but not these concertos - may have to add the Baumont to my Amazon cart, especially at the low asking price!  Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: kishnevi on September 20, 2011, 05:10:10 PM
I have this one:



Three on organ (BWV 593, 594 and 596) and three on harpsichord (BWV 972, 976 and 980)

As far as it goes, it's good; but obviously it's incomplete.

I have, and like, the Farr; in fact, I like it far better than her companion recording of the works for lute/lautenwerk.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on September 22, 2011, 12:48:26 PM
I understand that Gustav Leonhardt transcribed Bach's Chaconne for harpsichord, but I can't find any recordings. Can anyone help out here?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on September 22, 2011, 03:53:50 PM
I understand that Gustav Leonhardt transcribed Bach's Chaconne for harpsichord, but I can't find any recordings. Can anyone help out here?

I believe it's on a 2-cd set of Bach transcriptions on the DHM label.  I noticed that Amazon has a used copy for about $84.  I'll pass on that one.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on September 22, 2011, 09:51:12 PM
I believe it's on a 2-cd set of Bach transcriptions on the DHM label.  I noticed that Amazon has a used copy for about $84.  I'll pass on that one.

He transcribed and recorded the 6 solo violin pieces and the cellosuites 4 - 6. In short outstanding.

Edit: The violin sonata 2 and the first movement of violin sonata 3 he recorded (of course) in Bach´s own transcription.
         He recorded the violin sonata 3 twice.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on September 23, 2011, 11:21:20 AM
He transcribed and recorded the 6 solo violin pieces and the cellosuites 4 - 6. In short outstanding.

Edit: The violin sonata 2 and the first movement of violin sonata 3 he recorded (of course) in Bach´s own transcription.
         He recorded the violin sonata 3 twice.

Agreed. This is one of my favourite GL records.

The CD I have is this one .

(http://i1.fastpic.ru/big/2010/0131/65/ed00460c31d8722a97a389f653e1f165.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on September 23, 2011, 11:22:44 AM
Ouch. $84 is a bit steep. Thanks, though!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on September 23, 2011, 11:25:12 AM
Ouch. $84 is a bit steep. Thanks, though!

There's a torrent from Russia.

What is the date of the recording? The Bach Cantatas website doesn't give a date -- my guess is it's quite early. But that is a guess  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on September 23, 2011, 01:52:56 PM
What is the date of the recording? The Bach Cantatas website doesn't give a date -- my guess is it's quite early. But that is a guess  :)

BWV 1001, 1005 & 1012 was recorded 1985.
Harpsichord by Martin Skowroneck 1984 after late French models (the so called Nicolas Lefebvre).

BWV 1002, 1004 & 1006 was recorded June 1975.
Harpsichord by William Dowd 1975 after Blanchet 1730.

The prel., fugue and allegro was recorded Sept. 1965.
Harpsichord by Carl August Gräbner 1782.

He also recorded BWV 1003 & 1005 for Telefunken P1969 and BWV 1010 & 1011 for Seon/Sony (AFAIR without consulting my shelves)  in the late 70es.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on September 23, 2011, 08:38:27 PM
BWV 1001, 1005 & 1012 was recorded 1985.
Harpsichord by Martin Skowroneck 1984 after late French models (the so called Nicolas Lefebvre).

BWV 1002, 1004 & 1006 was recorded June 1975.
Harpsichord by William Dowd 1975 after Blanchet 1730.

The prel., fugue and allegro was recorded Sept. 1965.
Harpsichord by Carl August Gräbner 1782.

He also recorded BWV 1003 & 1005 for Telefunken P1969 and BWV 1010 & 1011 for Seon/Sony (AFAIR without consulting my shelves)  in the late 70es.

Right -- so quite a wide timespan.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on September 26, 2011, 09:03:33 AM


http://www.youtube.com/v/boH9VwqxgcI


Ketil Haugsand (German style harpsichord after Christian Zell 1725)

J.S. Bach: Keyboard Partita in D major, BWV 828

I Ouverture
II Allemande
III Courante
IV Aria
V Sarabande
VI Menuet
VII Gigue
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on September 26, 2011, 09:25:05 AM
[youtube link]

Ketil Haugsand (German style harpsichord after Christian Zell 1725)

J.S. Bach: Keyboard Partita in D major, BWV 828

WOW! Thanks! :)

Very good sound quality of this complete Bach composition upload, taken from a disc that isn't even OOP!
After listening, copy and paste from your Temporary Internet Files folder to one of your own fave directories, convert it and .... there you go, very handy indeed.

via Alex Ross


(http://thewire.co.uk/resources/thewire-logo.png)

Collateral Damage

The True Cost of Uploading


http://thewire.co.uk/articles/6715/ (http://thewire.co.uk/articles/6715/)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on September 26, 2011, 12:45:05 PM
WOW! Thanks! :)

Very good sound quality of this complete Bach composition upload, taken from a disc that isn't even OOP!
After listening, copy and paste from your Temporary Internet Files folder to one of your own fave directories, convert it and .... there you go, very handy indeed.

Ketil put it up himself, or at least approved of it... so there is no irony involved here.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 26, 2011, 01:11:02 PM
Ketil put it up himself, or at least approved of it... so there is no irony involved here.

I don't know if Ketil Haugsand approves this upload, but the uploader is our masolino aka flautotraverso.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on September 26, 2011, 09:17:47 PM
I don't know if Ketil Haugsand approves this upload, but the uploader is our masolino aka flautotraverso.
You don't, but I do.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on September 28, 2011, 08:59:50 AM
You don't, but I do.

How do you do?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on September 28, 2011, 09:16:37 AM
How do you do?

Because I know him and he sent me the link for promulgation... it was his "Never start a morning without Bach" 'gift'...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on September 28, 2011, 10:54:38 AM
Because I know him and he sent me the link for promulgation... it was his "Never start a morning without Bach" 'gift'...

Hey!
What about afternoon, evening and night?

Three more uploads, plz.

:P
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 28, 2011, 01:37:44 PM
Hey!
What about afternoon, evening and night?

Three more uploads, plz.

:P

Not so fast, Marc! I think we need to know if it was received the authorization from Simax to upload this piece. It's nice to know that Haugsand approves this upload, but it is necessary to know if Simax authorized it. I think I will just listen to my original copy. I mean to be legally sure.  ;) 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on September 28, 2011, 11:25:33 PM

http://www.youtube.com/v/Yn0HAWX1TSA


Ketil Haugsand also recommends this. Undoubtedly stolen from somewhere else. Probably W+/- Carlos.
 ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 02, 2011, 09:37:51 PM
(http://www4.alibris-static.com/cover/n16750e3sb1.jpg)
I'm hoping maybe Bulldog (Mr. Satz) might give us his impressions of this recording somewhere down the line. So far I'm enjoying it for it's clarity and wonderful sound quality.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 04, 2011, 10:06:50 AM
(http://www4.alibris-static.com/cover/n16750e3sb1.jpg)
I'm hoping maybe Bulldog (Mr. Satz) might give us his impressions of this recording somewhere down the line. So far I'm enjoying it for it's clarity and wonderful sound quality.

I've only listened twice to Devine's Goldbergs.  I certainly agree that the sound is superb but have some reservations about the performances.  So far, I sense that Devine doesn't drive the music forward sufficiently, especially in the faster variations.  He likes rhythmic hesitations and some staggering of musical lines; I usually like this also, but with Devine I'm finding it a hindrance to the musical flow.
Also, he makes a caricature of the 6th Variation with his insistence on a vertical humpty-dumpty rhythm.  Sounds like something a small child would prefer.

Of course, I'll be listening more and trying to get a better idea of Devine's aesthetic.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 05, 2011, 06:07:40 PM
I've only listened twice to Devine's Goldbergs.  I certainly agree that the sound is superb but have some reservations about the performances.  So far, I sense that Devine doesn't drive the music forward sufficiently, especially in the faster variations.  He likes rhythmic hesitations and some staggering of musical lines; I usually like this also, but with Devine I'm finding it a hindrance to the musical flow.
Also, he makes a caricature of the 6th Variation with his insistence on a vertical humpty-dumpty rhythm.  Sounds like something a small child would prefer.

Of course, I'll be listening more and trying to get a better idea of Devine's aesthetic.
I listened to it twice. I don't think this recording is going to stay with me. Actually the last few days I've been listening to Staier's recording again. I think this is not to your taste maybe? Normally I wouldn't like the roominess of the Staier recording (I'm not such a fan of Roussett's Goldberg) but I have to say I just love what Staier has done. And I think in this case the production design works with the instrument and performance style. What I like about it is its fearlessness, the wonderful variety of tones in the choices of registration and the otherworldliness - as it were - of the performance. I wanted to love the Devine because the instrument has such a beautiful sound and the production is just as I like it (excepting the Staier). Perhaps Gilbert will be next in my ipod-rotation. The Staier recoding couldn't be a reference recording - I know. It's just too particular (in the instrument and production). But whereas this Devine recording doesn't do anything bold, I think the Staier is full of confidence and chance-taking (at times it just turns into a mess because of the room reverberation) and careful thought. A few months back I said I was burnt out on Goldbergs. Lately I have a second wind. I wish I could find a new recording with the same production quality of the Devine, but with more performance umpf! 
(http://pixhost.me/avaxhome/25/d3/0016d325_medium.jpeg)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 05, 2011, 08:28:14 PM
I wanted to ask a question maybe for Bulldog and others: I've neglected Bach's concerto transcriptions. Actually I bought the double Watchorn cd a few years back but since then I've kind of soured on Watchorn and put it aside. How much pleasure do you get from these works and which recordings are recommended? I have followed discussions in the past. Some people like the Farr recording? I know this is kind of a rehash (but everything gets rehashed). Anyway, where do you place these works in terms of Bach's keyboard output? I know it's tricky because they're youthful works and they're transcriptions. Still, It's something in which I've yet to invest time. Are they below Bach's toccatas? I don't know if this is a good topic or not but I'm always looking to get (those whom I consider to be) experts explaining aspects of Bach. One more query: For me, Bach's keyboard partitas are nearly as good as the Goldbergs. I wonder why there haven't been a lot of recordings of these works in recent years. Or have there been? I love Suzuki's and Leonhardt's respective recordings. But I'm waiting for someone to take a stab at these now. Seems like there are many more artists doing even the French Suites than the partitas.     
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 05, 2011, 08:51:07 PM
I wanted to ask a question maybe for Bulldog and others: I've neglected Bach's concerto transcriptions. Actually I bought the double Watchorn cd a few years back but since then I've kind of soured on Watchorn and put it aside. How much pleasure do you get from these works and which recordings are recommended? I have followed discussions in the past. Some people like the Farr recording? I know this is kind of a rehash (but everything gets rehashed). Anyway, where do you place these works in terms of Bach's keyboard output? I know it's tricky because they're youthful works and they're transcriptions. Still, It's something in which I've yet to invest time. Are they below Bach's toccatas? I don't know if this is a good topic or not but I'm always looking to get (those whom I consider to be) experts explaining aspects of Bach. One more query: For me, Bach's keyboard partitas are nearly as good as the Goldbergs. I wonder why there haven't been a lot of recordings of these works in recent years. Or have there been? I love Suzuki's and Leonhardt's respective recordings. But I'm waiting for someone to take a stab at these now. Seems like there are many more artists doing even the French Suites than the partitas.   

The best I can figure, there have been 13 new recordings of the Partitas in the last six years, 7 for the French Suites and 53 for the Goldbergs.

Concerning the concerto transcriptions, I'm not a big fan and definitely prefer Bach's Toccatas.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on October 05, 2011, 10:49:38 PM
I wanted to ask a question maybe for Bulldog and others: I've neglected Bach's concerto transcriptions. .... How much pleasure do you get from these works and which recordings are recommended?

MUCH, much pleasure. In fact, they are the core of my favorite recording. (Not favorite Bach recording, but altogether favorite recording.) -- concertos italiens, with Alexandre Tharaud on Harmonia Mundi. Un-be-lievably gorgeous. Made 2005 (gosh, time flies) a great year.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/05/dip-your-ears-no-58.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/05/dip-your-ears-no-58.html)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/12/best-recordings-of-2005.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/12/best-recordings-of-2005.html)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 06, 2011, 12:27:05 AM
The best I can figure, there have been 13 new recordings of the Partitas in the last six years, 7 for the French Suites and 53 for the Goldbergs.

Concerning the concerto transcriptions, I'm not a big fan and definitely prefer Bach's Toccatas.
Hmm...guess maybe I have some catching up to do. I think we may have been through this conversation recently. But...Any of these compete with Suzuki or Leonhardt? Maybe I should be satisfied with those since they're so darn good. 53 Goldbergs! Wow! Have any recent ones outdone Hantai, Ross or Gilbert in your opinion?
Any of these pedal recordings impress anyone?
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61bF3CyxPgL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)(http://cover7.cduniverse.com/CDUCoverArt/Music/98/8449098.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 06, 2011, 09:14:26 AM
Hmm...guess maybe I have some catching up to do. I think we may have been through this conversation recently. But...Any of these compete with Suzuki or Leonhardt? Maybe I should be satisfied with those since they're so darn good. 53 Goldbergs! Wow! Have any recent ones outdone Hantai, Ross or Gilbert in your opinion?

