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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Bogey on May 06, 2007, 12:26:30 PM

Title: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on May 06, 2007, 12:26:30 PM
What do you enjoy here for recordings (either or both books)?  HIP and Non-HIP suggestions welcome.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on May 06, 2007, 02:57:05 PM
If you can get it - Samuil Feinberg. I also enjoy Richter and, surprisingly, Jeno Jando
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bunny on May 06, 2007, 04:04:06 PM
Glen Wilson, Bob van Asperen, Ottavio Dantone, Gustav Leonhardt -- all on harpsichord.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Don on May 06, 2007, 04:43:22 PM
Glen Wilson, Bob van Asperen, Ottavio Dantone, Gustav Leonhardt -- all on harpsichord.

Agree, and I would add Landowska, Gilbert, Suzuki and Verlet.

On piano, there's Gould, Gulda, Fellner/Bk. 1, Richter, Feinberg, Aldwell, Tureck, Crochet, Fischer and Nikolayeva.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on May 06, 2007, 04:54:20 PM

I'll add the third vote for Richter. SURPRISE!  ;D

Book one was remastered on RCA, but book two wasn't.  :'(
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on May 06, 2007, 04:55:13 PM
If you can get it - Samuil Feinberg.

I've seen this about on the "Classical records" label. How's the sound?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on May 06, 2007, 05:37:22 PM
Thanks for the feedback.  My knee-jerk reaction to the above is Gould.

Is Andras Schiff's work here worth a listen?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: The Mad Hatter on May 06, 2007, 05:47:53 PM
I've heard that the Schiff is the best if you want 'traditional' Bach.

Personally, I'll almost always go for Gould (har, har) - his playing just speaks to me in a way very few other performers do.

The Jando on Naxos I don't really enjoy - can't hear the voicing very clearly.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bunny on May 06, 2007, 07:05:16 PM
Agree, and I would add Landowska, Gilbert, Suzuki and Verlet.

On piano, there's Gould, Gulda, Fellner/Bk. 1, Richter, Feinberg, Aldwell, Tureck, Crochet, Fischer and Nikolayeva.

Oops, forgot the Landowska!

I love the Fellner and the Tureck.  I wish Fellner would hurry up and record Bk II!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on May 06, 2007, 07:38:04 PM
Another vote for Glen Wilson on harpsichord and Glen Glould on piano!

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Justin Ignaz Franz Bieber on May 06, 2007, 09:31:14 PM
Glen Wilson, Bob van Asperen, Ottavio Dantone, Gustav Leonhardt -- all on harpsichord.

I haven't heard any of those but I imagine they're all very good. I bet Lar Ulrik Mortensen & Ludger Remy have good recordings (that is if they do have recordings at all...)

For piano I was a surprised that I didn't like Gould's recording but I'm much happier with Richter's. I don't think I like WTC enough to collect a whole bunch of them though.  :-\
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: val on May 06, 2007, 11:42:15 PM
Harpsichord: Gustav Leonhardt

Piano: Friedrich Gulda
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Don on May 07, 2007, 12:39:49 AM
I've heard that the Schiff is the best if you want 'traditional' Bach.


I've never heard the above.  I do consider Schiff's WTC his best Bach recording except for his Goldbergs on ECM.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: marvinbrown on May 07, 2007, 05:01:32 AM
Harpsichord: Gustav Leonhardt


 Agreed!

  marvin
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Josquin des Prez on May 07, 2007, 05:04:28 AM
Harpsichord: Gilbert.

Piano: Feltsman.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: E d o on May 07, 2007, 09:09:47 AM
Edwin Fischer does it for me.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: helios on May 07, 2007, 09:15:05 AM
Gould enlivens the music like no other.  Though if you're a purist,  I suggest Angela Hewitt.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Don on May 07, 2007, 11:31:55 AM
Gould enlivens the music like no other.  Though if you're a purist,  I suggest Angela Hewitt.

Unusual, recommending a piano version to a purist.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bunny on May 07, 2007, 02:26:46 PM
Unusual, recommending a piano version to a purist.

>:D  8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: helios on May 08, 2007, 12:09:57 AM
Unusual, recommending a piano version to a purist.

Haha.. good point.   ;D

You know what I meant though.... a piano version more faithful to the score.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: marvinbrown on May 08, 2007, 01:02:17 AM
Haha.. good point.   ;D

You know what I meant though.... a piano version more faithful to the score.  ;)

  This whole argument of piano vs harpsichord seems to rear its ugly head very often and especially when it comes to Bach's keyboard works.  The Well-Tempered Clavier is not immune to this. I must admit that it always disturbs me when I come to buy Bach's keyboard music. There is always this nagging voice in my head that says that the piano is not a baroque instrument and the spirit of Bach's music is lost.  I do not know how I am going to get around this or if I ever can.  I find that Gustav Leonhart's harpsichord recording of the Well Tempered Clavier as baroque as one can get and as close to the spirit of these works as one can get.  Finally I would like to add that I do not have any recording of Bach's keyboard works on piano-not even the illustrious Glen Gould recordings of the Goldberg Variations on piano.   
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Don on May 08, 2007, 04:47:15 AM
  This whole argument of piano vs harpsichord seems to rear its ugly head very often and especially when it comes to Bach's keyboard works.  The Well-Tempered Clavier is not immune to this. I must admit that it always disturbs me when I come to buy Bach's keyboard music. There is always this nagging voice in my head that says that the piano is not a baroque instrument and the spirit of Bach's music is lost.  I do not know how I am going to get around this or if I ever can. 

I know the feeling, but I don't believe that piano versions of Bach's keyboard music necessarily lose the spirit of Bach's music; it depends on the pianist.  For every piano version that is wayward, such as Bareboim's, there are many that I feel well reflect Bach's soundworld and emotional content.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: orbital on May 08, 2007, 05:05:25 AM
Harpsichord: Gustav Leonhardt

Piano: Friedrich Gulda
Leonhardt is the only harpischord version I have, so I can't make comparisions there, but about Gulda.. I know it is highly revered, but I find it way too dry  :-[ I'd go with Feinberg (of similar mold) instead.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Don on May 08, 2007, 05:06:59 AM
Leonhardt is the only harpischord version I have, so I can't make comparisions there, but about Gulda.. I know it is highly revered, but I find it way too dry  :-[ I'd go with Feinberg (of similar mold) instead.


Gulda can seem dry, but I think there's a wealth of emotional content below the surface.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SimonGodders on May 08, 2007, 05:56:18 AM
I'll add the third vote for Richter. SURPRISE!  ;D

Book one was remastered on RCA, but book two wasn't.  :'(

I've got the original four CD set, is the sound significantly better on the re-mastering George?

Will Bk2 have a release?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Steve on May 08, 2007, 06:03:33 AM
I've got the original four CD set, is the sound significantly better on the re-mastering George?

Will Bk2 have a release?

I own the remastered edition, and found the sonics to be perfectly adequate. Of course, I haven't heard the originial.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on May 08, 2007, 06:04:15 AM
I've got the original four CD set, is the sound significantly better on the re-mastering George?

I haven't heard the original. My book 2 is an MP3 so I can't really compare.

Quote
Will Bk2 have a release?

That the $64 question. Why they did only one book makes NO sense to me at all. Perhaps the orangutans who run RCA will work this out at some point. Nah!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SimonGodders on May 08, 2007, 06:07:08 AM
orangutans who run RCA will work this out at some point. Nah!

How offensive to Orangutans
 :-*
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on May 08, 2007, 06:12:09 AM
How offensive to Orangutans
 :-*

 ;D

BTW, can I have a mini review of the Fienberg? Does he offer that different of take from Richter? Also, which transfer? Is the one on "Classical Records" decent? The price is a little steep IMO.

That's one thing I hate about this work. It's expensive to collect.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SimonGodders on May 08, 2007, 06:21:33 AM
;D

BTW, can I have a mini review of the Fienberg? Does he offer that different of take from Richter? Also, which transfer? Is the one on "Classical Records" decent? The price is a little steep IMO.

That's one thing I hate about this work. It's expensive to collect.

Got a link for it George?

You're right, expensive stuff this WTC collecting! Been having a mosey around, the Schiff looks cheapish, but not sure I'ld like it that much. Would contrast nicely with the Richter though...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: orbital on May 08, 2007, 07:06:12 AM
;D

BTW, can I have a mini review of the Fienberg?