I don't think anyone can surpass Hantai or Ross, but I have very high opinions of Pieter Dirksen on Etcetera, Matthew Halls on Linn and Aapo Hakkinen on Alba.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 06, 2011, 03:34:03 PM
Thanks Bulldog!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 08, 2011, 06:02:00 PM
I wonder whatever happened to Richard Troeger and his Clavier-Übung project. Seems to have disappeared.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on October 10, 2011, 09:22:28 AM

[Leonhardt's transcriptions of ] BWV 1002, 1004 & 1006 was recorded June 1975.
Harpsichord by William Dowd 1975 after Blanchet 1730.


It's a very beautiful instrument I think. I just listened to the 1st Partita and was, to say the least, extremely moved by the music making. It's a shame this record is out of print.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Josquin des Prez on October 10, 2011, 09:39:37 AM
Are they below Bach's toccatas?

A lot of them are definitely above. Bach's toccatas are early works and they aren't really as good as most of his later music. Some of them, like the bwv 1052 are miles ahead.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on October 10, 2011, 09:50:15 AM
Some of them, like the bwv 1052 are miles ahead.

Milk was referring to transcriptions of the concerti by the Italians (Vivaldi, Marcello et al.), if I'm not mistaken.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Josquin des Prez on October 10, 2011, 10:10:00 AM
Milk was referring to transcriptions of the concerti by the Italians (Vivaldi, Marcello et. al.), if I'm not mistaken.

Ha, in that case, yeah, they are fairly minor works, most of which are probably best heard in the original format anyway (those of Vivaldi for instance). The exception is the bwv 1065, where Bach actually improves on the original.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 10, 2011, 11:16:18 AM
Ha, in that case, yeah, they are fairly minor works, most of which are probably best heard in the original format anyway (those of Vivaldi for instance). The exception is the bwv 1065, where Bach actually improves on the original.

I won't discuss if the transcriptions are superior to their respective originals, but the idea of "reduction" of a whole instrumental ensemble to the keyboard it's attractive enough to justify these highly enjoyable pieces. Not just for their eventual pedagogic value for Bach himself, but because they are also the intellectual forerunners (I have convinced myself about this) of outstanding pieces like the Italian Concerto BWV 971 and the French Overture BWV 831, which are a sort of "transcription" in the same vein, but without "original".

P.S.: After reading these lines I became aware that probably they were written under the influence of Borges, who used to write reviews on imaginary books.

:)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 11, 2011, 03:40:21 AM
... they are also the intellectual forerunners (I have convinced myself about this) of outstanding pieces like the Italian Concerto BWV 971 and the French Overture BWV 831, which are a sort of "transcription" in the same vein, but without "original".

Although I have had this idea for a long time, I had never searched for "transcriptions" to the orchestral medium of the Italian Concerto BWV 971. Today I did it and this is a nice result:

http://www.youtube.com/v/Nf7-DER93Ww
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 11, 2011, 03:49:10 AM
Milk was referring to transcriptions of the concerti by the Italians (Vivaldi, Marcello et al.), if I'm not mistaken.

That's right. Today I was listening to this:
(http://cdn.7static.com/static/img/sleeveart/00/006/302/0000630247_350.jpg)
Most of his Bach performances here are not noteworthy - in my opinion. However, his version of "1079, Ricercar a 3" on an early fortepiano is quite nice. I'm always searching for new ways to enjoy Bach on period instruments (I think this fortepiano performance qualifies for this thread). I'm often checking this thread. Please continue posting any new recordings that are worthy of attention.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on October 11, 2011, 09:28:45 AM
Although I have had this idea for a long time, I had never searched for "transcriptions" to the orchestral medium of the Italian Concerto BWV 971. Today I did it and this is a nice result:

http://www.youtube.com/v/Nf7-DER93Ww

Thanks for this. Most tasteful arrangement.  Must be this one.

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-Italienischer-Gusto-Konzerte-Rekonstruktionen-Hpothesen/hnum/3660840
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Josquin des Prez on October 11, 2011, 09:48:19 AM
That's right. Today I was listening to this:
(http://cdn.7static.com/static/img/sleeveart/00/006/302/0000630247_350.jpg)
Most of his Bach performances here are not noteworthy - in my opinion. However, his version of "1079, Ricercar a 3" on an early fortepiano is quite nice. I'm always searching for new ways to enjoy Bach on period instruments (I think this fortepiano performance qualifies for this thread). I'm often checking this thread. Please continue posting any new recordings that are worthy of attention.

His bwv 922 is pretty good. Its not a major work but a lot of other performers (including Christiane Wuyts who's among my favorites for this off the beaten path stuff) never seem to get it right. The rest of the disc i can kinda live without.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 11, 2011, 10:03:03 AM
Thanks for this. Most tasteful arrangement.  Must be this one.

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-Italienischer-Gusto-Konzerte-Rekonstruktionen-Hpothesen/hnum/3660840

You're welcome!  :)

It's this one:

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on October 11, 2011, 02:17:48 PM
You're welcome!  :)

It's this one:



Thanks for drawing attention to this recording, which I have never seen before. But now I have ordered it from Amazon MP.  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 11, 2011, 05:16:07 PM
Thanks for drawing attention to this recording, which I have never seen before. But now I have ordered it from Amazon MP.  :)

Your own find sounds very attractive too:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/8011570338259.jpg)

Thanks.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 12, 2011, 02:55:25 AM
His bwv 922 is pretty good. Its not a major work but a lot of other performers (including Christiane Wuyts who's among my favorites for this off the beaten path stuff) never seem to get it right. The rest of the disc i can kinda live without.
In my collection I also find 922 on Troeger (from his Art of the Fugue recording) and Rousset (from "Bach: Fantasy"). Do you think Ghelmi is the best of these three? Rousset isn't moving me. I like the Troeger even though I'm not regularly drawn to any of the Troeger recordings that I own. Still, I wonder what happened to Troeger.   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 15, 2011, 07:29:41 AM
I mentioned this a few posts back but I wanted to say that I am quite enjoying this recording:
(http://www.postedecoute.ca/catalogue/cover/xlarge/1005458.jpg)
I'm ashamed to admit that I still have problems enjoying the organ. So I'm happy to hear the compositions another way. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 15, 2011, 01:36:38 PM
I mentioned this a few posts back but I wanted to say that I am quite enjoying this recording:
(http://www.postedecoute.ca/catalogue/cover/xlarge/1005458.jpg)
I'm ashamed to admit that I still have problems enjoying the organ. So I'm happy to hear the compositions another way.

Yes, I also get much enjoyment from this disc - I love the pedal harpsichord.  It can do justice to a piece like the Fugue BWV 545 that the typical harpsichord just can't handle.

Sorry to hear that you have organ problems. :D  As much as I like Beausejour's performances, nothing beats the real thing (the king of instruments).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 15, 2011, 07:15:19 PM
Yes, I also get much enjoyment from this disc - I love the pedal harpsichord.  It can do justice to a piece like the Fugue BWV 545 that the typical harpsichord just can't handle.

Sorry to hear that you have organ problems. :D  As much as I like Beausejour's performances, nothing beats the real thing (the king of instruments).

I'm working on my Organ-phobia. I'm sure some day I'll come around. I like it in small doses (for example on Levin's WTC). Perhaps I'll have to accustom myself little by little. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on October 16, 2011, 01:38:43 AM

Any of these pedal recordings impress anyone?
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61bF3CyxPgL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Yes, Douglas Amrine- whom I never heard of before I got this CD - impressses me rather much with his stylishness, eloquence and brilliance. But like Don I prefer the real thing, the organ.
Do not know the Beausejour recording, put it on my wishlist.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 19, 2011, 08:06:42 PM
I see that Blandine Rannou has a box set coming out at the end of November.
It will include the Goldberg Variations, French and English Suites, as well as the Toccatas.
Does anyone know if this is a reissue or new?
I have some lovely recordings by her (F. Couperin, Forqueray). I wonder if I should be on the edge of my seat. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 20, 2011, 03:20:36 AM
Also, I see that Peter Watchorn has his new recording of the French Suites slated for release this month.
I went from being a fan of his to being kind of luke-warm about him.
The production on his pedal harpsichord recording of the WTC is nothing sort of brilliant.
However, his performance is a bit fussy sometimes even though he sure knows how to record that instrument.
I'm interested to catch some samples of the French when they're available.
I've bought a lot of French Suite recordings over the last few years but, for some reason, I always end up going back
to Moroney to wash them out of my system. The only other recording I like to leave in my consciousness is Brookshire's -
which I guess I like a lot considering that I find his public pronouncements on music to be pretty distasteful.
Anyway, I wonder if anyone's curiosity is peaked by the prospect of new releases from either Rannou or Watchorn? 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on October 20, 2011, 03:57:17 AM
I see that Blandine Rannou has a box set coming out at the end of November.
It will include the Goldberg Variations, French and English Suites, as well as the Toccatas.
Does anyone know if this is a reissue or new?
I have some lovely recordings by her (F. Couperin, Forqueray). I wonder if I should be on the edge of my seat.

Must be a re-issue... although I wasn't aware (or at least don't have) the Goldbergs and the Toccatas. But her French and English suites are, along those of Rousset's on Ambroise [not everyone's cup of tea, those] my favorite. They are tremendously well played, exciting and musical while being a little 'straighter' than Rousset. Great recorded and harpsichord sound, too.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Drasko on October 20, 2011, 04:24:52 AM
Must be a re-issue... although I wasn't aware (or at least don't have) the Goldbergs and the Toccatas. But her French and English suites are, along those of Rousset's on Ambroise [not everyone's cup of tea, those] my favorite. They are tremendously well played, exciting and musical while being a little 'straighter' than Rousset. Great recorded and harpsichord sound, too.

It seems like two releases: 5CD box, reissue of French & English Suites and Toccatas, and new recording of Goldbergs.

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/ZZT111001.jpg)
http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//ZZT111001.htm

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/ZZT111002.jpg)
http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//ZZT111002.htm

Completely agreed on her French Suites, need the rest.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 20, 2011, 05:09:08 AM
Nice to see those French Suites, English Suites and Toccatas re-released because - just excepting the latter disc- they were near to impossible to get these days, specially the English Suites. As Jens points out these discs are probably not everyone's cup of tea, but I have noticed that people fond of Rousset, usually enjoy Rannou. Personally my favorite among her Bach discs are the Toccatas because her playing seems very well suited to the stylus phantasticus.   :)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on October 20, 2011, 05:20:21 AM
Nice to see those French Suites, English Suites and Toccatas re-released because - just excepting the latter disc- they were near to impossible to get these days, specially the English Suites.
As Jens points out these discs are probably not everyone's cup of tea, but I have noticed that people fond of Rousset, usually enjoy Rannou. Personally my favorite among her Bach discs are the Toccatas
because her playing seems very well suited to the stylus phantasticus.   :)

Oh, I just remembered: I have her Toccatas. Perhaps the only recording of the Toccatas that I truly enjoy.

I also meant to imply that it's the Rousset that's not to everybody's taste (resonance, rubato et al.), and that the Rannou recordings are perhaps the bridge between stodgy exacting and exciting.
But I'm not surprised that there's a correlation between Rousset-likers and Rannou-likers.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 21, 2011, 07:14:02 AM
I'm interested in her Goldberg. I said a while back that I wasn't listening to the Goldberg Variations much but recently I've been on a binge.
Gosh, Leonhardt's recording (I think it's the newer one I have) is great.
I must be the only one here who loves Staier's odd recording of the Goldberg Variations.  I take it no one is much interested in
Watchorn here. Musica Omnia's sound design is so darn good. But that's meaningless if the performance doesn't excel.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 21, 2011, 09:57:59 AM
I take it no one is much interested in Watchorn here.

Wrong, my friend.  I think very highly of Watchorn's recordings, especially his WTC.

Just noticed that I had the Watchorn WTC on my personal essentials list (different thread).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 21, 2011, 03:50:10 PM
....I take it no one is much interested in Watchorn here. Musica Omnia's sound design is so darn good. But that's meaningless if the performance doesn't excel.

Boy, Milk - I have to completely agree w/ Don - I have plenty of Watchorn's discs (and others from his label), including both the WTC books - he is a superb performer and an incredible musical historian - his recordings and writings are certainly to be highly considered, but just my thoughts - hope that other fans will 'chime in' - :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on October 21, 2011, 03:54:20 PM
Boy, Milk - I have to completely agree w/ Don - I have plenty of Watchorn's discs (and others from his label), including both the WTC books - he is a superb performer and an incredible musical historian - his recordings and writings are certainly to be highly considered, but just my thoughts - hope that other fans will 'chime in' - :)

How many Bach recordings has Watchorn made?  My computer counted 5 in my Bach collection ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 21, 2011, 04:50:04 PM
Gosh, Leonhardt's recording (I think it's the newer one I have) is great.
Total agreement here! I think his three recordings are superb: 1953  (Vanguard, Vanguard Carrere, Vanguard Classics, Musical Heritage/Artemis Classics); 1964 (Teldec, Teldec/Warner, Teldec/Warner Japan) & 1976 (DHM, HM, DHM/BMG, Parnass, ProArte, Quintessence). I have these CD incarnations on Vanguard Classics, Teldec and DHM:

(http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/19970000/19970040.jpg)(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/GV-Leonhardt-R2-3.jpg)(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/GV-Leonhardt-R3-2.jpg)

I must be the only one here who loves Staier's odd recording of the Goldberg Variations.
Not at all. I clearly recall Don wrote some favorable things about Staier, although I don't know if his ideas and opinions were documented as a review.