Why have a mini when you can have a maxi  :D
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NonVocal/Klavier-WTC-Feinberg.htm
This coming from our own Don  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on May 08, 2007, 09:10:06 AM
Why have a mini when you can have a maxi  :D
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NonVocal/Klavier-WTC-Feinberg.htm
This coming from our own Don  :)

Thanks!  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on May 08, 2007, 09:15:40 AM
Got a link for it George?

http://cgi.ebay.com/piano-archive-SAMUIL-FEINBERG-BACH-WTC-3CD-Set-RUSSIAN_W0QQitemZ140106856891QQcmdZViewItem (http://cgi.ebay.com/piano-archive-SAMUIL-FEINBERG-BACH-WTC-3CD-Set-RUSSIAN_W0QQitemZ140106856891QQcmdZViewItem)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Maciek on May 08, 2007, 12:45:30 PM
the flimsy thin undynamic harpsichord which sounds like skeletons copulating in a bisket tin...

LOL

Whatever ones thoughts re the harpsichord vs piano dilemma (I happen to prefer piano too), one has to admire the description quoted above... ;D

Maciek
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: helios on May 09, 2007, 12:08:17 AM
  This whole argument of piano vs harpsichord seems to rear its ugly head very often and especially when it comes to Bach's keyboard works.  The Well-Tempered Clavier is not immune to this. I must admit that it always disturbs me when I come to buy Bach's keyboard music. There is always this nagging voice in my head that says that the piano is not a baroque instrument and the spirit of Bach's music is lost.  I do not know how I am going to get around this or if I ever can.  I find that Gustav Leonhart's harpsichord recording of the Well Tempered Clavier as baroque as one can get and as close to the spirit of these works as one can get.  Finally I would like to add that I do not have any recording of Bach's keyboard works on piano-not even the illustrious Glen Gould recordings of the Goldberg Variations on piano.   

Well, I'm sure this argument has been had on here a 100 times (maybe less, maybe more), but I vastly prefer the piano's sound and have no doubt that, had the piano been available, Bach would have chosen to write for it instead of the Harpsichord.   I don't think any "spirit" is lost whatsoever on the piano - it's simply a superior instrument.

Then again, I've never been taken with the whole period instrument craze.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Don on May 09, 2007, 04:23:48 AM
Well, I'm sure this argument has been had on here a 100 times (maybe less, maybe more), but I vastly prefer the piano's sound and have no doubt that, had the piano been available, Bach would have chosen to write for it instead of the Harpsichord.   I don't think any "spirit" is lost whatsoever on the piano - it's simply a superior instrument.

Then again, I've never been taken with the whole period instrument craze.

My view is that the piano is simply a different instrument and that Bach would have composed for both the piano and harpsichord. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bunny on May 09, 2007, 07:19:09 AM
a version on modern piano (not harpsichord) is the best way to experience this work....shines a whole new light on Bach's polyphonic genius that cannot be heard on the flimsy thin undynamic harpsichord which sounds like skeletons copulating in a bisket tin...

many of the great composers who proceeded bach learnt a great deal about composing from playing this work on the piano....i.e. mozart, beethoven, chopin, schumann, liszt etc etc etc

Mozart probably played it on a harpsichord, an instrument he was very familiar with.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on May 09, 2007, 11:40:27 AM
....unlike say Beethoven's keyboard works which were written very specifically to that instrument and it's resources/sounds and would be hard to re-create on other instruments, or sound convincing even.

They certainly sound convincing in the other direction (symphonies on piano), so I am not so sure that I agree with this point... :-\
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Don on May 09, 2007, 11:42:14 AM
yeah but Bach never really composed like that, he wasn't a "knight of the keyboard" as he famously said once, he didn't compose for the instrument specifically....he was more tapped into the very source, pure music in it's absolute form...consolidated from the great vocal polyphony that came before him, and thats how he wrote, that's why much of his music sounds good on pretty much anything and it quite easily tranferable, another reason why he's such a towering genius....

If it sounds good on "pretty much anything", why do you say disparaging things about the harpsichord?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on May 09, 2007, 11:54:20 AM
im not talking about transcriptions liszt made of the symphonies, im more pointing to beethoven's sonatas, like the late ones for instance....

Those transcriptions certainly sound quite a bit like the original, suggesting that they aren't all that different from the original. If that is true, then this shows that his orchestral music works as a keyboard work. Therefore, I am having trouble seeing why the reverse wouldn't be true. Like say with the Hammerklavier for instance.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Don on May 09, 2007, 11:55:29 AM
how would beethoven's sonatas sound on the harpsichord? hmmmmm

with bach the music works on both quite easily, heck is sounds nifty on mini moog too.  8)

Well, your negative remarks about the harpsichord do seem contrary to your position above.

As for Beethoven on harpsichord, I'd like to hear some of that.  Maybe I'd find it fantastic.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: helios on May 09, 2007, 11:14:56 PM
yeah but Bach never really composed like that, he wasn't a "knight of the keyboard" as he famously said once, he didn't compose for the instrument specifically....he was more tapped into the very source, pure music in it's absolute form...consolidated from the great vocal polyphony that came before him, and thats how he wrote, that's why much of his music sounds good on pretty much anything and it quite easily tranferable, another reason why he's such a towering genius....unlike say Beethoven's keyboard works which were written very specifically to that instrument and it's resources/sounds and would be hard to re-create on other instruments, or sound convincing even.

you can make a piano transcription/reduction of most stuff....but my point is that beethoven's piano works, like the sonatas are written for the piano specifically, they are highly pianistic....they would lose a lot if played on the harpsichord.

This argument is particularly unconvincing.    Earlier works always are more easily transferred to modern instruments than vice-versa.   I doubt Messiaen sounds particularly good on a harpsichord either, yet you probably get away with Handel on an electronic keyboard  ;)

In fact, this is true for most aspects of life.   Take the (pedestrian) example of Microsoft Excel.   A spreadsheet created in an earlier version can be opened in a later version.   The reverse does not hold true.  Why?  Because the spreadsheet created in a later version took full advantage of the new capabilities.  Beethoven also took advantage of the more dynamic piano.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Don on May 10, 2007, 07:39:58 AM
you can make a piano transcription/reduction of most stuff....but my point is that beethoven's piano works, like the sonatas are written for the piano specifically, they are highly pianistic....they would lose a lot if played on the harpsichord.

The proof is in the listening, but I'm not aware of any harpsichord versions of these works.  Are there any?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on May 10, 2007, 09:10:59 AM
...i like how for instance he took the leipzig organ chorales and arranged them for voice...

?? which ones??
If you think of the Schüblerchorales for organ, the transcriptions were made the other way round, i.e. from vocal version to organ version.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on May 10, 2007, 09:14:48 AM
Like say with the Hammerklavier for instance.

You probably know, that Felix Weingartner arranged op. 106 for symphony orchester and recorded it (recording rereleased on CD by Naxos).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on May 10, 2007, 09:16:33 AM
As for Beethoven on harpsichord, I'd like to hear some of that.  Maybe I'd find it fantastic.

Do you really imagine a harpsichord being able to meet the expressive demands of Beethoven?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on May 10, 2007, 09:39:45 AM
You probably know, that Felix Weingartner arranged op. 106 for symphony orchester and recorded it (recording rereleased on CD by Naxos).

I didn't know, actually. Thanks.

I believe that Horowitz said that Rubinstein once said that the Hammerklavier is the 9th symphony for piano, so I naturally thought that it would work as a symphony.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Sean on May 10, 2007, 09:43:16 AM
I'd argue that music originally written for fortepiano is better played on a piano because a piano is, above any other considerations, simply a good fortepiano. However music written for harpsichord is best on a harpsichord because the two are far too different, indeed inhabiting different aesthetic worlds.

Kenneth Gilbert's 48 is surely still unsurpassed, finding extreme subtlety and variety within the idiom.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bunny on May 11, 2007, 02:33:43 AM
Do you really imagine a harpsichord being able to meet the expressive demands of Beethoven?

True, but it would be very interesting to hear certain pieces in which he makes use of broken chords on the harpsichord.  I think Für Elise would translate very well.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Don on May 11, 2007, 04:51:09 AM
Do you really imagine a harpsichord being able to meet the expressive demands of Beethoven?

Probably not, but I'm more than willing to hold judgement until I hear the results.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: The Mad Hatter on May 13, 2007, 02:05:57 PM
I didn't know, actually. Thanks.

I believe that Horowitz said that Rubinstein once said that the Hammerklavier is the 9th symphony for piano, so I naturally thought that it would work as a symphony.



I imagine they meant in expressive range and technical accomplishment, rather than any more direct comparison to it as a symphony. I certainly can't imagine any orchestration that would work - . But that said, I can no longer hear Pictures at an Exhibition as a piano piece either, so I suppose it's possible.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on May 13, 2007, 06:00:17 PM
I imagine they meant in expressive range and technical accomplishment, rather than any more direct comparison to it as a symphony. I certainly can't imagine any orchestration that would work - . But that said, I can no longer hear Pictures at an Exhibition as a piano piece either, so I suppose it's possible.