I take it no one is much interested in Watchorn here. Musica Omnia's sound design is so darn good. But that's meaningless if the performance doesn't excel.
Well, I am an unconditional Watchorn's fan, too. I have never found truly disappointing any of his recordings, although his English Suites are not so compelling like his other recordings. We will see if he has some problems with dance in general if he records the Partitas and the French Suites.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on October 21, 2011, 09:57:32 PM
Not at all. I clearly recall Don wrote some favorable things about Staier, although I don't know if his ideas and opinions were documented as a review.

No documentation, just favorable words that drifted through the sky.  I'm not hard to please when it comes to the Goldbergs; a version really has to suck to get my disapproval. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 21, 2011, 11:16:52 PM
Wrong, my friend.  I think very highly of Watchorn's recordings, especially his WTC.

Just noticed that I had the Watchorn WTC on my personal essentials list (different thread).

Well, I'll take this as a recommendation to give his WTC another shot. It's been a while since I've heard it. If I remember correctly, his tempos are on the slow side.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 21, 2011, 11:23:11 PM
Total agreement here! I think his three recordings are superb: 1953  (Vanguard, Vanguard Carrere, Vanguard Classics, Musical Heritage/Artemis Classics); 1964 (Teldec, Teldec/Warner, Teldec/Warner Japan) & 1976 (DHM, HM, DHM/BMG, Parnass, ProArte, Quintessence). I have these CD incarnations on Vanguard Classics, Teldec and DHM:

(http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/19970000/19970040.jpg)(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/GV-Leonhardt-R2-3.jpg)(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/GV-Leonhardt-R3-2.jpg)
Not at all. I clearly recall Don wrote some favorable things about Staier, although I don't know if his ideas and opinions were documented as a review.
Well, I am an unconditional Watchorn's fan, too. I have never found truly disappointing any of his recordings, although his English Suites are not so compelling like his other recordings. We will see if he has some problems with dance in general if he records the Partitas and the French Suites.
Something special happens when he touches the keys. I also love his partitas and his English suites. His and Suzuki's are my favorites. I had his Goldbergs for a while and hadn't really paid attention to them before. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 21, 2011, 11:47:09 PM
No documentation, just favorable words that drifted through the sky.  I'm not hard to please when it comes to the Goldbergs; a version really has to suck to get my disapproval.
I think there's something extreme about Staier's recording. When I first heard it I didn't think I could like it. I probably wouldn't give it to a friend as an introduction to the Goldbergs. It is reverberant as well as often very hot sounding. He uses a lot of different registrations and lute-stops (please correct me if I've gotten these technical matters wrong). It's a really interesting sounding instrument. I see he won a prize with it on the CPE Bach recording. There's just something other-worldly about his Goldberg Variations. I think it works because his sound design, instrument, and performance are all of a piece. But it is rather different in those aspects than most of the harpsichord recordings I appreciate. But I guess this is part of the fun of it. Since I downloaded the Staier, I haven't read the notes on it. I wonder if he felt he was taking a chance with the design of the recording. To me, it's really bold and, ultimately, very successful. Once in a while, there's a particular recording that haunts me and that I just need to immerse myself in (Suzuki's partitas, Levin's WTC, Sempe's L. Couperin). 
     
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 22, 2011, 06:40:18 AM
How many Bach recordings has Watchorn made?  My computer counted 5 in my Bach collection ...

Hi Stuart - looks like he's above a half dozen w/ a new one this month being released - CHECK HERE (http://www.musicaomnia.org/Composer-jsbach.asp) - I have 3 or 4 (of course, most are multi-disc sets) - Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 22, 2011, 06:58:58 AM
... w/ a new one this month being released - CHECK HERE (http://www.musicaomnia.org/Composer-jsbach.asp)

Great news, Dave! The French Suites by Watchorn are an importat musical event. A first step to complete Bach's output for harpsichord, as has been announced by Watchorn and his label.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on October 22, 2011, 10:09:04 AM
Hi Stuart - looks like he's above a half dozen w/ a new one this month being released - CHECK HERE (http://www.musicaomnia.org/Composer-jsbach.asp) - I have 3 or 4 (of course, most are multi-disc sets) - Dave :)

Dave,  Thanks for the link.  I have all his Bach instrumental works and will acquire the upcoming French Suites for sure.  I doubt I will bother with the choral works since I already have an abundance of those works between recordings by Herreweghe, Gardiner, Veldhoven, Koopman, Leonhardt and Harnoncourt.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on October 22, 2011, 10:24:15 AM
Anyone knows about the status of this Leonhardt Goldberg Variations released by Pro-Arte back in the early 80's?  Has it been re-released by some other labels?  I have owned this CD since it was first released ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61UzjD7hUpL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on October 22, 2011, 01:33:45 PM
Anyone knows about the status of this Leonhardt Goldberg Variations released by Pro-Arte back in the early 80's?  Has it been re-released by some other labels?  I have owned this CD since it was first released ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61UzjD7hUpL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

It is probably one of the three recordings, he has made of this work. But which one I can´t tell.
Is the instrument he uses or the time of recording mentioned on the backside of the cover or in the booklet?

Edit: see Antoine´s post above. He seems to know which one it is (the third originally on DHM).
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on October 22, 2011, 01:44:11 PM
It is probably one of the three recordings, he has made of this work. But which one I can´t tell.
Is the instrument he uses or the time of recording mentioned on the backside of the cover or in the booklet?

Edit: see Antoine´s post above. He seems to know which one it is (the third originally on DHM).

Interesting.  For the first time ever, I look at the CD label closely and it says 1969, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and 1985, Intersound.  Intersound was an American company based in Mnpls and the CD was made in Japan.

Perhaps Pro-Arte was an Intersound label?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on October 24, 2011, 04:28:15 AM
I just realized the one that I have is for "The Bach Guild" - I believe circa 1953. I was surprised. Somehow I thought I was listening to a newer recording. I'm sorry, so...how do the three compare? I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts on what he does differently in the later ones...Hmm...I wonder if the 13 Goldberg recordings in my collection are enough...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on November 01, 2011, 11:44:32 AM
Let me recommend this recording to the Bach freaks here.

It's a new transfer  of Landowska's live Bach recordings from 1935 and 1936. Most of the material will be familiar to you, except maybe the three preludes BWV BWV 936-938, which AFAIK have never been available previously.

The reason it's really of interest is the quality of the transfer. It reveals to me at least what a wonderful, gentle, refined , colouful instrument her Playel was. That's something which was not so apparent previously.

The CD comes with an extensive DVD archive of stills, with commentary by Skip Sempe  -- some evocative photos of WL, the ambiance of Saint-Leu-le-Foret is wonderfully captured, and her collection of instrumens and books well recorded. Paradiso, which publishes the CD, is Skip Sempe's company.

Landowska's stature in 20th century the recpetion history of baroque music is enormous. This important issue helps is to appreciate her contribution a little more clearly.


(http://ukstore.harmoniamundi.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/265x/76e7d749c2db2b9968d9d456af235676/i/m/image_14381.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on November 07, 2011, 04:21:45 AM
Let me recommend this recording to the Bach freaks here.

It's a new transfer  of Landowska's live Bach recordings from 1935 and 1936. Most of the material will be familiar to you, except maybe the three preludes BWV BWV 936-938, which AFAIK have never been available previously.

The reason it's really of interest is the quality of the transfer. It reveals to me at least what a wonderful, gentle, refined , colouful instrument her Playel was. That's something which was not so apparent previously.

The CD comes with an extensive DVD archive of stills, with commentary by Skip Sempe  -- some evocative photos of WL, the ambiance of Saint-Leu-le-Foret is wonderfully captured, and her collection of instrumens and books well recorded. Paradiso, which publishes the CD, is Skip Sempe's company.

Landowska's stature in 20th century the recpetion history of baroque music is enormous. This important issue helps is to appreciate her contribution a little more clearly.


(http://ukstore.harmoniamundi.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/265x/76e7d749c2db2b9968d9d456af235676/i/m/image_14381.jpg)

I can't locate this. It's not even on the Paradizo website (unless I'm looking in the wrong place). Guess I'll just have to be patient.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 07, 2011, 04:25:09 AM
Here:

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on November 07, 2011, 05:59:29 AM
Here:


Thanks. I made a kind of dumb mental error. Somehow I convinced myself that this was her Goldberg Variations and that's what I was searching for. Sorry.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on November 19, 2011, 11:27:02 AM
Why on such an old instrument? ???

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0845221071152.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on November 19, 2011, 11:37:52 AM
Why on such an old instrument? ???

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0845221071152.jpg)

She is probably using this instrument:

http://www.musee-unterlinden.com/ruckers-harpsichord.html

This is a famous instrument which often is used for Bach recordings. When you hear it, you will understand why, as it has got a rather dry but also very clear and transparent sound, ideal for the displaying of counterpoint.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 19, 2011, 11:38:35 AM
Why on such an old instrument? ???

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0845221071152.jpg)

Great news, Navneeth!

If it's the famous harpsichord at the Musée d'Unterlinden in Colmar, the reason is clear: it's just gorgeous. And it has a solid Bachian tradition with several recordings of Bach works; for instance, Blandine Rannou Verlet recorded her WTC there.  :)

P.S.: Ooops, Premont was faster than me.  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on November 19, 2011, 11:43:26 AM
She is probably using this instrument:

http://www.musee-unterlinden.com/ruckers-harpsichord.html

You are correct, as Ms. Schornsheim explains in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/v/yekDaeytKaY

Quote
This is a famous instrument which often is used for Bach recordings. When you hear it, you will understand why, as it has got a rather dry but also very clear and transparent sound, ideal for the displaying of counterpoint.

You are correct again, though I'm not surprised; I did notice those qualities you mention. I quite prefer that kind of sound from harpsichords in general. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on November 19, 2011, 11:44:52 AM
If it's the famous harpsichord at the Musée d'Unterlinden in Colmar, the reason is clear: it's just gorgeous. And it has a solid Bachian tradition with several recordings of Bach works; for instance, Blandine Rannou recorded her WTC there.  :)

Great news. Did Blandine Rannou record the WTC at last?

Quote from: Antoine Marchand
P.S.: Ooops, Premont was faster than me.  :)

Yes, for once.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 19, 2011, 11:48:27 AM
Great news. Did Blandine Rannou record the WTC at last?

You know what I meant...  ;D... the other Blandine, my favorite between them, Blandine Verlet.

I was slow and wrong at the same time.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on November 19, 2011, 11:53:57 AM
I was slow and wrong at the same time.  ;D

Maybe you were too fast after all.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 19, 2011, 12:00:30 PM
Schornsheim's recording sounds mandatory, isn't it? Is it available?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on November 19, 2011, 12:16:07 PM
Schornsheim's recording sounds mandatory, isn't it? Is it available?

Mandatory inded.

JPC can deliver it from 16.1.2012.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on November 19, 2011, 01:50:09 PM
She is probably using this instrument:

http://www.musee-unterlinden.com/ruckers-harpsichord.html

This is a famous instrument which often is used for Bach recordings. When you hear it, you will understand why, as it has got a rather dry but also very clear and transparent sound, ideal for the displaying of counterpoint.

If you're a Fanfare subscriber, you can read the interview with Schornsheim about the instrument used. (It's the "Nightingale" referred to in the title... so titled by Schornsheim because said harpsichord is very simple... black, no frills... just with simple golden racing stripes.

http://www.fanfarearchive.com/articles/atop/34_1/3410040.aa_Schornsheim_Nightingale.html (http://www.fanfarearchive.com/articles/atop/34_1/3410040.aa_Schornsheim_Nightingale.html)


Quote
Harpsichordist, fortepianist, continuo player Christine Schornsheim meets me in her practice room at the Gasteig, one of the last municipal socialist fantasies built in Europe (France apart)-a building that also hosts the philharmonic hall, a community college, the largest branch of the city library system, and rooms used by the Munich conservatory. She's ready to get the interview over with, after having to reschedule it about a dozen times, the last time due to a delay of her flight, the others largely because of scheduling difficulties on my part.

The atmosphere is Germanic-proper, cordial, but cool. Schornsheim, sitting amid the instruments she teaches on-an original 1840 …


... I do like the music, and it does pop up in my recitals every once in a while, but I suppose it really isn’t my heart’s desire. It’s fun enough, but I’d never get the idea to start a project like the one I did with Haydn, recording all the sonatas, or Bach, where I am beginning to record the Well-Tempered Clavier. I’d never say, ‘Now I want to record all the Scarlatti sonatas.’ If I did, I think I’d go bonkers. Maybe one CD of a few sonatas, someday. But there are so many other things ahead of Scarlatti that interest me, including lots of unknown repertoire.”...