I would like to hear that.  Hatter, did you get my PM?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on September 22, 2008, 05:46:37 AM
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to convince me of the greatness of Gould's recording of WTC Book 1.   ;D

You see, as a Bach fan, I want a copy of the WTC. Right now in shops locally, I can obtain Gould (Bk. 1), Kirkpatrick (Bk. 1) and Tureck (DG Bk. 1 and 2). I don't want the last two because of the instrument and price, respectively. I know that a lot of people rave about Gould's recording of this work. But a few days ago, I sampled the first prelude - it went 'plop plop plop ploP PLOP Plop plop plop'. A little later I sampled Schiff and I could easily hear the lovely 'Ave Maria' tune. I have also listened to harpsichord and clavichord...no "plopping" there. Is this why many people complain Gould of being "mechanical" and "cold"?


P.S.: This post will NOT self-destruct in 5 seconds.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on September 22, 2008, 12:20:19 PM
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to convince me of the greatness of Gould's recording of WTC Book 1.   ;D

You see, as a Bach fan, I want a copy of the WTC. Right now in shops locally, I can obtain Gould (Bk. 1), Kirkpatrick (Bk. 1) and Tureck (DG Bk. 1 and 2). I don't want the last two because of the instrument and price, respectively. I know that a lot of people rave about Gould's recording of this work. But a few days ago, I sampled the first prelude - it went 'plop plop plop ploP PLOP Plop plop plop'. A little later I sampled Schiff and I could easily hear the lovely 'Ave Maria' tune. I have also listened to harpsichord and clavichord...no "plopping" there. Is this why many people complain Gould of being "mechanical" and "cold"?


I wouldn't want to try to convince anyone that my opinion of Gould's WTC is the one that others should hold or adopt, particularly for a body of music that is compelling in so many different types of interpretation.  There are folks who find Gould not very musical, but I'm not one of them.  If you don't like how Gould plays the Prelude in C major, perhaps you won't care much for his other performances of the set.

I gather you're not a fan of the fortepiano; that's fine.  As for Tureck's DG complete set, yes the price is quite high, but this set is probably the most compelling classical music performance I have ever heard.  So as far as I'm concerned, the cost means nothing.  And don't forget her other sets on BBC Legends.  Of course, if you don't take well to Tureck (and plenty don't), you'll feel like a big-time loser.

These are hard times, and WTC acquisition decisions are difficult.  If you offer up some of your basic musical preferences, I could possibly provide you with decent insights.  Some potential considerations:

1.  Any problem with historical recordings with sub-par sound; that's Tureck's DG situation.
2.  In the sound spectrum from very dry to wet, what's your preference?
3.  Prefer rounded or sharp contours.
4.  Prefer exuberant or reflective interpreations.
5.  Do you want Bach's dark side prominently displayed?
6.  How about Bach heard as "Papa Bach"?
7.  Is detail important to you or are you more concerned with musical sweep?
8.  Harpsichord okay?
9.  Lean or full textures.
10.Etc.

I own many dozens of WTC sets, and it's clear to me that no one artist can give you everything that's great about Bach's music.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: E d o on September 22, 2008, 01:36:43 PM
The sound on Tureck's set is pretty bad. Hell, I find Fisher's more listenable. I wouldn't want to be without my Gould set though.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on September 22, 2008, 01:47:03 PM
The sound on Tureck's set is pretty bad. Hell, I find Fisher's more listenable.

Although I find the sound on both rather lousy, I notice it less with Tureck.  I suppose that's because I find her interpretations more transcendent.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on September 23, 2008, 05:36:02 AM
Thanks for the reply, Don.

If you don't like how Gould plays the Prelude in C major, perhaps you won't care much for his other performances of the set.

Maybe, or maybe not. I was already familiar with the tune of the Prelude in C major, and that was why I found it a bit off-putting. The rest of the WTC are virtually unknown to me. So, if I do end up getting Gould, it could be the "standard" (first exposure to a work) against which I compare others.

Quote
I gather you're not a fan of the fortepiano; that's fine.
 

I didn't say that. Kirkpatrick plays the clavichord, an instrument that I'm not familiar with. :)

Quote
These are hard times, and WTC acquisition decisions are difficult.
 

You make it sound like some sort of economic crisis.  :D  ;)

Quote
If you offer up some of your basic musical preferences, I could possibly provide you with decent insights.  Some potential considerations:

1.  Any problem with historical recordings with sub-par sound; that's Tureck's DG situation.
2.  In the sound spectrum from very dry to wet, what's your preference?
3.  Prefer rounded or sharp contours.
4.  Prefer exuberant or reflective interpreations.
5.  Do you want Bach's dark side prominently displayed?
6.  How about Bach heard as "Papa Bach"?
7.  Is detail important to you or are you more concerned with musical sweep?
8.  Harpsichord okay?
9.  Lean or full textures.
10.Etc.

I own many dozens of WTC sets, and it's clear to me that no one artist can give you everything that's great about Bach's music.


Wow...that's a lot of questions. I don't even know what to answer for some of them.

1. Prefer newer recordings. No scratchy/hissy ones for now, however historic the recording may be.

5. This interests me a lot. Please do suggest a few recordings that shows JSB's "dark side" according to you. (Even though this is a WTC thread, I am open suggestions for other works, as well.)

6. ???

8. Harpsichord is not an issue, and suggestions are welcome, but I'm usually constrained to buy what's available locally. Ordering from overseas can be a costly affair.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on September 23, 2008, 07:24:18 AM


5. This interests me a lot. Please do suggest a few recordings that shows JSB's "dark side" according to you. (Even though this is a WTC thread, I am open suggestions for other works, as well.)


I'll just stick to the WTC.  For the dark side, Tureck, Fellner and Richter fully satisfy.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on September 23, 2008, 07:27:10 AM
Thanks. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Norbeone on September 23, 2008, 08:11:51 AM
Maybe, or maybe not. I was already familiar with the tune of the Prelude in C major, and that was why I found it a bit off-putting. The rest of the WTC are virtually unknown to me. So, if I do end up getting Gould, it could be the "standard" (first exposure to a work) against which I compare others.
 


There is no reason why Gould's WTC shouldn't be the first recording you hear. To be honest, the quirky phrasing and articulation he employs in the C Major Prelude is not the kind of thing that runs throughout the whole set. I find almost all of Gould's Preludes and Fugues (particularly the fugues) to be absolutely mesmerizing, full of spontaneity (not randomness) and vitality. There are certainly a few unique Gouldian quirks in some of the preludes that you'll hear no other pianist do, but that's half the fun. 

I'm confident you'll find this a Goulden recommendation!



If you also go for a harpsichord version, I really like Bob van Asperen's recording, and also Gustav Leonardt's.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on September 23, 2008, 08:44:10 AM

If you also go for a harpsichord version, I really like Bob van Asperen's recording, and also Gustav Leonardt's.

 :)

Same here.  I also love Gilbert's set, and my favorite comes from Glenn Wilson on Teldec.  For those interested in the new Bach/Lehman tuning system, Richard Egarr/Harmonia Mundi and Peter Watchorn/Musica Omnia have both recorded Book 1; it's a very interesting tuning that Lehman contends was the one actually used by Bach. 

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on September 23, 2008, 09:44:45 AM
Another vote for Glen Wilson on harpsichord and Glen Glould on piano!

Q

For harpsichord, I'm now adding Ottavio Dantone to my earlier recommendation.
See my comments (and link to samples) HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg133655.html#msg133655).

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on September 23, 2008, 09:48:20 AM

 I find almost all of Gould's Preludes and Fugues (particularly the fugues) to be absolutely mesmerizing, full of spontaneity (not randomness) and vitality.
[emphasis mine]

Yes, I too feel the same, but I'm not sure whether to attribute it to Gould or Bach's wonderful fugues themselves. He does seem to have his own way of playing it, but still...


Quote
If you also go for a harpsichord version, I really like Bob van Asperen's recording, and also Gustav Leonardt's.
 :)

Same here.  I also love Gilbert's set, and my favorite comes from Glenn Wilson on Teldec.  For those interested in the new Bach/Lehman tuning system, Richard Egarr/Harmonia Mundi and Peter Watchorn/Musica Omnia have both recorded Book 1; it's a very interesting tuning that Lehman contends was the one actually used by Bach. 

Thanks again for the rec's, guys. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: marvinbrown on September 23, 2008, 10:04:45 AM


  Don  8), not for nothing but could you please explain what you mean by "Papa Bach"??  ??? ??

  marvin
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on September 23, 2008, 11:26:52 AM

  Don  8), not for nothing but could you please explain what you mean by "Papa Bach"??  ??? ??

  marvin

Performances that are very spiritually uplifting, as if Bach is standing before us with outstretched arms waiting to envelop us in his enlightenment and security.  It's an emotional thing, and I feel it most strongly in the Fellner recording on ECM.  I do caution that some other folks find the Fellner interpretations much less compelling than I do.

I forgot to mention that my review of the Fellner can be found on the MusicWeb International website.  Just search for Fellner.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: marvinbrown on September 24, 2008, 01:39:22 PM
Performances that are very spiritually uplifting, as if Bach is standing before us with outstretched arms waiting to envelop us in his enlightenment and security.  It's an emotional thing, and I feel it most strongly in the Fellner recording on ECM. 

  Ah yes I could use a surrogate father  0:).

  marvin
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on October 01, 2008, 10:35:40 AM
I noticed that Jill Crossland's name has not been mentioned on this thread, so I'll mention her now.  Her complete WTC is available on the Signum label and it's a glorious set of performances.  The colors she elicits are stunning, and her rhythms are exactly the way I like them.  I'm just amazed at how fresh the music sounds from Crossland.  From what I've read of other reviews, her performances are highly regarded.  Give it a try.  Both Books are available on the Naxos Music Library.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bunny on October 02, 2008, 05:37:59 AM
Don, thanks for the heads up!  This is one that's probably as affordable expensive as it is good.   :P
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on October 03, 2008, 07:04:33 AM
Don, thanks for the heads up!  This is one that's probably as affordable expensive as it is good.   :P

Yes, list price for both books is around $80, but you can get it from Amazon sellers for less than $60.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on October 03, 2008, 12:58:09 PM
Don, thanks for the heads up! 

Hope you love the set.  I forgot to mention that Crossland also recorded the Goldbergs in the late 1990's; it's on Warner Apex.  Be advised that her Goldbergs, although quite interesting, is well below the level of her WTC.  She was very young back then, and her fantastic way with color in the WTC doesn't come across in her Goldbergs.  Also, she tends to be a "note blaster" in the earlier recording.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bunny on October 04, 2008, 06:34:49 AM
Hope you love the set.  I forgot to mention that Crossland also recorded the Goldbergs in the late 1990's; it's on Warner Apex.  Be advised that her Goldbergs, although quite interesting, is well below the level of her WTC.  She was very young back then, and her fantastic way with color in the WTC doesn't come across in her Goldbergs.  Also, she tends to be a "note blaster" in the earlier recording.

Good to know!  The Goldbergs are more tempting because of the pricepoint.  The WTC is very expensive, especially as the 2 Book set isn't out in the USA yet.  It would be fiscally worthwhile to wait for that to be available, or to try and source it elsewhere. 

Any idea whether Till Felner has recorded the second book yet?  I'd really love to see that one.

Btw, the Crossland WTC is also available at Classics Online for ~$20.00 per volume at 320kbps MP3 as well as at Amazon at 256kbps MP3 for $17.00.  Neither is tempting enough for that price considering the compression.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on October 04, 2008, 07:32:59 AM
Good to know!  The Goldbergs are more tempting because of the pricepoint.  The WTC is very expensive, especially as the 2 Book set isn't out in the USA yet.  It would be fiscally worthwhile to wait for that to be available, or to try and source it elsewhere. 

Any idea whether Till Felner has recorded the second book yet?  I'd really love to see that one.


Crossland's Book 2 is available in the USA.  As for Felner's Book 2, no recording yet.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bunny on October 04, 2008, 09:46:41 AM
I was not referring Book 2, but the combined 2 book set (WTC I & WTC II) which is now available in UK.

Drat!  I really liked Fellner's book 1!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on January 16, 2009, 10:36:03 AM
Angela Hewitt's second recording (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=CDA67741/4) of the 48 will be released this year. I found this while listening to her first, so I have not listened to the samples yet.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 16, 2009, 12:21:49 PM
Angela Hewitt's second recording (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=CDA67741/4) of the 48 will be released this year. I found this while listening to her first, so I have not listened to the samples yet.

This surprises me very much since Hewitt's first go at it was just about 10 years ago.  I assume she has re-thought her interpretations and now has some new ideas for us.  Should be interesting, and I hope the new one's better than the first (which was pretty good but not outstanding).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 16, 2009, 01:45:14 PM
Quote
Bach, JS Well-tempered Clavier, Books 1 & 2 w/ Jill Crossland - Signum Records has just 'combined' this set into a 4-CD offering which I could not find offered in the USA (Amazon upped its price to nearly $42 per 2-CD books!) - so, for the first time ordering overseas, I just entered a purchase on the Signum UK site for the 4-CD TOTAL set - I think w/ the exchange rate (and S/H) the price will be just under $40!  :)

Now, Don (a.k.a. Bulldog) peaked my interest in this set, so expect to really enjoy!  ;D

Just duplicating a recent post of mine above about Crossland's WTC - have listened to this set several times already - decided to 'sell off' my first Hewitt WTC - the new 4-CD 'combined' offering by Signum Records is hard to match for price or performance!  :)

(http://www.signumrecords.com/images/sigcd136.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 16, 2009, 01:53:21 PM
Just duplicating a recent post of mine above about Crossland's WTC - have listened to this set several times already - decided to 'sell off' my first Hewitt WTC - the new 4-CD 'combined' offering by Signum Records is hard to match for price or performance!  :)

(http://www.signumrecords.com/images/sigcd136.jpg)

I still have my copies of Hewitt's WTC, but I also much prefer Crossland.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Josquin des Prez on January 16, 2009, 02:33:26 PM
Pah, forget Hewitt. What you need is Vladimir Feltsman.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Peregrine on January 16, 2009, 02:42:47 PM
Pah, forget Hewitt. What you need is Vladimir Feltsman.  ;D

Yeah, good set that.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 16, 2009, 02:43:08 PM
Pah, forget Hewitt. What you need is Vladimir Feltsman.  ;D

I hope it's better than Feltsman's odd and not satisfying Goldbergs with those horrible repeats.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Keemun on January 16, 2009, 03:26:19 PM
Just duplicating a recent post of mine above about Crossland's WTC - have listened to this set several times already - decided to 'sell off' my first Hewitt WTC - the new 4-CD 'combined' offering by Signum Records is hard to match for price or performance!  :)

(http://www.signumrecords.com/images/sigcd136.jpg)

I just found this set on Amazon.com at a pre-order price of $41.98 with free shipping (to be released in U.S. on Jan 27, 2009). 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Josquin des Prez on January 16, 2009, 03:54:57 PM
I hope it's better than Feltsman's odd and not satisfying Goldbergs with those horrible repeats.

I don't have his Goldbergs, but i can vouch for his Well Tempered Clavier, which is amazing.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 16, 2009, 04:47:47 PM
I don't have his Goldbergs, but i can vouch for his Well Tempered Clavier, which is amazing.

In the latest batch of offerings from MusicWeb for review, I requested Feltsman's WTC along with Sheppard's and Suzuki's Bk. 2.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I'm sent at least one of the three.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on January 16, 2009, 11:10:26 PM
Suzuki's Bk. 2. 

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

Since I already have Suzuki's Bk. 1, that offering won't do me much good.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on February 03, 2009, 01:02:33 AM
FYI: Crossland's set is on offer for $20 at MDT.
http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/Special%20Offers/SIGCD136.htm
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on February 03, 2009, 02:02:22 AM
Oh man, you guys haven't lived until you've heard Joyce Hatto's rendition!  ;D

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Feinberg-K04-3%5BTalents%5D.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 03, 2009, 06:08:24 AM
Oh man, you guys haven't lived until you've heard Joyce Hatto's rendition!  ;D


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

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



Which ones do you think are sublime?

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

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

I own the Walcha but I don't think I have ever listened to it. Your post may prompt me to so so!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on February 03, 2009, 07:17:16 AM
I feel a bit disappointed by the Gould -- but there surely must be some gold in there. Please point me in the right direction!

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

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

Which Richter? The studio one on RCA? I listened to the live at Insbruck (Book One) performance last night and it sounds a bit more spontaneous than the studio one. I haven't compared side by side, but I think that Feinberg may be my favorite for these works.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 03, 2009, 09:10:03 AM
I have my set uploaded to my computer at work. I find as background music it works well, since the ones that don't strike me are easily ignored and the better ones, I turn up the volume for. Still, I find it hard to listend to more than half a book at a time by anyone. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have had this DVD for years. So far it has given me zero pleasure -- but I think that's probably me, not it!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on February 03, 2009, 12:01:26 PM
On the whole, if forced to pick one set, I like Edwin Fischer's version the best. His interpretations are a bit romantic, as one would expect from the age (recorded in the 30s), but he seems to have a better intuitive feel for these pieces than anyone else I've heard. Everything seems to fall into place perfectly, and you (at least I) end up thinking, "THAT'S how it is meant to be played!" Purists and HIP fans will disagree, but I challenge them to listen to these recordings attentively and with an open mind for at least a couple of hours.