...“I don’t think my Goldberg Variations were all that bad, either, but they were recorded a long time ago and of course Goldbergs exist a dime a dozen so that everything, including promotion, would have to be just right in order to make any splash at all. For the Haydn it worked … surprisingly.” Considerable enthusiasm finally breaks through when she talks about the instrument with which she is now recording the Well-Tempered Clavier. “On the harpsichord?” I ask. “Yes—all on one instrument, although there would have been a lot of possibilities to mix and match, too. Several preludes, I think, would fit the clavichord very nicely, some very nicely the organ. And some could even be played on a very early fortepiano. So in theory one could have used four instruments for that project, too. But it wouldn’t do justice to the reality of listening habits. With Haydn I was able to arrange them in such a way as to have any one CD contain only sonatas performed on one particular instrument. That wouldn’t have been possible here and I think it’s problematic to have more than one instrument on one CD. The different levels of loudness and dynamics would have meant that you either have to manipulate on the technical side or else be thrown about constantly, neither of which I think is a good solution. And that’s not even considering whether the pitch is exactly identical … nah. Aside, the instrument I got to use is every harpsichordist’s dream: an original, exceptionally well restored, rightly very popular Ruckers in Colmar. Black, almost nondescript looking, but with an unbelievably singing tone that has you addicted as soon as you touch it. I liken it to a nightingale. Not the prettiest bird around, but the prettiest sounding.”...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: stingo on November 25, 2011, 03:08:31 PM
Hmm looks like another purchase is imminent as Schornsheim is a favorite of mine. Thanks for the heads up.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: PaulSC on November 25, 2011, 03:50:44 PM
I don’t think my Goldberg Variations were all that bad
+1 (after adjusting for the artist's modesty)

I'd place Schornsheim's recording of the GVs confidently in my top 15 — her tempos are mainly on the fast side but never feel rushed or like showing off, just a compelling sense of momentum. The ornamentation feels equally “right”. And she plays a good sounding, well recorded harpsichord. I don't have details about it (the downside of purchasing digital downloads), but I assume it's a different instrument than the “Nightingale” she's using for the WTC.

Anyway, I'm with stingo — the new recording goes on my wish list…
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on November 25, 2011, 05:59:28 PM
+1 (after adjusting for the artist's modesty)

I'd place Schornsheim's recording of the GVs confidently in my top 15 — her tempos are mainly on the fast side but never feel rushed or like showing off, just a compelling sense of momentum. The ornamentation feels equally “right”. And she plays a good sounding, well recorded harpsichord. I don't have details about it (the downside of purchasing digital downloads), but I assume it's a different instrument than the “Nightingale” she's using for the WTC.

Anyway, I'm with stingo — the new recording goes on my wish list…
When is this WTC going to be available? I'm up for it! But I don't see it on the new releases.
Anyone check out the new Rannou Goldberg? I was really confounded by it. I just don't get what she's doing. But maybe I'll need to come back to it
some day. It made me want another version so I downloaded the DHM Leonhardt Goldberg. Now that is awesome!
How about Watchorn's French? Anybody?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: PaulSC on November 25, 2011, 06:15:49 PM
When is this WTC going to be available? I'm up for it! But I don't see it on the new releases.
Anyone check out the new Rannou Goldberg? I was really confounded by it. I just don't get what she's doing. But maybe I'll need to come back to it some day.
It's not available yet, I guess we have to be patient.

I love the new Rannou Goldberg Variations. Sure, they're outrageous in the degree of ornamentation/improvisation she brings to them. But I think she has the vision and the technique to pull it off. The rhythmic feel is very “French”, but that's true of other recordings I enjoy, including Van Asperen and Booth. At this point, I own enough “middle-of-the-road” recordings that I'm happy to find performers who can balance a respect for the text with a sense of adventure and spontaneity.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on November 26, 2011, 01:00:59 AM
It's not available yet, I guess we have to be patient.

I love the new Rannou Goldberg Variations. Sure, they're outrageous in the degree of ornamentation/improvisation she brings to them. But I think she has the vision and the technique to pull it off. The rhythmic feel is very “French”, but that's true of other recordings I enjoy, including Van Asperen and Booth. At this point, I own enough “middle-of-the-road” recordings that I'm happy to find performers who can balance a respect for the text with a sense of adventure and spontaneity.

In the Goldbergs, I particularly enjoy Ottavio Dantone's Italian take.
Caveat: issued on Decca Italy, would be very hard to find - but it is an awesome interpretation IMO.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JQSZ5A7WL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Q

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on November 26, 2011, 05:54:39 PM
It's not available yet, I guess we have to be patient.

I love the new Rannou Goldberg Variations. Sure, they're outrageous in the degree of ornamentation/improvisation she brings to them. But I think she has the vision and the technique to pull it off. The rhythmic feel is very “French”, but that's true of other recordings I enjoy, including Van Asperen and Booth. At this point, I own enough “middle-of-the-road” recordings that I'm happy to find performers who can balance a respect for the text with a sense of adventure and spontaneity.
Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. I see what you're saying. I kind of lost her from the beginning in the aria. I kept hoping I would find her groove but I never did. However, I'll give it another shot down the road. Perhaps I'll come to appreciate it the way you do after some time. 
Speaking of Van Asperen, I recently downloaded his French Suites. I was blown away by his recording of the French Suites. I just absolutely love it. And his harpsichord sounds divine. I can't say enough about that recording. I wonder if the new Watchorn will match it- I'm waiting for it in the mail.
A question for you and others here: I've seen rave reviews of Benjamin Alard's Partitas. I'm wondering what people think of this recording. My favorite recordings of the partitas are Suzuki's and Leonhardt's. Is Alard in the same Ballpark?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on November 27, 2011, 01:46:45 AM
I would do a search on the Suites and the Partitas if I were you, or browse through this thread.  :) Both have been discussed multiple times.

For the Suites, both the French and the English, I would point out Alan Curtis.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on November 27, 2011, 03:13:52 AM
My favorite recordings of the partitas are Suzuki's and Leonhardt's. Is Alard in the same Ballpark?

Precisely my two favorites along with Kenneth Gilbert (HMF) and Lars Ulrik Mortensen (Kontrapunkt). I find Allard´s interpretation very rewarding, but not quite up to this high level.

Concerning the English and French suites Alan Curtis´recordiing - as ~Que~ points out - is decidedly one of those you must have.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on November 27, 2011, 04:11:47 AM
I would do a search on the Suites and the Partitas if I were you, or browse through this thread.  :) Both have been discussed multiple times.

For the Suites, both the French and the English, I would point out Alan Curtis.

Q
I've browsed and I've searched. As to the specific question of Alard, I didn't find more than a couple of brief passing references via the search engine.
Yes, I've seen Curtis mentioned multiple times.
I've just purchased Van Asperen's very rewarding recording of the French suites and Wachorn's (checking my mailbox), as well as Parmentier's English. But maybe I'll have to search out the Curtis (it's not so easy to find affordable releases of the complete sets). I do have quite a few other recordings of the French suites - not that I feel I ever have enough.
 
The Mortensen recommendation peaks my interest. I love his Buxtehude recordings! For some reason I still feel like I don't have enough (great) recordings of the partitas.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on November 27, 2011, 04:46:10 AM
Well I found a deal on the Curtis so I nabbed them. I suppose one never has enough!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on November 27, 2011, 04:54:42 AM
Well I found a deal on the Curtis so I nabbed them.

Curious mind wants to know: Where?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on November 27, 2011, 05:04:30 AM
Curious mind wants to know: Where?

Might be here (note the Apex releases and marketplace offers):

http://www.amazon.fr/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?__mk_fr_FR=%C5M%C5Z%D5%D1&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bach+curtis&x=13&y=26
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 27, 2011, 05:07:02 AM
Curious mind wants to know: Where?

http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/search.php?searchString=curtis+bach+apex

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on November 27, 2011, 05:11:07 AM
Curious mind wants to know: Where?
Well I live in Japan and I found the three CDs (each has 2 French Suites and 2 English Suites) on amazon Japan. The total was 2000 yen ($25.73) including shipping.
Seems like a deal for both sets.   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on November 27, 2011, 05:12:10 AM
http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/search.php?searchString=curtis+bach+apex

 :)

As far as I can see, the Amazon fr. marketplace offers are a little cheaper.
This must of course be held up against the excellent service, Presto offers.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on November 27, 2011, 05:17:42 AM
Thanks, gentlemen. So far as I can see, Amazon UK (or zoverstocks in the MP) and Presto, of course, offer the best choices for me at the moment. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on November 27, 2011, 05:21:06 AM
Gosh I just love the sound of Van Asperen's Vater Harpsichord. Sorry I'll stop posting now. Don't mean to annoy. I just love the wonderful variety that you get out of harpsichord recordings - in terms of the instruments. I wonder if some think that focusing on this aspect detracts from appreciating the artistry of the performance? Well I guess it doesn't matter since I don't think so. Sorry for my daft posts.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on November 27, 2011, 05:28:11 AM
I wonder if some think that focusing on this aspect detracts from appreciating the artistry of the performance?

Not at all. The sound (style) of the instrument and the way the harpsichordist uses this are important parts of the interpretation.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 27, 2011, 05:29:34 AM
BTW, Pascal Dubreuil (Ramée) delivers an excellent rendition of the harpsichord partitas. One of the best that I have listened to in the last time: "sunny", with perfect tempi and outstanding clarity. I recall that Premont defined this interpretation as "easygoing"; that said, I think some people could find this interpretation a bit lack of gravitas.

The sound quality is just perfect.

Here some examples: 

http://www.youtube.com/v/cnPKi7cWAFc

http://www.youtube.com/v/nWtivySqOw4
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on November 27, 2011, 06:22:27 AM
In the Goldbergs, I particularly enjoy Ottavio Dantone's Italian take.
Caveat: issued on Decca Italy, would be very hard to find - but it is an awesome interpretation IMO.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JQSZ5A7WL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Q

We learn new things everyday.  I never knew there is such thing as Decca Italy.  No doubt there is no English translation in the booklet ...
 :o
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on November 27, 2011, 06:41:29 AM
We learn new things everyday.  I never knew there is such thing as Decca Italy.  No doubt there is no English translation in the booklet ...
 :o

Small correction: © 2005 Universal Music Italia s.r.l.
But fortunately the booklet is, besides in Italian, also in English. :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on November 27, 2011, 07:03:48 AM
Small correction: © 2005 Universal Music Italia s.r.l.
But fortunately the booklet is, besides in Italian, also in English. :)

Q

Unfortunately, with a single-country only release, shipping cost to the US may well outstrip the price of the CD itself.  I bought the Andras Schiff Complete Bach Keyboard Works, the German edition from jpc by bulking up the total order to make the order worthwhile since the shipping was 13 Euro.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on November 27, 2011, 07:36:47 AM
Unfortunately, with a single-country only release, shipping cost to the US may well outstrip the price of the CD itself.  I bought the Andras Schiff Complete Bach Keyboard Works, the German edition from jpc by bulking up the total order to make the order worthwhile since the shipping was 13 Euro.

Incidentally, Stuart, those German Eloquence releases are now also showing up Amazon UK and US as well.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on November 27, 2011, 08:06:23 AM
Incidentally, Stuart, those German Eloquence releases are now also showing up Amazon UK and US as well.

I have noticed the Australian Eloquence releases on Amazon US for sometimes and the prices are always a few dollars higher than what European etailers charge.  Unfortunately, after you add in the much higher shipping & handling from Europe, it is a wash ... 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on November 27, 2011, 08:42:30 AM
J.S.Bach / Alan Curtis -- English & French Suites
(inexpensive and available globally)

English & French Suites 1 & 2
(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00005QHUM.L.jpg)

Amazon US (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHUM/goodmusicguide-20)

Amazon UK (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHUM/goodmusicguideUK-21)

Amazon Germany (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHUM/goodmusicguide-21)

Amazon France (http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHUM/goodmusicguidefr-21)


English & French Suites 3 & 4
(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00005QHUN.L.jpg)

Amazon US (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHUN/goodmusicguide-20)

Amazon UK (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHUN/goodmusicguideUK-21)

Amazon Germany (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHUN/goodmusicguide-21)

Amazon France (http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHUN/goodmusicguidefr-21)


English & French Suites 5 & 6
(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00005QHTI.L.jpg)

Amazon US (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHTI/goodmusicguide-20)

Amazon UK (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHTI/goodmusicguideUK-21)

Amazon Germany (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHTI/goodmusicguide-21)

Amazon France (http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005QHTI/goodmusicguidefr-21)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: PaulSC on November 27, 2011, 12:51:57 PM
In the Goldbergs, I particularly enjoy Ottavio Dantone's Italian take.
Caveat: issued on Decca Italy, would be very hard to find - but it is an awesome interpretation IMO.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JQSZ5A7WL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Q

I would love to hear the Dantone GVs. I admire his WTC recordings and have spotted recommendations for the GVs before (I think Don/Bulldog speaks highly of them). But I'm not prepared to jump through the necessary hoops to track them down from here in the USA right now. Besides, I was just looking at all my GV recordings side-by-side in my iTunes library and realizing I can't conjure up a clear sense of what some of them sound like in my mind, which tells me I should get to know the ones I own better before acquiring more.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: PaulSC on November 27, 2011, 01:23:37 PM
Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. I see what you're saying. I kind of lost her from the beginning in the aria. I kept hoping I would find her groove but I never did. However, I'll give it another shot down the road. Perhaps I'll come to appreciate it the way you do after some time. 
Speaking of Van Asperen, I recently downloaded his French Suites. I was blown away by his recording of the French Suites. I just absolutely love it. And his harpsichord sounds divine. I can't say enough about that recording. I wonder if the new Watchorn will match it- I'm waiting for it in the mail.
A question for you and others here: I've seen rave reviews of Benjamin Alard's Partitas. I'm wondering what people think of this recording. My favorite recordings of the partitas are Suzuki's and Leonhardt's. Is Alard in the same Ballpark?
I think it's nice, even, to have a few recordings in our libraries that puzzle us — so we can check in with them every once in a while and see if they make more sense. (However, recordings that repel us, are another matter.)

I'm with you on Van Asperen's French Suites — beautiful playing on a beautiful instrument. I'm late to reply, and several of my favorite recordings of these pieces have been mentioned in the interim. Two that haven't (although they are discussed earlier in this thread) are Wjuniski and Moroney. The former I just spotted among premont's recent purchases, so I'm interested to learn his take on it. The latter is a tad severe but still a rewarding set.