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

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

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

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 03, 2009, 06:56:43 PM
This 4-CD set I bought a few weeks ago has to be one of the best for WTC ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51V4H79X10L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: ezodisy on February 04, 2009, 01:08:57 AM
Which Richter? The studio one on RCA? I listened to the live at Insbruck (Book One)...

Or the live one from Moscow on Russian Revelation? I have that one, it is the earliest of his recordings (by a year or so). Don't think book 2 was ever released however (I would guess that it was performed).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: jwinter on February 04, 2009, 07:22:51 AM
The two I reach for most often, it seems, are Friedrich Gulda and Edward Aldwell.  Their choices of tempo always seem to work for me, and I like their clean style that makes all of the voices audible.  To my ear, they bring just the right amount of romanticism to these pieces, displaying emotional power without going over the edge into Richter-land.  I've also recently been checking out Tureck and Edwin Fischer -- excellent, though I still need to listen more to form a firm opinion.

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

 ;D

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

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

I will probably give the Gulda's set a try.  Unfortunately, the Book 1 and Book 2 come in two different Philips DUO's.  It would have been nicer had they been available in a single set.  Do you have both Books 1 & 2?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on February 05, 2009, 10:42:35 PM
I will probably give the Gulda's set a try.  Unfortunately, the Book 1 and Book 2 come in two different Philips DUO's.  It would have been nicer had they been available in a single set. 

Actually, they are (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/5358337).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: orbital on February 05, 2009, 11:19:54 PM
The two I reach for most often, it seems, are Friedrich Gulda and Edward Aldwell.  Their choices of tempo always seem to work for me, and I like their clean style that makes all of the voices audible.  To my ear, they bring just the right amount of romanticism to these pieces, displaying emotional power without going over the edge into Richter-land. 
Clean (I'd actually say sterile) yes, but I can't think of Gulda WTC associated with romanticism/emotional power at all  ;D
 When I want to hear a sober, straight up version without all the fancy embellishments, I go for Nikolayeva.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 06, 2009, 06:36:08 PM
Actually, they are (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/5358337).

Did Gulda record WTC twice?  I am only aware of the Books 1 and 2 available on 2 Philips DUO's ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 06, 2009, 06:38:07 PM
;D



I will be surprised if there is a better WTC recording out there than the one by Richter ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 06, 2009, 11:27:23 PM
I will be surprised if there is a better WTC recording out there than the one by Richter ...

Which one -- RCA studio or live in Insbrook?

(Hehehe George, I beat you to it)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on February 06, 2009, 11:54:21 PM
Did Gulda record WTC twice?  I am only aware of the Books 1 and 2 available on 2 Philips DUO's ...

Unlikely. (For Philips at least) The dates of recording of the two-fers is the same as that of complete set.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: haydnguy on February 07, 2009, 01:26:35 AM
Clean (I'd actually say sterile) yes, but I can't think of Gulda WTC associated with romanticism/emotional power at all  ;D
 When I want to hear a sober, straight up version without all the fancy embellishments, I go for Nikolayeva.

orbital, I have her AoF and enjoy it very much.I just checked on Amazon (u.s.) and there is only one available from a Marketplace seller of her WTC (both books) and it is in "used-very good" condition for $333.00!! :o  :-X    >:(
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 07, 2009, 11:33:54 AM
Which one -- RCA studio or live in Insbrook?

(Hehehe George, I beat you to it)

This is the set I bought

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51V4H79X10L._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on February 07, 2009, 06:17:09 PM
What a horrible cover. How does this recording compare to Richter's other WTCs?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 07, 2009, 06:30:56 PM
What a horrible cover. How does this recording compare to Richter's other WTCs?

I have to defer this question to George, our Richtervangelist ...   ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on February 07, 2009, 07:27:10 PM
I have to defer this question to George, our Richtervangelist ...   ;D

I haven't done a side by side, but the Insbruck live performance is certainly more extrovert and more spontaneous.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 08, 2009, 01:16:02 AM
I haven't done a side by side, but the Innsbruck live performance is certainly more extrovert and more spontaneous.

Well, I just listened to the B minor prelude and fugue from Book 1 from Innsbruck and on the RCA studio disc.

I agree with George when he says that the live Innsbruck is more extrovert. But I'm not sure that it sounds more spontaneous.

Both performances are great examples of Richter's art -- a strong sense of the pulse of the music, amazing colouration, beautiful dynamic shading, tremendous expression of the music's structure.

Timings for the two are about the same -- the RCA is just a few seconds longer.

The sound is dryer and more natural on the live recording that in the studio, which suffers from being rather reverberant (I have noticed it has been remastered.)

The studio B minor is very intense, especially in the prelude.  You get the feeling of a man alone at the piano playing for himself. There are some great pauses -- rests perfectly timed to produce a very dramatic effect. The overall feeling of this performance is dark and tragic -- that special richtarian cosmic tragedy, if you know what I mean.

By comparison, the Innsbruck live performance seems slightly to push the music forward more, even though the timings are roughly the same . I don't get the same dark mood projected. It's not light and joyful; but it lacks that feeling of cosmic tragedy.

So it's 1-0 for RCA in this first match: Innsbruck scores points for sound and liveliness, but the studio takes the match for "depth"





Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on February 08, 2009, 03:05:06 AM
Thanks for your comparision, Mandryka.  :)

When I said the Insbruck was more spontaneous, I meant it was more spontaneous from one prelude to the next, showing a nice contrast between the different P&F in the set.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on February 08, 2009, 05:28:45 AM
What about his recordings on Russian labels? I seem to remember seeing a couple different sets when I was in Russia in 2007.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 08, 2009, 06:48:53 AM
I think I would be wise to allocate enough funds to buy another 100 CD's by Sviatoslav Richter, given the number of his recordings out there.  But is it wise to buy the 100% Russian-made CD's as there may be a quality issue here?  At least with Brilliant Classics, the remastering is done in the west.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on February 08, 2009, 08:59:10 PM
Some of those 100% Russian CDs have priceless performances, and while many of them are not up to western standards of the time, I'd not trade them for anything. Same goes for Michelangeli's live performances (Membran 10 CD sets), many of which I find far more engrossing than his studio recordings.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: ezodisy on February 08, 2009, 11:54:05 PM
What about his recordings on Russian labels? I seem to remember seeing a couple different sets when I was in Russia in 2007.

Of the WTC? Well although the Trovar discography lists his Moscow performance of WTC Book 1 as being released solely on the enigmatic Russian Revelation label

Well-Tempered Clavier, book I
* (Moscow, 20 and 21 April 1969) on Revelation RV 20003 (CD)

 there is in fact an apparent second release of it here on the Russian Venezia label:

http://www.hmv.co.jp/product/detail/2557373

HMV Japan have some sort of special release of the RCA version too (what's an SHM CD?)

http://www.hmv.co.jp/product/detail/2765072
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Drasko on February 09, 2009, 03:06:35 AM
HMV Japan have some sort of special release of the RCA version too (what's an SHM CD?)

http://www.hmv.co.jp/product/detail/2765072

http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/music/essentials/shm-cd.html
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: dirkronk on February 09, 2009, 08:01:14 AM
I haven't done a side by side, but the Insbruck live performance is certainly more extrovert and more spontaneous.

The studio version is typically referred to as the Salzburg/Vienna set by old line Richtermaniacs such as yours truly, and although it is now available on CD from RCA, it was originally released on Melodiya and licensees (EMI/Angel and later Musical Heritage Society in the LP era). I mention this mainly because I wouldn't want newer fans to be expecting the same quality sonics as, say, Richter's studio Appassionata sonata from late 1960 or the Brahms PC#2 w/ Leinsdorf/Chicago, which were done by RCA's recording crews.

OK, so much for technical stuff. I can't provide a blow-by-blow description of Salzburg/Vienna vs. Innsbruck completes (vs. Moscow Bk. 1, which I haven't yet compared to the other two) but I do own them all (the Salzburg on LP only, the others on CD) and will tell you that the Salzburg is the one I'd opt for if some sadist were to force me to choose only one Richter version. However, if asked to put together my "ideal" WTC, I might well go with Richter/Salzburg for book 1 and Feinberg for book 2. Reason: I'm not so concerned about authenticity of early keyboard versions, but my ears love the amazingly astute, evocative and utterly beautiful phrasing that both Richter and Feinberg offer. All just IMHO of course.
 ;D

Dirk
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on February 09, 2009, 08:07:39 AM
Thanks dirk!

Once I finish my Schubert Sonatas by Richter backwards traversal, I plan to compare the WTC Salzburg and Insbruck more closely. I just finallly ordered the full Salzburg set yesterday.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 09, 2009, 09:03:49 AM

Is the RCA set a studio recording, or does it come from concerts in Austria?