I don't know the Alard Partitas. I'll have to check them out.

Finally, I'm not a huge fan of Watchorn in the French and English Suites. I'm sure he understands the dance elements of this music intellectually, but I find his performances ponderous and lacking in momentum. His WTC and Inventions/Sinfonias work better for me; they have the same “heavy” quality, but for the most part it serves this repertoire better. Anyway, I know his recordings of the French Suites have admirers, and I hope you find them enjoyable.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: PaulSC on November 27, 2011, 01:26:14 PM
Not at all. The sound (style) of the instrument and the way the harpsichordist uses this are important parts of the interpretation.

The tuning, too, can be an important part of the equation.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on November 27, 2011, 01:30:39 PM
The tuning, too, can be an important part of the equation.

Certainly. In my wiev the tuning is part of the sound (style) of the instrument.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: PaulSC on November 27, 2011, 02:37:53 PM
Ah yes, I had confused Antoine's news with yours.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on November 28, 2011, 01:52:31 AM
BTW, Pascal Dubreuil (Ramée) delivers an excellent rendition of the harpsichord partitas. One of the best that I have listened to in the last time: "sunny", with perfect tempi and outstanding clarity. I recall that Premont defined this interpretation as "easygoing"; that said, I think some people could find this interpretation a bit lack of gravitas.

The sound quality is just perfect.

Thanks for these clips. I'm going to look into Dubreuil.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on November 28, 2011, 10:48:08 AM
I would love to hear the Dantone GVs. I admire his WTC recordings and have spotted recommendations for the GVs before (I think Don/Bulldog speaks highly of them). But I'm not prepared to jump through the necessary hoops to track them down from here in the USA right now.

I was lucky to find the Dantone when on vacation in Rome 3 years ago.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on November 28, 2011, 10:51:58 AM
I have owned all of Hewitt's Bach keyboard works for a number of years now - individual sets, not the big box.  IMO, she is one of the best interpreters of Bach keyboard works of her generation. 

I'd say Hewitt's Bach recordings are pretty good, but far from being among the best on piano. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on November 28, 2011, 11:44:33 AM
I was lucky to find the Dantone when on vacation in Rome 3 years ago.

I got it from Amazon a couple of years ago, I think it was Amazon.fr
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on November 28, 2011, 11:48:25 AM
I got it from Amazon a couple of years ago, I think it was Amazon.fr

It is a shame that the Dantone hasn't been available in the U.S.  But we do get a huge dose of Hewitt, Ashkenazy and Barenboim. ::)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on November 28, 2011, 11:53:28 AM
It is a shame that the Dantone hasn't been available in the U.S.  But we do get a huge dose of Hewitt, Ashkenazy and Barenboim. ::)

These are also readily available on my side of the Pond, they seem to be ubiquitous.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 28, 2011, 12:34:56 PM
I've come to enjoy my Bach a little jangly.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on November 29, 2011, 12:30:16 AM
I'd say Hewitt's Bach recordings are pretty good, but far from being among the best on piano.
I don't often listen to Bach on the piano anymore but I do feel lucky enough to have caught Hewitt playing the Goldberg variations
in Sienna while on vacation. She happened to be performing there so I waited online for standing-room seats. I don't remember much about it
except that her variation 25 was searching and moving.
Here in Japan, I'll get to see a young harpsichordist performing Bach selections next month. It'll be my first solo harpsichord concert!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on November 29, 2011, 12:48:24 AM
I don't often listen to Bach on the piano anymore but I do feel lucky enough to have caught Hewitt playing the Goldberg variations
in Sienna while on vacation. She happened to be performing there so I waited online for standing-room seats. I don't remember much about it
except that her variation 25 was searching and moving.

That reminds me of a recording of a recital (Hewitt/GV) I downloaded a couple of years ago perhaps. It was early days (for me) and her use of repeats from the get go sort of bored me, and I never gave it another listen. (The duration was over an hour long. Even taking into account the applause and maybe some commentary, that's quite a long playtime for someone like Hewitt.)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on November 29, 2011, 01:16:04 PM
I love Leonhardt's 1953 AoF because of the austere simplicity of the style, and the sense of discovery and awe of the music.

AFAIK he made just one other Bach  recording at roughly the same time -- the 1953 Goldberg Variations.

Does it have the same style -- limited ornomentation, rubato etc?  Does it have the same feeling of discovery and wonder? 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WAqzVjb2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on November 29, 2011, 01:55:21 PM
I love Leonhardt's 1953 AoF because of the austere simplicity of the style, and the sense of discovery and awe of the music.

AFAIK he made just one other Bach  recording at roughly the same time -- the 1953 Goldberg Variations.

Does it have the same style -- limited ornomentation, rubato etc?  Does it have the same feeling of discovery and wonder? 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WAqzVjb2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Yes to all questions.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on December 01, 2011, 05:11:26 AM
It's not available yet, I guess we have to be patient.

I love the new Rannou Goldberg Variations. Sure, they're outrageous in the degree of ornamentation/improvisation she brings to them. But I think she has the vision and the technique to pull it off. The rhythmic feel is very “French”, but that's true of other recordings I enjoy, including Van Asperen and Booth. At this point, I own enough “middle-of-the-road” recordings that I'm happy to find performers who can balance a respect for the text with a sense of adventure and spontaneity.

Well, tonight I listened to the Rannou again and I have to admit I had a pretty wonderful time. I think I really had to do some mental adjustment for this recording.
I wonder, do you think this is the most radical rendering of the Goldbergs on harpsichord, or are there others that go this far with ornamentation? I remember reading somewhere that Joseph Payne has a recording that's pretty radical...
Well, I'm glad I didn't give up on it.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on December 06, 2011, 10:39:11 AM
I just bought this for $34 on Amazon...down from $84! Not bad for 2 discs.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZfiIuxBBL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 06, 2011, 11:12:39 AM
$84 for two discs was an atrocity, though : )
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on December 14, 2011, 01:12:52 PM
I just bought this for $34 on Amazon...down from $84! Not bad for 2 discs.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZfiIuxBBL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Now that he has retired, I'm even happier to have acquired this recording. Well, once it shows up...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on December 16, 2011, 06:18:00 AM
I believe there is a recording of the French Suites by Leonhardt. But it's not much discussed - not like his other Bach recordings. I'm curious why not? Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on December 16, 2011, 10:02:03 AM
I believe there is a recording of the French Suites by Leonhardt. But it's not much discussed - not like his other Bach recordings. I'm curious why not? Any thoughts?

The reason why I do not mention it much is, that I find it less inspired than we are used to, when it is about Leonhardt. It is a pity, that f.i. Alpha didn´t offer him the chance to rerecord these suites.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on December 17, 2011, 01:59:37 PM
Yes to all questions.

A very accurate response. Great performance.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: kishnevi on December 31, 2011, 08:00:40 PM
Crosspost from the general WAYLT thread

This evening, while my neighbors start to light off all the firecrackers they could find, a first and complete run through of this set:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Bnk0NMFTL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Bear in mind that I actually don't have that many version of the WTC: Gould, Ashkenazy and Hewitt on piano,  Egarr and now Belder on harpsichord, and Gilbert on harpsichord only for Book I.
(There's also Robert Levin on smorgasbord in the Hanssler Complete box, but since I haven't listened to that one yet, it's not really fair to list it.)

Sonics: clear, concise, crisp, just the way I like it.
Performance:  I'll have to compare it to what I have, but while I'm mildly impressed, I'm not overwhelmed by it.  Articulation of voices, etc.  is very good, but the tempi seem to be in a fairly limited range--mostly andante or allegro moderato,  with occasional burst of speed to allegro vivace and sometimes slowing down all the way to adagio (to put it in modern terms).  No feats of prestissimo prestidigitation for this guy--more a steady as she goes.

Possibly this impression of limited range in tempi is the result of listening to it all in one go.
And as I say,  I'll have to at least compare it to Egarr and Gilbert; but for now my favorite WTC remains Hewitt on piano.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on January 01, 2012, 04:04:30 AM
Recommendations for the Goldberg Variations on harpsichord?

Forgive my laziness, but I fear that reading through the entire thread will have significant economic ramifications.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Que on January 01, 2012, 05:17:26 AM
Recommendations for the Goldberg Variations on harpsichord?

Forgive my laziness, but I fear that reading through the entire thread will have significant economic ramifications.

There is a separate thread as well: Bach Goldberg variations (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,4766.0.html)

My own recommendations (in random order): Céline Frisch (Alpha), Christophe Rousset (Decca/ L'Oiseau Lyre), Ottavio Dantone (Decca).

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: kishnevi on January 01, 2012, 07:12:09 AM
I'd add Andreas Staier, and a serious suggestion to avoid Richard Egarr.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 01, 2012, 07:26:51 AM
Hantai is great. Leonhardt is great (second is best for me). I've come around on the new Rannou recording as well.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: springrite on January 01, 2012, 07:30:27 AM
I'd add Andreas Staier, and a serious suggestion to avoid Richard Egarr.

Don't like bells? I actually quite enjoyed Egarr.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: kishnevi on January 01, 2012, 07:41:23 AM
Don't like bells? I actually quite enjoyed Egarr.

It's the tempos he uses.  As I phrase it sometimes,  it seems as if Egarr wanted to prove that the old legend (that the Variations were written to help put an insomniac to sleep) had some basis in fact.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 01, 2012, 09:27:18 AM
Recommendations for the Goldberg Variations on harpsichord?


Hi Geo Dude -boy, there are so many Goldberg Variations recordings on single keyboard, other solo instruments, and in transcriptions (and I have examples of all) - you will likely receive MANY recommendations; my current 'harpsichord versions' are w/ Christophe Rousset, Pierre Hantai, and Fabio Bonizzoni - there are others that I've either 'culled out' or am still considering.

Another early keyboard consideration, i.e. the clavichord w/ Jaroslav Tuma might peak your interest?  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachGoldbergTuma/949289381_nFEdn-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: PaulSC on January 01, 2012, 10:41:43 AM
It's the tempos he uses.  As I phrase it sometimes,  it seems as if Egarr wanted to prove that the old legend (that the Variations were written to help put an insomniac to sleep) had some basis in fact.
Egarr's Goldbergs have always provoked mixed reactions, so I'm not entirely surprised that you to see them this way. But I find them meditative and thoroughly absorbing, nothing sleep-inducing about them for me. They're not my top choice (that might be Hantai II, or Mortensen, or Verlet), but they've been a source of real enjoyment for me.

There are two recordings on the horizon that I am anticipating: Schornsheim's (which I've already pre-ordered) and one by Joel Pontet (which seems promising based on the previews… (http://amzn.com/B006KIX9PO)).

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YyVSimOkL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on January 01, 2012, 03:10:10 PM
Thanks for all the replies.  The Hantai strikes me as a good start based on the samples.  The fact that it comes packaged with a dis of concertos for under $15 doesn't hurt matters.

By the way, PaulSC, are you thinking Schornsheim's upcoming Well-Tempered Clavier set?  She seems to have recorded the Goldbergs a while back and I don't see any indication of a new set - not at Amazon US at least.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on January 01, 2012, 03:13:36 PM
Thanks for all the replies.  The Hantai strikes me as a good start based on the samples.  The fact that it comes packaged with a dis of concertos for under $15 doesn't hurt matters.

By the way, PaulSC, are you thinking Schornsheim's upcoming Well-Tempered Clavier set?  She seems to have recorded the Goldbergs a while back and I don't see any indication of a new set - not at Amazon US at least.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iSeEuHxfL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

It is now available on Amazon US for pre-order ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on January 01, 2012, 03:28:56 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iSeEuHxfL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

It is now available on Amazon US for pre-order ...

Exactly my point.  Unless I misunderstood PaulSC he seemed to be saying that Schornsheim has a new set of Goldberg Variations coming out.  I was guessing that he had mistaken that for the WTC.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: PaulSC on January 01, 2012, 03:46:22 PM
Thanks for all the replies.  The Hantai strikes me as a good start based on the samples.  The fact that it comes packaged with a dis of concertos for under $15 doesn't hurt matters.

By the way, PaulSC, are you thinking Schornsheim's upcoming Well-Tempered Clavier set?  She seems to have recorded the Goldbergs a while back and I don't see any indication of a new set - not at Amazon US at least.
Geo Dude, the Hantai paired with the concerto recordings is his FIRST recording of the Goldberg Variations, on the naïve label. My impression, based on hearing clips and reading reviews, is that it's very good. However, my recommendation was for his SECOND recording, on the Mirare label. Perhaps someone who knows them both well can illuminate the differences.

And yes, you are absolutely right, I was confusing Schornsheim's older GV's with her forthcoming WTC set.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on January 01, 2012, 05:32:36 PM
Geo Dude, the Hantai paired with the concerto recordings is his FIRST recording of the Goldberg Variations, on the naïve label. My impression, based on hearing clips and reading reviews, is that it's very good. However, my recommendation was for his SECOND recording, on the Mirare label. Perhaps someone who knows them both well can illuminate the differences.

And yes, you are absolutely right, I was confusing Schornsheim's older GV's with her forthcoming WTC set.

I may pick up the second Hantai recording at some point, but right now it seems to be out of print and cost is an issue right now.  If you find it for a reasonable price, let me know and I may look into it.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 01, 2012, 06:48:53 PM
Hi Geo Dude -boy, there are so many Goldberg Variations recordings on single keyboard, other solo instruments, and in transcriptions (and I have examples of all) - you will likely receive MANY recommendations; my current 'harpsichord versions' are w/ Christophe Rousset, Pierre Hantai, and Fabio Bonizzoni - there are others that I've either 'culled out' or am still considering.