I'd be interested to know whether anyone has tried the newly remastered RCA -- is there a big improvement?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: dirkronk on February 09, 2009, 09:26:10 AM
Thanks dirk!

Once I finish my Schubert Sonatas by Richter backwards traversal, I plan to compare the WTC Salzburg and Insbruck more closely. I just finallly ordered the full Salzburg set yesterday.

I'll be curious to get your reaction, George. I really should do an all-Richter WTC spinoff, so that I can speak more intelligently about the various full books (and of course the odds & ends found on various DGG and other releases, back in the day).

The last WTC comparison I did was an all-LP fest done years ago, with Richter/Salzburg easily topping Gould (who I felt was fascinating for about one LP side at a time, but whose metronomic presentation palled quickly thereafter--and thus I gave away my integral set to a friend who's a certified Gould maven) and Joao Carlos Martins (a very fine MOR version...not his later Tomato CD release but his early WTC, superbly recorded and released in the '60s or early '70s by BOTM Club records). At the time, these were the only complete WTCs I owned and it was only the Richter that could keep my attention engaged side after side, sometimes through the entire book.

Certainly I had to do some reassessment when I heard the Richter/Innsbruck and especially when I first heard Feinberg. My Innsbruck CDs are copies of the JVC/Japan set available several years back, and I do recall liking them a lot and remarking that many of the pieces did have that wonderful "live spark" so prevalent in Richter concerts. Still, the Salzburg remains my fave for the moment. However, after so many years, it may well be that I've simply imprinted on the Richter/Salzburg and that this has colored my preference--thus my curiosity about your opinion.

Cheers,

Dirk
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: dirkronk on February 09, 2009, 09:34:02 AM
Is the RCA set a studio recording, or does it come from concerts in Austria?

Wish I could tell you, Mandryka, but as I mentioned, my copies are on LP and thus at home (I keep all my CDs at work). Otherwise I'd put one on and see if I could detect coughs or end-of-piece applause. The online Richter discography I checked usually (not always) indicates if a recording was done "live" but that indication isn't made for the Salzburg/Vienna WTC. Maybe someone else here can answer definitively.

I too am curious to know about the sound quality of the RCA transfer. My EMI and MHS transfers on LP sound very good--though hardly audiophile quality--for their time, so I would expect the sonics on the RCA to be at least quite listenable.

Cheers,

Dirk
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 09, 2009, 09:47:21 AM
What's with the Richter obsession?  Sure, his WTC recordings are among the best piano versions on record, but he's not alone at the top of the mountain.  Gould, Sheppard, Crossland, Fellner and a few others are just as compelling.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: ezodisy on February 09, 2009, 10:40:20 AM
Fellner?

He's okay, in his own way, but let's not mention him next to Richter. It would be like comparing Anouk Aimee to some woman in a McDonald's advert
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on February 09, 2009, 10:45:06 AM
Is the RCA set a studio recording, or does it come from concerts in Austria?

I'd be interested to know whether anyone has tried the newly remastered RCA -- is there a big improvement?

RCA is a studio recording.

I can give you feedback in about a week and a half about the comparison of the remastered and unremastered Book one.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 09, 2009, 12:28:00 PM
Fellner?

He's okay, in his own way, but let's not mention him next to Richter. It would be like comparing Anouk Aimee to some woman in a McDonald's advert

Concerning Bach's WTC, Fellner stands tall next to Richter. 

The main point is that Bach is the key artist here, not Richter nor any other performer.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: ezodisy on February 09, 2009, 12:48:46 PM
well I couldn't disagree more, and you know I am not mad about Richter. The Fellner performance is just too smooth and too mild. Richter isn't perfect but he at least breathes life into the music (and of course Bach gets all the credit for it). I would respect Fellner quite a lot and wouldn't be saying this were it not for trying to compare his recording to Richter's (I might say the same about Crossland but don't know that one...) (http://operawebclub.com/papageno/style_emoticons/default/good.gif)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 09, 2009, 01:47:30 PM
well I couldn't disagree more, and you know I am not mad about Richter. The Fellner performance is just too smooth and too mild. Richter isn't perfect but he at least breathes life into the music (and of course Bach gets all the credit for it). I would respect Fellner quite a lot and wouldn't be saying this were it not for trying to compare his recording to Richter's (I might say the same about Crossland but don't know that one...) (http://operawebclub.com/papageno/style_emoticons/default/good.gif)

As I indicated earlier, my main reason for posting here today is simply to state that Bach trumps any performer of his music.  When I saw that this thread about Bach's WTC was turning into a Richter love-fest, I wanted to add my two cents worth that, and I'll be as diplomatic as possible, one Bach is worth a thousand Richters, or Turecks, or Goulds, etc. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: ezodisy on February 09, 2009, 02:56:03 PM
Agreed, Bach for ever.

(Feinberg love-fest starts at 14.30 tomorrow)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 09, 2009, 03:50:45 PM
Agreed, Bach for ever.

(Feinberg love-fest starts at 14.30 tomorrow)

Rocky Mountain time?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on February 09, 2009, 03:54:33 PM
I think this idea of the composer's importance vs the performers importance would be interesting to discuss, so I started a thread:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,10994.0.html
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on February 09, 2009, 05:25:25 PM
As I indicated earlier, my main reason for posting here today is simply to state that Bach trumps any performer of his music.  When I saw that this thread about Bach's WTC was turning into a Richter love-fest, I wanted to add my two cents worth that, and I'll be as diplomatic as possible, one Bach is worth a thousand Richters, or Turecks, or Goulds, etc. 

I rather enjoyed the good read. Especially dirk's contributions (he's always a worthwhile read). Besides, diversions like these are usually only temporary. Then it's back to...whatever.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 09, 2009, 07:32:22 PM
As I indicated earlier, my main reason for posting here today is simply to state that Bach trumps any performer of his music.  

IMO, not only does Bach trump any performer of his music, he trumps all other composers as well.  He is the greatest of all composers of all time, dead or alive.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 09, 2009, 09:41:05 PM
IMO, not only does Bach trump any performer of his music, he trumps all other composers as well. 

Seconded.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 09, 2009, 10:07:41 PM
RCA is a studio recording.

I can give you feedback in about a week and a half about the comparison of the remastered and unremastered Book one.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 09, 2009, 10:12:22 PM
. . . at the top of the mountain [is] Gould . . .

People often say this -- but, as I've said before in this forum, I've never enjoyed that Gould set.

You obviously like it, Bulldog.

Please, point out some of the Preludes and Fugues in the set which really work sor you, so that I can give them a good relistening to.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 10, 2009, 09:18:22 AM
People often say this -- but, as I've said before in this forum, I've never enjoyed that Gould set.

You obviously like it, Bulldog.

Please, point out some of the Preludes and Fugues in the set which really work sor you, so that I can give them a good relistening to.

Time is limited, so I'll just mention Gould's Bk. 1 performances I find exceptional:

Prelude in C major
Fugue in D major
Prelude & Fugue in D minor
Prelude & Fugue in E flat major
Prelude in E flat minor
Fugue in D sharp minor
Prelude in E major
Prelude & Fugue in F sharp major
Fugue in G minor
Prelude in G sharp minor
Fugue in A major
Prelude in B flat major
Prelude & Fugue in B flat minor

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 10, 2009, 09:33:18 AM
Time is limited, so I'll just mention Gould's Bk. 1 performances I find exceptional:

Prelude in C major
Fugue in D major
Prelude & Fugue in D minor
Prelude & Fugue in E flat major
Prelude in E flat minor
Fugue in D sharp minor
Prelude in E major
Prelude & Fugue in F sharp major
Fugue in G minor
Prelude in G sharp minor
Fugue in A major
Prelude in B flat major
Prelude & Fugue in B flat minor



Thanks -- I'll relisten.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 10, 2009, 06:26:38 PM
Time is limited, so I'll just mention Gould's Bk. 1 performances I find exceptional:

Prelude in C major
Fugue in D major
Prelude & Fugue in D minor
Prelude & Fugue in E flat major
Prelude in E flat minor
Fugue in D sharp minor
Prelude in E major
Prelude & Fugue in F sharp major
Fugue in G minor
Prelude in G sharp minor
Fugue in A major
Prelude in B flat major
Prelude & Fugue in B flat minor



Are these selections also available in that 80-CD set released by Sony?  I bought that set last year at a great price.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 10, 2009, 09:57:20 PM
Are these selections also available in that 80-CD set released by Sony?  I bought that set last year at a great price.