Another early keyboard consideration, i.e. the clavichord w/ Jaroslav Tuma might peak your interest?  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachGoldbergTuma/949289381_nFEdn-O.jpg)

BTW - I forgot initially, but this is a 2-disc set; first one played on two different clavichords; and second on harpsichord - so a nice combination if available at a decent price? :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on January 07, 2012, 08:46:54 AM
Forgive my laziness, but I fear that reading through the entire thread will have significant economic ramifications.

Having changed my mind and read through the thread I can say with absolute certainty that my fear was correct. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,13.msg590105.html#msg590105)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on January 07, 2012, 09:31:40 AM
Having changed my mind and read through the thread I can say with absolute certainty that my fear was correct. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,13.msg590105.html#msg590105)

Your financial loss is the gain for your friendly etailers like Amazon ...   ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on January 07, 2012, 10:56:22 AM
Your financial loss is the gain for your friendly etailers like Amazon ...   ;D

Or rather, the marketplace e-tailers at Amazon...in any case, I certainly have no regrets.  What's money next to the opportunity to fall in love with an instrument like the harpsichord?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on January 07, 2012, 11:46:24 AM
Or rather, the marketplace e-tailers at Amazon...in any case, I certainly have no regrets.  What's money next to the opportunity to fall in love with an instrument like the harpsichord?

I have always enjoyed harpsichord music and have hundreds of recordings in harpsichord music ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on January 07, 2012, 12:54:14 PM
I have always enjoyed harpsichord music and have hundreds of recordings in harpsichord music ...

I've always enjoyed harpsichord music to an extent, but I have never taken the chance to really dig in and explore harpsichord repertoire prior to this.  I'm going from a dipping a toe in to diving in.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Leo K. on January 07, 2012, 01:08:28 PM
I've always enjoyed harpsichord music to an extent, but I have never taken the chance to really dig in and explore harpsichord repertoire prior to this.  I'm going from a dipping a toe in to diving in.

Me too, especially in Bach  ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Coopmv on January 08, 2012, 05:16:09 PM
I've always enjoyed harpsichord music to an extent, but I have never taken the chance to really dig in and explore harpsichord repertoire prior to this.  I'm going from a dipping a toe in to diving in.

While I have many piano versions of baroque keyboard works, I never overlook the harpsichord version, the original instrument those works were composed for.  Again, the purists may argue that Goldberg Variations should never be performed on piano.  I don't have any problems with that ...
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on January 11, 2012, 09:38:11 PM
Any tips on a harpsichord recording of the partitas?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 11, 2012, 10:04:13 PM
Any tips on a harpsichord recording of the partitas?
Masaaki Suzuki is great!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on January 12, 2012, 02:11:52 AM


Listen What the Cat Dragged In: The Nightingale & The Well Tempered Clavier

Christine Schornsheim's Latest Recording
(http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/01/listen-what-cat-dragged-in-nightingale.html)

(With excerpt)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0064DLG32.01.L.jpg)
J.S.Bach,
WTC Books 1 & 2,
Christine Schornsheim
Capriccio 7115 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0064DLG32/nectarandambr-20)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on January 12, 2012, 04:08:26 AM
Masaaki Suzuki is great!

Ah yes, I forgot about Suzuki...and that I've already ordered it. ???
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Leo K. on January 12, 2012, 09:05:20 AM
Ah yes, I forgot about Suzuki...and that I've already ordered it. ???

I got it recently too, and it is a wonderful disk! Incredible!



 8)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Leo K. on January 14, 2012, 01:07:14 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512%2BvaWvp%2BL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I am very taken with Richard Egarr's WTC Book 1. I knew from the sound samples I was going to love this. At first, the sound of the harpsichord attracted me to this account, but hearing it in full I am also entranced by the performance, especially the phrasing and tempos. His style fits my sensibilties. Also, I like how the cover artwork perfectly (and subjectively) matches the sound and feeling of this account  ;D

I feel the same way about Egarr's Goldberg Variations.

 8)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on January 14, 2012, 01:24:36 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512%2BvaWvp%2BL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I am very taken with Richard Egarr's WTC Book 1. I knew from the sound samples I was going to love this. At first, the sound of the harpsichord attracted me to this account, but hearing it in full I am also entranced by the performance, especially the phrasing and tempos. His style fits my sensibilties. Also, I like how the cover artwork perfectly (and subjectively) matches the sound and feeling of this account  ;D

I feel the same way about Egarr's Goldberg Variations.

8)

Maybe I shouldn't even be allowed to express my personal opinion in a broad way, because it has been so long since I last listened to this one. But I do remember why I decided not to listen to it all that often: to me, in general, his phrasing and tempi choices seemed a bit unnatural. If I, for instance, compare that listening experience with the one I had whilst listening to Bob van Asperen the first time: the difference would be too great to describe. I felt completetly connected with Van Asperen's approach from the very beginning. And I also preferred the more 'crackling' sound of Van Asperen's harpsichord.

But our different opinions are another proof that good music is able to allow and survive many different performances. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on January 14, 2012, 05:28:09 PM
I got it recently too, and it is a wonderful disk! Incredible!

I listened to part of it tonight.  That certainly is a sweet-toned harpsichord.  The music will need some time to digest, but it seems promising.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Leo K. on January 14, 2012, 09:44:08 PM
Maybe I shouldn't even be allowed to express my personal opinion in a broad way, because it has been so long since I last listened to this one. But I do remember why I decided not to listen to it all that often: to me, in general, his phrasing and tempi choices seemed a bit unnatural. If I, for instance, compare that listening experience with the one I had whilst listening to Bob van Asperen the first time: the difference would be too great to describe. I felt completetly connected with Van Asperen's approach from the very beginning. And I also preferred the more 'crackling' sound of Van Asperen's harpsichord.

But our different opinions are another proof that good music is able to allow and survive many different performances. :)

I agree, it is wonderful that different approaches enhance this great music, and we can have it all! I am very happy to hear your opinion, even if it is not my own. Thanks for the comments on Van Asperen's approach, a recording I've not yet heard.  8)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: JaapT on January 15, 2012, 03:14:01 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/519dvbZeL3L._SS500_.jpg)
Does anyone want to share some thoughts on this Leonhardt Bach-recital: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bach-j.s.-harpsichord-works/id379531353 ?

It is an old Philips release (1985) that is out of print, but still available in digital format. It is one of my favorite harpsichord recordings, with Leonhardt in top form.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Marc on January 15, 2012, 04:31:27 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/519dvbZeL3L._SS500_.jpg)
Does anyone want to share some thoughts on this Leonhardt Bach-recital: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bach-j.s.-harpsichord-works/id379531353 ?

It is an old Philips release (1985) that is out of print, but still available in digital format. It is one of my favorite harpsichord recordings, with Leonhardt in top form.

No opinions from yours truly yet. But from now it's on my wishlist. Thanks for mentioning.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: bumtz on January 15, 2012, 06:28:43 PM
Maybe I shouldn't even be allowed to express my personal opinion in a broad way, because it has been so long since I last listened to this one. But I do remember why I decided not to listen to it all that often: to me, in general, his phrasing and tempi choices seemed a bit unnatural. If I, for instance, compare that listening experience with the one I had whilst listening to Bob van Asperen the first time: the difference would be too great to describe. I felt completetly connected with Van Asperen's approach from the very beginning. And I also preferred the more 'crackling' sound of Van Asperen's harpsichord.

But our different opinions are another proof that good music is able to allow and survive many different performances. :)

I have Egarr's WTC, and I simply hated it. Gave it three listens, my initial impression not improving. Sounded all saccharine and superficial to me.   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 16, 2012, 12:15:53 AM
I have Egarr's WTC, and I simply hated it. Gave it three listens, my initial impression not improving. Sounded all saccharine and superficial to me.   
[/quote]
What about Christine Schornsheim's new WTC? I've been having a hard time getting into it. But I'm known to change my mind about recordings after further listening. So far I'm finding it choppy and rushed. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on January 16, 2012, 06:42:44 AM
I have Egarr's WTC, and I simply hated it. Gave it three listens, my initial impression not improving. Sounded all saccharine and superficial to me.   

What about Christine Schornsheim's new WTC? I've been having a hard time getting into it. But I'm known to change my mind about recordings after further listening. So far I'm finding it choppy and rushed.

I'm not crazy about much of CS's WTC yet, either -- perhaps I'll warm to it yet.
I love Egarr's WTC II, though... esp. the soft flexibility of his tone.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 16, 2012, 12:25:54 PM
I'm not crazy about much of CS's WTC yet, either -- perhaps I'll warm to it yet.

Is it controversial in any way? I have ordered it, but a fortnight may easily pass untill I receive it.

Quote from: jlaurson
I love Egarr's WTC II, though... esp. the soft flexibility of his tone.

On the contrary I find his Bach heavily underarticulated, bordering the sleep-provoking.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on January 16, 2012, 12:48:37 PM
Is it controversial in any way? I have ordered it, but a fortnight may easily pass untill I receive it.


No, there's absolutely nothing controversial about her WTC, and the sound is gorgeous.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 17, 2012, 01:54:59 AM
No, there's absolutely nothing controversial about her WTC, and the sound is gorgeous.
I think the new Rannou Goldberg recording is the most interesting recent Bach keyboard release.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 17, 2012, 02:05:57 AM
Is it controversial in any way? I have ordered it, but a fortnight may easily pass untill I receive it.

On the contrary I find his Bach heavily underarticulated, bordering the sleep-provoking.
How do you feel about Belder's WTC?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on January 17, 2012, 08:54:03 AM
I noticed a  copy of set of Lars Ulrik Mortensen's partitas  and that started of a renewed interest in this music.

Anyway, one striking thing I've noticed is his  partita 5, which has  energy and good humour. More than most, he communicates joy, at least to me. Much the same in some of the other partitas, but 5 has caught my attention a lot.

And the final fugue!! I've become addicted to it.

Any suggestions for good Partita 5s -- especially lives or dark horses, much appreciated -- even if it's just an outstanding fugue.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51F6zk2AIJL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on January 17, 2012, 10:16:27 AM
Gustav Leonhardt Plays On

Keyboardist, Baroque Master Gustav Leonhardt Dies at 83 (http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2012/01/17/145337601/gustav-leonhardt-has-died-aged-83)
Dirigent Gustav Leonhardt gestorben (http://orf.at/stories/2100092/)

http://www.youtube.com/v/kk4WVN-48Hc
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on January 17, 2012, 01:51:22 PM
What about Mayako Sone?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Jx4KVT3gL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I'm selling my copy on Amazon. I like her playing, but I prefer multichannel SACDs.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Leo K. on January 18, 2012, 02:55:00 PM
(http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQLvvJooMkgw1OpRU8z4bymF3OcO7jt5hci4AfVtPXTpo_L85qmcg)



I don't know what to say, except this recording is incredible! Wow!



Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 18, 2012, 06:09:14 PM
Well, you can always use the internet. If you like them, you can buy them once you find a good used copy. Some of his recordings, like the Couperin set, have been out of print for years, so you might as well hit a p2p or emule network and worry about buying an hard copy later, if you ever find one.
Do you think his version of the partitas is especially enlightening? Is it as interesting as Leonhardt's and Suzuki's? 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Josquin des Prez on January 19, 2012, 04:16:44 AM
I haven't found it to download. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. I don't need a hard copy and, of course, I'm willing to pay for it. But not 50$.

http://avaxhome.ws/music/classical/scott_ross_bach_6_partitas_bwv_825_830_erato.html

Try to see if those links are still up. If not i'll think of a way to upload the files myself.

Do you think his version of the partitas is especially enlightening? Is it as interesting as Leonhardt's and Suzuki's?

You can check it out for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIAf9bBvieY

Its hard to pin down why i like those performances so much. I think he just gets everything right. The rhythm, the counterpoint, the general pace of the music. Everything just seems to flow in a perfectly harmonious whole, as if he was just improvising the music. A lot of harpsichordists have a tendency to sound disjointed since they are so focused on the detail that they forget the whole. With Ross, everything flows in a perfectly straight line, but the detail remains there.

Maybe its only because i like Bach so much but i think this is the best recording he has ever made.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 19, 2012, 04:38:26 AM
Do you think his version of the partitas is especially enlightening? Is it as interesting as Leonhardt's and Suzuki's?

I don't have the partitas by Ross, but I consider Verlet (2nd version on Naïve) and Dubreuil (Rameé) are excellent additions to Leonhardt and Suzuki. I think it's a good exercise to compare Ross and Verlet in the sinfonia of the 2nd partita (both are quite different, indeed):

http://youtu.be/GCvEWX5yRAQ

 :)

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 19, 2012, 05:08:38 AM
http://avaxhome.ws/music/classical/scott_ross_bach_6_partitas_bwv_825_830_erato.html

Try to see if those links are still up. If not i'll think of a way to upload the files myself.

You can check it out for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIAf9bBvieY

Its hard to pin down why i like those performances so much. I think he just gets everything right. The rhythm, the counterpoint, the general pace of the music. Everything just seems to flow in a perfectly harmonious whole, as if he was just improvising the music. A lot of harpsichordists have a tendency to sound disjointed since they are so focused on the detail that they forget the whole. With Ross, everything flows in a perfectly straight line, but the detail remains there.

Maybe its only because i like Bach so much but i think this is the best recording he has ever made.
Thanks so much for trying but I can't seem to make this work. Now I want this more than ever.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Leo K. on January 19, 2012, 06:23:11 AM
http://avaxhome.ws/music/classical/scott_ross_bach_6_partitas_bwv_825_830_erato.html

Try to see if those links are still up. If not i'll think of a way to upload the files myself.

You can check it out for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIAf9bBvieY

Its hard to pin down why i like those performances so much. I think he just gets everything right. The rhythm, the counterpoint, the general pace of the music. Everything just seems to flow in a perfectly harmonious whole, as if he was just improvising the music. A lot of harpsichordists have a tendency to sound disjointed since they are so focused on the detail that they forget the whole. With Ross, everything flows in a perfectly straight line, but the detail remains there.

Maybe its only because i like Bach so much but i think this is the best recording he has ever made.

Thanks very much for the heads up on Scott Ross' account of Bach's Partitas. I have been listening to this  and I'm floored! You describe the performance well.

I've also grabbed more Ross recordings, and can't wait to explore his WTC books 1 and 2, I sampled it already and I'm intrigued at the faster speeds and objectivity in book 1, the instrument reminds me of a clavichord too.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 19, 2012, 06:38:45 AM
I don't have the partitas by Ross, but I consider Verlet (2nd version on Naïve) and Dubreuil (Rameé) are excellent additions to Leonhardt and Suzuki.

Instead of Verlet and Dubreuil I would rather choose Mortensen and Belder. 

And then there are Gilbert and Jaccottet, but they may be difficult to find.



Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 19, 2012, 07:12:00 AM
Instead of Verlet and Dubreuil I would rather choose Mortensen and Belder. 


Yes, both of them are fine sets, but offer less variety and contrast than Verlet and Dubreuil, compared to Leonhardt and Suzuki.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 20, 2012, 01:46:23 AM
Yes, both of them are fine sets, but offer less variety and contrast than Verlet and Dubreuil, compared to Leonhardt and Suzuki.

Well, so far one considers variety the most important guiding principle.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 20, 2012, 03:20:27 AM
Well, so far one considers variety the most important guiding principle.
Well, I'm not sure if this doesn't belong in the Bach thread but today I listened to Mortensen's partitas and quite enjoyed them.
For a long time I couldn't find any performance of the partitas that I could get into as much as Leonhardt's and Suzuki's. But I quite admire
Mortensen's set. His performance of the 6th partita really got me. It's quite an adventure. For some reason, I haven't been able to get into Pinnock
or Rousset so much but the fault may be my own. Anyway, having been able to hear a couple of tracks from Ross I'm intrigued. I had never heard of Puyana
until reading this thread today. I wonder if that's something I need to look into.   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 20, 2012, 09:23:23 AM
Well, so far one considers variety the most important guiding principle.

Well, I never suggested that. I mean "variety" as "the most important guiding principle" to choose a recording.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 21, 2012, 12:24:06 AM
Well, I never suggested that. I mean "variety" as "the most important guiding principle" to choose a recording.

OK, a modification: Not the most important, but an important guiding principle.

I have no problems with either of Verlets recordings of the partitas, but I know that some consider her second set wilfull and excentric. So I think one has to be cautious as to the the recommendation of this set.

Concerning Debreuil contra Belder I think their interpretations are of the same kind (compared to f.i. Leonhardt and Suzuk)i. And even if I like Dubruil´s take, I much prefer Belders.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 21, 2012, 12:29:31 AM
Well, I'm not sure if this doesn't belong in the Bach thread but today I listened to Mortensen's partitas and quite enjoyed them.
For a long time I couldn't find any performance of the partitas that I could get into as much as Leonhardt's and Suzuki's. But I quite admire
Mortensen's set. His performance of the 6th partita really got me. It's quite an adventure.
I am probably a bit chauvinistic, but I find Mortensens Bach partitas as mandatory as Leonhardt´s.

Quote from: milk
For some reason, I haven't been able to get into Pinnock
or Rousset so much but the fault may be my own.
Maybe or not. I feel in the same way, finding particulary Pinnock somewhat aloft in the partitas.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 21, 2012, 08:06:39 AM
I am probably a bit chauvinistic, but I find Mortensens Bach partitas as mandatory as Leonhardt´s.
Maybe or not. I feel in the same way, finding particulary Pinnock somewhat aloft in the partitas.
I'm glad it's not just me. Are you also enamored with Ross's partitas? I recently acquired a recording of
Skip Sempé playing 828. I know the field is crowded, but I wonder why he's never recorded a complete
Bach set.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on January 21, 2012, 11:06:11 AM

Skip Sempé playing 828.

What do you think of the hell for leather speed of the overture? For me, what's interests me most in Partita 4 right now is the counterpoint, especially in the allemande .  And from that point of view I find Sempe and Ross a bit unrevealing, compared with Gilbert and Leonhardt and Mortensen, especially Gilbert.

I am probably a bit chauvinistic, but I find Mortensens Bach partitas as mandatory as Leonhardt´s.

Which Leonhardt -- DHM or Virgin or both or neither?

Well, I'm not sure if this doesn't belong in the Bach thread but today I listened to Mortensen's partitas and quite enjoyed them.
For a long time I couldn't find any performance of the partitas that I could get into as much as Leonhardt's and Suzuki's. But I quite admire
Mortensen's set. His performance of the 6th partita really got me. It's quite an adventure. For some reason, I haven't been able to get into Pinnock
or Rousset so much but the fault may be my own. Anyway, having been able to hear a couple of tracks from Ross I'm intrigued. I had never heard of Puyana
until reading this thread today. I wonder if that's something I need to look into.


There's a a couple opf early recording from Puyana  which I think are very good -- full of joyful music making. Some of the later stuff seems less inspired. He's a Landowska pupil I think, so he relishes unexpected registration changes sometimes. He is a bravura musician really -- not really contemplative.  If you can enjoy inauthentic performances then I think they're good fun.  These:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/313TBVREBFL._AA115_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21ZFBDB5XHL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

This LP too -- I can let you have an upload if you're curious

(http://127.0.0.1:9000/music/32c4dd1a/cover_150x150_o)
For me, by the way, Suzuki's partitas  is a complete closed book. Can someone say what it is they're hearing that makes that set special playing. Then I can listen out for it .

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 21, 2012, 11:42:19 AM
Are you also enamored with Ross's partitas?
Yes, but not quite to the same degree as the others I mentioned : Leonhardt, Suzuki, Mortensen and Belder.

Quote from: milk
I recently acquired a recording of
Skip Sempé playing 828. I know the field is crowded, but I wonder why he's never recorded a complete
Bach set.
It´s a long time since I listened to this. As far as I remember, the most interesting part of the disc is Sempé´s arrangement of the chaconne from the violin partita no.2.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 21, 2012, 03:29:46 PM
What do you think of the hell for leather speed of the overture? For me, what's interests me most in Partita 4 right now is the counterpoint, especially in the allemande .  And from that point of view I find Sempe and Ross a bit unrevealing, compared with Gilbert and Leonhardt and Mortensen, especially Gilbert.

Which Leonhardt -- DHM or Virgin or both or neither?

For me, by the way, Suzuki's partitas  is a complete closed book. Can someone say what it is they're hearing that makes that set special playing. Then I can listen out for it .
Hmm...The Gilbert recording looks difficult to find for a reasonable price. I didn't realize there are two Leonhardt partita recordings. I've got the Virgin one.
Is the DHM one an earlier recording? How do they compare?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 21, 2012, 03:39:08 PM
For me, by the way, Suzuki's partitas  is a complete closed book. Can someone say what it is they're hearing that makes that set special playing. Then I can listen out for it .
[/quote]
I'm hoping Premont might take a stab at this!
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 21, 2012, 03:41:38 PM
Yes, but not quite to the same degree as the others I mentioned : Leonhardt, Suzuli, Mortensen and Belder.
It´s a long time since I listened to this. As far as I remember, the most interesting part of the disc is Sempé´s arrangement of the chaconne from the violin partita no.2.
Do you also rate Belder's WTC highly? Not that I need another one but I was expecting a lot from Christine Schornsheim's new set and was disappointed. So
I'm thinking I might need another one.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 21, 2012, 04:51:07 PM
OK, a modification: Not the most important, but an important guiding principle.

I have no problems with either of Verlets recordings of the partitas, but I know that some consider her second set wilfull and excentric. So I think one has to be cautious as to the the recommendation of this set.

Yes, this was a recommendation for a third o fourth set; not a recommendation for a first approach to this set of suites. So, some variety could be interesting.

I don't think Verlet is eccentric at all. Eccentric suppose a dose of arbitrary and capricious behavior and she is not that kind of performer. She is very personal; some time I said that she plays this music as if it were her intimate diary: turbulent, feminine and highly expressive. Anyway, I speak about her Naïve set because I don't particularly like her first recording on Philips.

Concerning Debreuil contra Belder I think their interpretations are of the same kind (compared to f.i. Leonhardt and Suzuk)i. And even if I like Dubruil´s take, I much prefer Belders.
Well, I also like Belder, but I prefer Dubreuil here (not very widely, anyway). IMO he is more expressive and does more justice to the rhetorical aspects of these dances. Certainly Belder is a bit more "German" in style, but I like the more sunny and light and expressive touch of Dubreuil. Curiously in the second part of the Clavier-Übung, I prefer Belder over Dubreuil which is not probably surprising because Belder plays my favorite Italian Concerto.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 22, 2012, 02:37:00 AM
Which Leonhardt -- DHM or Virgin or both or neither?
In principle both, but I tend to prefer the more expressive DHM version to the more straight EMI (Virgin) version.

Quote from: Mandryka
There's a a couple of early recording from Puyana  which I think are very good -- full of joyful music making. Some of the later stuff seems less inspired. He's a Landowska pupil I think, so he relishes unexpected registration changes sometimes. He is a bravura musician really -- not really contemplative.  If you can enjoy inauthentic performances then I think they're good fun.
Precisely my impression of Puyana too - though I do not know his French ouverture from Clavierübung II.

Quote from: Mandryka
For me, by the way, Suzuki's partitas  is a complete closed book. Can someone say what it is they're hearing that makes that set special playing. Then I can listen out for it .
Well, Suzuki is not always easily accessible - to me he was an acquired taste. He often seems a bit academic, and I think the spirirt of the music sometimes eludes him (his Clavierübung III and his CD with organ works of Sweelinck being good examples of this), but his interpretation of the partitas is (other than being very informed) IMO loaded with energy and filled with passion.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 22, 2012, 02:47:23 AM
Do you also rate Belder's WTC highly? Not that I need another one but I was expecting a lot from Christine Schornsheim's new set and was disappointed. So
I'm thinking I might need another one.

I have not yet listened enough to it to say much about it,-  maybe surprising, but my CDs-to-be-listened-to pile is very huge.

I expect to receive C Schornheims version next week, and this will not make the pile smaller.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 22, 2012, 02:56:22 AM
I don't think Verlet is eccentric at all. Eccentric suppose a dose of arbitrary and capricious behavior and she is not that kind of performer. She is very personal; some time I said that she plays this music as if it were her intimate diary: turbulent, feminine and highly expressive.
Different words, but I hardly see the difference in the actual contents.

Certainly Belder is a bit more "German" in style, but I like the more sunny and light and expressive touch of Dubreuil. Curiously in the second part of the Clavier-Übung, I prefer Belder over Dubreuil which is not probably surprising because Belder plays my favorite Italian Concerto.
And this is why I prefer him, and in addition I find him eqally expressive.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 22, 2012, 03:55:59 AM
I have not yet listened enough to it to say much about it,-  maybe surprising, but my CDs-to-be-listened-to pile is very huge.

I expect to receive C Schornheims version next week, and this will not make the pile smaller.
Please comment on it when you have a chance. My reaction to it hasn't been good but maybe I need to try again.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 22, 2012, 03:58:45 AM
Well, Suzuki is not always easily accessible - to me he was an acquired taste. He often seems a bit academic, and I think the spirirt of the music sometimes eludes him (his Clavierübung III and his CD with organ works of Sweelinck being good examples of this), but his interpretation of the partitas is (other than being very informed) IMO loaded with energy and filled with passion.
[/quote]
I feel this way about Suzuki's partitas. Also, his ornamentations are imaginative. But I'm really in love with Mortenen now. This is what
a great performance does for me: it draws me into the music again - almost as if I'm hearing it for the first time. It opens up new avenues
of experience.   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on January 22, 2012, 05:01:46 AM
Does anyone who has heard Schornsheim's WTC have positive thoughts on it?  I'm beginning to wonder if I should cancel my pre-order.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: jlaurson on January 22, 2012, 05:19:24 AM
Does anyone who has heard Schornsheim's WTC have positive thoughts on it?  I'm beginning to wonder if I should cancel my pre-order.


great instrument, very good sound... does "nothing offputting" count as something positive. i like it; i'm not wowed by it.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on January 22, 2012, 05:26:33 AM

great instrument, very good sound... does "nothing offputting" count as something positive. i like it; i'm not wowed by it.

Fair enough.  Does it seem like a grower to you or will it continue to be in the 'just good' range?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 22, 2012, 05:45:46 AM
Different words, but I hardly see the difference in the actual contents.
Then maybe I am just doing a "rhetorical" comment. But, as Bruce Haynes, I think that when you say something differently, you are saying something different. I see many differences between my adjectives and "eccentric", even without to mention the negative accent of the latter. I would say the same when Dubreuil is defined as simply "easygoing". That said, I don't have any problem at all, if someone defines those performances in those terms, but I easily see the difference in the contents.   