Woulldn't it be marvelously ironic if they weren't? ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 11, 2009, 06:36:42 PM
Woulldn't it be marvelously ironic if they weren't? ;D

In the good old LP days, I almost never bought any Columbia and for that matter any American labels.  I would reluctantly buy some Angel LP's since EMI were not widely available then.  The surface noise of American-pressing classical LP's was just atrocious.  As such, the few thousand LP's I now have are almost exclusively European and why not.  After all, I found few American ensembles particularly appealing.  When it came to baroque music, most European ensembles were just much better and still are.   
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 13, 2009, 10:32:59 AM
Has anyone ever heard the WTC by Jill Crossland?

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/SIGCD136.jpg)



Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on February 13, 2009, 10:37:50 AM
Has anyone ever heard the WTC by Jill Crossland?

Don (Bulldog) has, and recently, so too has Dave (SonicMan). Some of the posts in previous pages of this thread should contain their views on the set.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 13, 2009, 02:44:16 PM
Don (Bulldog) has, and recently, so too has Dave (SonicMan). Some of the posts in previous pages of this thread should contain their views on the set.

Don responded to my inquiry in a different thread.  I will get the WTC set by Jill Crossland.  Many of the smaller English labels are such bargains at MDT lately due to the recent strength of the dollar.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 23, 2009, 09:58:13 PM
HAve any of you guys heard Daniel Ben Pienaar play WTC?

It sounds great to me -- expressive and virtuosic.

You can hear it for free here:

http://magnatune.com/artists/albums/dbp-wtc1a/
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 24, 2009, 09:23:33 AM
Has anyone ever heard the WTC by Jill Crossland?

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/SIGCD136.jpg)

Oops - comin' in late to this post & issues may have been answered, but Don & I posted back on pg. 5 of this thread, and also in the 'listening thread' - this set has received superlative reviews in Fanfare, MusicWeb, & the Signum website, the latter quotes; and the price for me was hard to beat packaged as a 4-CD offering!  Dave  :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 24, 2009, 05:43:51 PM
HAve any of you guys heard Daniel Ben Pienaar play WTC?

It sounds great to me -- expressive and virtuosic.

You can hear it for free here:

http://magnatune.com/artists/albums/dbp-wtc1a/

It sounds quite good and very expressive.  It does not look like the CD's are available on either Amazon or MDT though ....
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 25, 2009, 08:02:47 AM
It sounds quite good and very expressive.  It does not look like the CD's are available on either Amazon or MDT though ....

While your at it check the cello suites by Vito Paternoster on magnatunes -- again expressive and interesting.

I think magnatunes is always sole supplier oftheir artists.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Dr. Dread on February 25, 2009, 12:59:15 PM
Just ordered the Gould.

Uh...he only recorded one cycle, right?  ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 25, 2009, 01:12:08 PM
Just ordered the Gould.

Uh...he only recorded one cycle, right?  ;D

That's what we've been told. :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Dr. Dread on February 25, 2009, 01:19:53 PM
That's what we've been told. :D

Phew. I hate being told I ordered the "wrong" one.  ::)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 27, 2009, 07:17:29 AM
Well, for piano I now (after much culling over the years) own Jill Crossland in both Books (excellent value box package at present) & Book I w/ Craig Sheppard (his book II is out & will likely be a purchase).  :)

Now, I still have no 'harpsichord' version - I know many have already been discussed on this thread which goes back to '07 - I've been tracking these (and others) and seem to have Wilson & Dantone on my 'wish list' - the Wilson discs are too expensive & Dantone gets a mixed rating on Amazon HERE (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_m?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=bach+well+tempered+clavier+dantone&x=0&y=0), but the Marketplace prices are acceptable.

So, how about an 'update' for the WTC on harpsichord - are the same contenders 'in the ring'?  Any 'new ones' or 're-issues' out there in the last 2 years?  And, finally whatever is listed, are the sets available in the US or in Europe at decent prices?  Thanks.  :)


(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/SIGCD136.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/411OtHm1gqL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 27, 2009, 09:21:43 AM
Now, I still have no 'harpsichord' version - I know many have already been discussed on this thread which goes back to '07 - I've been tracking these (and others) and seem to have Wilson & Dantone on my 'wish list' - the Wilson discs are too expensive & Dantone gets a mixed rating on Amazon HERE (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_m?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=bach+well+tempered+clavier+dantone&x=0&y=0), but the Marketplace prices are acceptable.

So, how about an 'update' for the WTC on harpsichord - are the same contenders 'in the ring'?  Any 'new ones' or 're-issues' out there in the last 2 years?  And, finally whatever is listed, are the sets available in the US or in Europe at decent prices?  Thanks.  :)

These are the newer WTC's I'm aware of:

Suzuki - Bk. 2/BIS
Watchorn - Bk. 1/Musica Omnia
Egarr - Bk. 1/Harmonia Mundi

All three are available; Watchorn is the least expensive ($16).  Suzuki and Watchorn would be my picks of the three, but neither reaches the Wilson.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 27, 2009, 09:35:21 AM
These are the newer WTC's I'm aware of:

Suzuki - Bk. 2/BIS
Watchorn - Bk. 1/Musica Omnia
Egarr - Bk. 1/Harmonia Mundi

All three are available; Watchorn is the least expensive ($16).  Suzuki and Watchorn would be my picks of the three, but neither reaches the Wilson.

... and this (beautiful) one by Katherine Roberts Perl on Magnatune (Bk. 2):

http://www.magnatune.com/artists/albums/kperl-clavier1/
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 27, 2009, 11:50:51 AM
... and this (beautiful) one by Katherine Roberts Perl on Magnatune (Bk. 2):

http://www.magnatune.com/artists/albums/kperl-clavier1/

Thanks - a good supply of samples.  Certainly sounds lovely and first-rate on initial listening.

I'm modifying this just to add that I also checked out the samples from Perl's French Suites - also very enticing.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 27, 2009, 12:48:42 PM
You are welcome, Don.

She's a great American harpsichordist.

Fortunatelly these recordings will be largely available, although her previous CDs are impossible to find  :-\.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 27, 2009, 02:25:30 PM
Don & Antoine - thanks for the additional comments and recommendation; Glenn Wilson still is at the top of my 'want list' in these works on harpsichord, but 'Arkiv Music' wants basically $30 per book!  Oh well, think that I'll wait a little longer - BTW, I know these names have come up before - Kenneth Gilbert on harpsichord & Ralph Kirkpatrick on clavichord (seems to be just one of the books for each?) - thanks all!  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/317KDF8TK8L._SL500_AA180_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 27, 2009, 03:37:17 PM
BTW, Sonic, my own favorite version is played by Jaroslav Tůma (Arta Records) on clavichord.

I recommended it in other thread, but actually is almost unknown, although the Bk. 1 was previously edited on Supraphon.

And here some examples from You Tube:

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: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 27, 2009, 04:20:15 PM
BTW, Sonic, my own favorite version is played by Jaroslav Tůma (Arta Records) on clavichord.

I recommended it in other thread, but actually is almost unknown, although the Bk. 1 was previously edited on Supraphon.

And here some examples from You Tube:


Antoine - thanks for the additional information, and I do remember the performer above - on my laptop now, so can't really appreciate the performances unless I plug in some earphones; however, I was just checking Amazon - seems to be a lot of interesting offerings by this artist on the clavichord but most are OOP and being offered at escalated prices - any sources that you may know worth pursuing @ a decent price?  Dave
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 27, 2009, 05:01:03 PM
Don & Antoine - thanks for the additional comments and recommendation; Glenn Wilson still is at the top of my 'want list' in these works on harpsichord, but 'Arkiv Music' wants basically $30 per book!  Oh well, think that I'll wait a little longer - BTW, I know these names have come up before - Kenneth Gilbert on harpsichord & Ralph Kirkpatrick on clavichord (seems to be just one of the books for each?) - thanks all!  :D


Both Kirkpatrick Bks. are for sale on ArkivMusic.  The Wilson price might seem high, but music making this good is certainly worth it.  Of course, that's easy for me to say since I've got them already.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 27, 2009, 05:07:42 PM
The compressed formats are rather unfair with some subtle sonorities. But the four discs recorded by Tůma have excellent SQ.

AFAIK, Dave, the best options to buy these recordings are two:

jpc:

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann%20Sebastian%20Bach%3A%20Das%20Wohltemperierte%20Klavier%201%202/hnum/2061729

Arta Records:

http://www.arta.cz/index.php?p=f10165en&site=en

I bought my own set in the latter, together with other four or five discs because they were very cheap. My only problem was to learn how much is one Czech crown. They charged the price in dollars to my credit card, using a secure server.


 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 01, 2009, 01:42:22 PM
I sometimes wonder if Glenn Gould's performance of WTC really deserves all the accolate.  The bottomline is whether Glenn Gould performed WTC as Bach had intended ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on March 01, 2009, 02:12:11 PM
I sometimes wonder if Glenn Gould's performance of WTC really deserves all the accolate.  The bottomline is whether Glenn Gould performed WTC as Bach had intended ...