And this is why I prefer him, and in addition I find him eqally expressive.

I think Dubreuil does a better characterization of the affekten of these pieces.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 22, 2012, 07:01:18 AM
.. as Bruce Haynes [say], I think that when you say something differently, you are saying something different.
Unless you say the same with other words.

Quote from: Antoine Marchand
I see many differences between my adjectives and "eccentric", even without to mention the negative accent of the latter.
   
"Eccentric" does not necessarily imply anything negative. It may just mean "something very individual". And I think Verlets second take of the partitas is too individual to be recommended as third or fourth choice, because only a few collectors collect as many recordings of the same works, as you and I.

Quote from: Antoine Marchand link
I think Dubreuil does a better characterization of the affekten of these pieces.
I must find the time for a relisten.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: (: premont :) on January 22, 2012, 07:23:16 AM
However I just listened to a new acquisation, Anneke Uittenbosch´s WTC book.II (she does not seem to have recorded book I).

She is a pupil of Gustav Leonhardt and plays much in his style, but her sense of rhethorics is more pronounced with more rhythmic rubato - not as much as Pierre Hantaï though, and her playing is less tense than Leonhardt´s, more like Pieter-Jan Belder´s. Her playing is extremely clean and well articulated - up the highest standard. She plays a harpsichord by Joel Katzman after Parisian 17th century examples, actually the same kind of instrument Richard Egarr uses for his Louis Couperin set, but the tuning is different. Funny enough,already in the first Bach prelude i C major I had a feeling of an instrument out of tune (this was short time after listening to Egarr). Then I read in the booklet (the text is probably by Uittenbosch herself) that equal tuning was essential for Bach when composing the WTC, so what I heard was equal tuning.   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Leo K. on January 22, 2012, 07:49:12 AM
However I just listened to a new acquisation, Anneke Uittenbosch´s WTC book.II (she does not seem to have recorded book I).

She is a pupil of Gustav Leonhardt and plays much in his style, but her sense of rhethorics is more pronounced with more rhythmic rubato - not as much as Pierre Hantaï though, and her playing is less tense than Leonhardt´s, more like Pieter-Jan Belder´s. Her playing is extremely clean and well articulated - up the highest standard. She plays a harpsichord by Joel Katzman after Parisian 17th century examples, actually the same kind of instrument Richard Egarr uses for his Louis Couperin set, but the tuning is different. Funny enough,already in the first Bach prelude i C major I had a feeling of an instrument out of tune (this was short time after listening to Egarr). Then I read in the booklet (the text is probably by Uittenbosch herself) that equal tuning was essential for Bach when composing the WTC, so what I heard was equal tuning.

Thank you for your review. I am very interested in hearing a Joel Katzman instrument with equal tuning in contrast to Egarr's recordings.



Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on January 23, 2012, 02:03:37 AM
What do you think of the hell for leather speed of the overture? For me, what's interests me most in Partita 4 right now is the counterpoint, especially in the allemande .  And from that point of view I find Sempe and Ross a bit unrevealing, compared with Gilbert and Leonhardt and Mortensen, especially Gilbert.
Yeah, you're right of course. The Sempe is fun but not nearly as revealing as Mortensen. I guess this was early on for Sempe. I really wonder what Sempe would do now
with the partitas. He's never done a complete set of any Bach as far as I know. It must be hard though, with so many musicians taking their best shots at the Goldbergs, Partitas, WTC, and French and English Suites. Is it restraint? I guess commendation is due to musicians that try to take the path less trodden. However, I can't imagine being a performer on that level and not wanting to record the best music ever written!
Ok, I'm going to stop fixating on Sempe. Gee, I wish I could locate that Gilbert recording.
I'm getting the sense that it'll be more worthwhile than the Ross.   
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Leo K. on January 25, 2012, 07:25:09 AM
I finally got Leonhardt's DHM account of the Partitas, and indeed, it is as great as folks here have said. I love this board!

:)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Leo K. on January 29, 2012, 10:29:15 AM
Despite some sound problems (regarding the D Major Partita) in Leonhardt's DHM account of the partitas, I am very drawn to it, and I'm drawn to the other performances on this set. They sneak into my thoughts often (I am used to the sets of Suzuki and Ross). Don's descriptions are right on in his comparison article at:

http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NonVocal/Klavier-Partitas-Pinnock1.htm (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NonVocal/Klavier-Partitas-Pinnock1.htm)

I am now interested in seeking out Leonhardt's WTF and other Bach recordings.

 8)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on January 29, 2012, 11:18:14 AM

I have no problems with either of Verlets recordings of the partitas, but I know that some consider her second set wilfull and excentric.

I don't think Verlet is eccentric at all. Eccentric suppose a dose of arbitrary and capricious behavior and she is not that kind of performer. She is very personal; some time I said that she plays this music as if it were her intimate diary: turbulent, feminine and highly expressive. Anyway, I speak about her Naïve set because I don't particularly like her first recording on Philips.

I just listened to the 6th partita, on the 1977 and 2001 performances. 

Both sounded pretty turbulent, feminine and highly expressive. I don't see that one is more eccentric than the other, but maybe I don't have a good grasp of what the centre is.

I can't help wondering why Antoine Marchand doesn't like the first. I found the harpsichord sound less attractive, but not problematically so. And the poetry is different -- the emotion evoked is different, at least in 6. There's a nervous intensity about the Philips which I thought was really powerful, if slightly disconcerting. Little rushes of energy out of the blue sometimes.  Very turbulent!

Maybe Partita 6 isn't the best example to have chosen -- I'll continue exploring this week.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on January 29, 2012, 11:19:35 AM


I am now interested in seeking out Leonhardt's WTF and other Bach recordings.

 8)

I'm very interested in the third record he made of the Goldbergs. A few weeks ago I set up a playlist with a whole bunch of different Var13s, including some piano ones in fact.

It was striking how distinctive Leonhardt's articulation and phrasing was in that recording.  That probably had something to do with the selection I made, of course!

Setting up a play list like that revealed how much variety there is. There's wes no sense of a central performance style.

(I had Landowska RCA, Hantai 1, Leonhardt 1 and 3, Kirkpatrick, Walcha, Tureck on Great Pianists, Sokolov, Verlet)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 29, 2012, 12:46:19 PM
I can't help wondering why Antoine Marchand doesn't like the first. I found the harpsichord sound less attractive, but not problematically so. And the poetry is different -- the emotion evoked is different, at least in 6. There's a nervous intensity about the Philips which I thought was really powerful, if slightly disconcerting. Little rushes of energy out of the blue sometimes.  Very turbulent!

Maybe Partita 6 isn't the best example to have chosen -- I'll continue exploring this week.

Currently I don't have her first recording, but I prefer the second exactly for the reasons that you mention: sound of the harpsichord and some nervous character in the first one.

BTW, her interpretation of the Partita II BWV 826 is my favorite in that work: the interplay among its different movements defines an incredible range of expression, from the most extroverted eloquence to the most tender and personal expression. 
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on January 29, 2012, 10:54:23 PM
I am now interested in seeking out Leonhardt's WTF and other Bach recordings.

 8)

WTF!

;D
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Leo K. on January 30, 2012, 07:00:49 AM
WTF!

;D

Oh my! I'm so embarrassed!

 :-[
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Opus106 on January 30, 2012, 07:04:37 AM
Oh my! I'm so embarrassed!

 :-[

It's just a typo in the interwebs. ;) :)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on February 01, 2012, 07:41:56 PM
Any thoughts on Belder's recording of the Goldberg Variations on Brilliant Classics?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Oldnslow on February 01, 2012, 11:56:05 PM
One  Bach haprsichord recording I have enjoyed recently is by Olga Martynova on Caro Mitis of the English suites. Beautiful playing, gorgeous recording. Her J.C. Bach CD is also wonderful.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on February 03, 2012, 07:25:35 AM
Watchorn's recording of the toccatas is jaw-dropping, though there is a bit much reverb. (I like my recordings to be as dry as Don does.)  Strongly recommended for anyone interested in those works.  It's the first time I've really been able to connect with some Bach works on harpsichord.  Any suggestions for a recording I should pair with it?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on February 03, 2012, 08:43:28 AM
Currently I don't have her first recording, but I prefer the second exactly for the reasons that you mention: sound of the harpsichord and some nervous character in the first one.

BTW, her interpretation of the Partita II BWV 826 is my favorite in that work: the interplay among its different movements defines an incredible range of expression, from the most extroverted eloquence to the most tender and personal expression.
This isn't the easiest recording to track down. I mean the second one.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Bulldog on February 03, 2012, 10:11:10 AM
Watchorn's recording of the toccatas is jaw-dropping, though there is a bit much reverb. (I like my recordings to be as dry as Don does.)  Strongly recommended for anyone interested in those works.  It's the first time I've really been able to connect with some Bach works on harpsichord.  Any suggestions for a recording I should pair with it?

Yes, Bob van Asperen playing the Inventions/Sinfonias and more on an Aeolus disc.  It's my favorite disc of this music on harpsichord or piano because I find the dialogue captivating and love the subtle changes in tempo.

Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Leo K. on February 04, 2012, 09:18:50 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51yApHWm76L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Wow...this is quite a recording, Glen Wilson's WTC book II. Glad this thread is so helpful in finding great recommends.

Thanks all!

 8)
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on February 05, 2012, 03:22:36 PM
I've just listened to the first disc of Watchorn's English Suites recording.  I tend to agree with the assessment of some members that he is a bit heavy-handed, but what a beautiful harpsichord, and it's well recorded, too.  I love the bass end on that thing!

How are his French Suites?  Do they also seem heavy handed?
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 05, 2012, 03:58:13 PM
How are his French Suites?  Do they also seem heavy handed?

IMO, better than his English Suites. Watchorn sounds less stern and more in tune with the spirit of dance. Harpsichord and sound quality are outstanding. Additionally, it's a 3-CD set and the third CD offers the Little Preludes BWV 924 to BWV 943, as a bonus.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Geo Dude on February 05, 2012, 04:40:21 PM
IMO, better than his English Suites. Watchorn sounds less stern and more in tune with the spirit of dance. Harpsichord and sound quality are outstanding. Additionally, it's a 3-CD set and the third CD offers the Little Preludes BWV 924 to BWV 943, as a bonus.

That's wonderful to hear.  I wanted to make sure it was less stern and more in tune with the spirit of the dance, as you put it, before I laid down money for it given that it's a bit more expensive than the English Suites.  I'll look into that recording.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on February 05, 2012, 10:53:38 PM
IMO, better than his English Suites. Watchorn sounds less stern and more in tune with the spirit of dance. Harpsichord and sound quality are outstanding. Additionally, it's a 3-CD set and the third CD offers the Little Preludes BWV 924 to BWV 943, as a bonus.
I had a hard time getting into Watchorn's French Suites. I much prefer Van Asperen, Brookshire, Moroney and Curtis.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 06, 2012, 03:01:08 AM
I had a hard time getting into Watchorn's French Suites. I much prefer Van Asperen, Brookshire, Moroney and Curtis.

Well, I guess it's a lawful opinion.  ;D

I totally enjoyed Watchorn's set, but I haven't still decided its place among my favorite recordings. Some of those are Curtis, Koopman (Erato) and (after some fight) Cates.   

Anyway, what I wrote about Watchorn was especially a comparative opinion with his English Suites. And, IMO, he sounds more spontaneous here, probably because of the more tuneful and less complex nature of the music itself.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: milk on February 06, 2012, 05:39:41 AM
Well, I guess it's a lawful opinion.  ;D

I totally enjoyed Watchorn's set, but I haven't still decided its place among my favorite recordings. Some of those are Curtis, Koopman (Erato) and (after some fight) Cates.   

Anyway, what I wrote about Watchorn was especially a comparative opinion with his English Suites. And, IMO, he sounds more spontaneous here, probably because of the more tuneful and less complex nature of the music itself.
Well, maybe I should give Watchorn another chance. The instrument and sound quality are certainly excellent as always. I've come to really appreciate his WTC.
Are you impressed at all with Van Asperen's French Suites? The original Vater he plays is unlike any other harpsichord I've heard. What a sound! - So charming!
And his performance matches the delicacy and charm of the instrument. I don't know why I struggle with Cates. Everyone loves his French Suites but the recording eludes me. I'm sure the fault is in my own ears. Interesting that Van Asperen, Brookshire and Watchorn all play Vaters or Vater copies on their French Suites. I'd like to find a recording, aside from these, that uses a Vater harpsichord.
Title: Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
Post by: Mandryka on February 06, 2012, 08:50:43 AM
Well, maybe I should give Watchorn another chance. The instrument and sound quality are certainly excellent as always. I've come to really appreciate his WTC.
Are you impressed at all with Van Asperen's French Suites? The original Vater he plays is unlike any other harpsichord I've heard. What a sound! - So charming!
And his performance matches the delicacy and charm of the instrument. I don't know why I struggle with Cates. Everyone loves his French Suites but the recording eludes me. I'm sure the fault is in my own ears. Interesting that Van Asperen, Brookshire and Watchorn all play Vaters or Vater copies on their French Suites. I'd like to find a recording, aside from these, that uses a Vater harpsichord.

No. I don't like Cates either and I know why. You're not alone and it's not your ears.

The problem is partly to do with basic tempo choices. Too slow. Sarabandes and Allemandes become like elephants' dances. Sometimes -- like in the sarabande to suite 4 -- the music almos