No pianist performs/can perform the WTC the way Bach intended....

So I have no problem when a pianist puts his own mark on it, not even to the extent Gould does. Why not go all the way? As long as it's brilliantly done. :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 01, 2009, 02:25:35 PM
No pianist performs/can perform the WTC the way Bach intended....

So I have no problem when a pianist puts his own mark on it, not even to the extent Gould does. Why not go all the way? As long as it's brilliantly done. :)

Q

WTC was originally written for harpsichord, as piano did not even exist during Bach lifetime ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on March 01, 2009, 02:26:23 PM
WTC was originally written for harpsichord, as piano did not even exist during Bach lifetime ...

My point exactly! :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 01, 2009, 02:31:42 PM
My point exactly! :)

Q

So which version of WTC performed on harpsichord is considered top of its class?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on March 01, 2009, 02:48:32 PM
So which version of WTC performed on harpsichord is considered top of its class?

The answers to that question are already to be found in this very thread, like HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,768.msg16055.html#msg16055) or HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,768.msg230134.html#msg230134).

And on lots of WTC discussions on the Bach harpsichord thread (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.0.html) and HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg133655.html#msg133655).

And Mn Dave had the same question the other day, discussed on the Bach chamber music thread HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,1081.msg280121.html#msg280121).

Have fun reading up on all this. ;D

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 01, 2009, 04:35:33 PM
I sometimes wonder if Glenn Gould's performance of WTC really deserves all the accolate.  The bottomline is whether Glenn Gould performed WTC as Bach had intended ...

When you have the answer to that one, you'll be one very famous man.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on March 02, 2009, 07:10:24 AM
When you have the answer to that one, you'll be one very famous man.

If you have to be fair Don, what do you think the answer is.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Dr. Dread on March 02, 2009, 07:13:48 AM
I'm sure he'd wonder what all the humming's about.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on March 02, 2009, 07:15:49 AM
I'm sure he'd wonder what all the humming's about.  ;D

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 02, 2009, 10:46:19 AM
If you have to be fair Don, what do you think the answer is.

Just speculating, but I'd say no.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 03, 2009, 06:21:39 PM
I think Glenn Gould performed Bach keyboard works while he was humming was comparable to Herbert von Karajan conducting with his eyes closed.  They were both eccentric ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: sTisTi on March 06, 2009, 11:10:16 AM
I think Glenn Gould performed Bach keyboard works while he was humming was comparable to Herbert von Karajan conducting with his eyes closed.  They were both eccentric ...
Yes, but at least you don't hear Karajan's closed eyes on his recordings ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 06, 2009, 06:45:41 PM
Yes, but at least you don't hear Karajan's closed eyes on his recordings ;D

But you will see it when you watch the DVD and I have quite a few of these concerts on DVD ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: nut-job on March 15, 2009, 07:36:12 PM

I just read that Angela Hewitt has recorded the Well Tempered Clavier again!  I have her original set and I like it, but I thought one virtue of it is that it is rather neutral, it lets Bach's polyphony speak for itself.  What's the point of doing it again?
 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Renfield on March 15, 2009, 07:39:45 PM
A looser, slightly less neutral approach, from what I've gathered.

I'm certainly awaiting it eagerly, as I found her original one just a little bit too uptight. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: nut-job on March 15, 2009, 07:57:07 PM
A looser, slightly less neutral approach, from what I've gathered.

I'm certainly awaiting it eagerly, as I found her original one just a little bit too uptight. :)

Get Schiff then.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Renfield on March 15, 2009, 10:06:49 PM
Get Schiff then.  ;)

:D

I've actually contemplated Schiff; my WTC collection (or Bach collection, for that matter) is quite limited*.


*That is, I have Edwin Fischer, Tureck on DG, Gould, Hewitt and Richter, IIRC.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: springrite on March 15, 2009, 10:20:51 PM
:D



*That is, I have Edwin Fischer, Tureck on DG, Gould, Hewitt and Richter, IIRC.

Any time you use IIRC to speak of your collection of recordings of a particular piece, you have more than a limited collection.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Lethevich on March 15, 2009, 10:36:20 PM
She explains it here (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=CDA67741/4).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 16, 2009, 02:50:03 AM
:D

I've actually contemplated Schiff; my WTC collection (or Bach collection, for that matter) is quite limited*.


*That is, I have Edwin Fischer, Tureck on DG, Gould, Hewitt and Richter, IIRC.

How do you like the Tureck?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 16, 2009, 06:11:22 AM
I just read that Angela Hewitt has recorded the Well Tempered Clavier again!  I have her original set and I like it, but I thought one virtue of it is that it is rather neutral, it lets Bach's polyphony speak for itself.  What's the point of doing it again?
 

When performers go back and record a work a second time, they feel they have something new to say.  Hantai and Schiff felt this way about the Goldberg Variations, and their second efforts certainly bear this out. 

Hewitt's not my idea of essential Bach, so I doubt I'll be acquiring her new set.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 16, 2009, 06:18:28 AM
I've actually contemplated Schiff; my WTC collection (or Bach collection, for that matter) is quite limited*.

This (http://www.amazon.de/S%C3%A4mtliche-Grossen-Werke-Klavier-Solo/dp/B001DTA8QS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1237212957&sr=8-1) might be for you. Or maybe not. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: nut-job on March 16, 2009, 06:38:28 AM
This (http://www.amazon.de/S%C3%A4mtliche-Grossen-Werke-Klavier-Solo/dp/B001DTA8QS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1237212957&sr=8-1) might be for you. Or maybe not. :)

I have that, but in the previous Decca incarnation, excellent.  But following that link was a godsend, because I stumbled on this (http://www.amazon.de/Brendel-spielt-Schubert-Alfred/dp/B001BNQJDC/ref=pd_bxgy_m_img_b).

It seems to be available in Germany only.   ???
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 16, 2009, 06:53:03 AM
But following that link was a godsend, because I stumbled on this (http://www.amazon.de/Brendel-spielt-Schubert-Alfred/dp/B001BNQJDC/ref=pd_bxgy_m_img_b).

It seems to be available in Germany only.   ???

[Off-topic] Those Eloquence boxes do look appealing. I don't mind them being available only in Germany, but it's the shipping cost that really bums me out. (Maybe, once I choose enough of these boxes, I'll order them together. ;D) The availability of the Brendel/Schubert is not new to me, but the Haskil/Mozart was. I hear that she's wonderful in that repertoire. [/off-topic]
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Renfield on March 16, 2009, 08:06:38 AM
This (http://www.amazon.de/S%C3%A4mtliche-Grossen-Werke-Klavier-Solo/dp/B001DTA8QS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1237212957&sr=8-1) might be for you. Or maybe not. :)

:o

Many thanks! And that thing's cheaper than the WTC alone, this side of the English Channel.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: nut-job on March 16, 2009, 08:42:23 AM
[Off-topic] Those Eloquence boxes do look appealing. I don't mind them being available only in Germany, but it's the shipping cost that really bums me out. (Maybe, once I choose enough of these boxes, I'll order them together. ;D) The availability of the Brendel/Schubert is not new to me, but the Haskil/Mozart was. I hear that she's wonderful in that repertoire. [/off-topic]

Well, 19 Euros seems like a bargain (after the VAT is removed) but they want 14 Euro to dispatch it to the states.  That supplied the willpower to resist it.  Hard to understand why shipping from Germany to the US is so much more expensive an inconvenient than from the UK.   The one time I did order stuff from Germany it was similarly expensive, took ages, and looked like it had been thrown out of the plane without a parachute when it finally arrived.  Even shipping from Australia to the US is tons cheaper and faster.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 16, 2009, 09:21:04 AM
Well, 19 Euros seems like a bargain (after the VAT is removed) but they want 14 Euro to dispatch it to the state.  That supplied the willpower to resist it. 


Even with that funky, Van Morrison-esque cover?  ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Renfield on March 17, 2009, 01:52:56 AM
How do you like the Tureck?

Whoops, I missed this.

Well, Tureck. Tureck's WTC is one of those recordings I tremendously appreciate, but somehow do not love (yet, perhaps).

So far, my WTC-affections have been held almost exclusively by Edwin Fischer, with some digressions into modern territory courtesy of Hewitt, dips into the Richter, and occasional sessions of Gould. But with Schiff on the way, I might as well revisit them all again! :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: nut-job on March 17, 2009, 07:13:12 AM
Whoops, I missed this.

Well, Tureck. Tureck's WTC is one of those recordings I tremendously appreciate, but somehow do not love (yet, perhaps).

So far, my WTC-affections have been held almost exclusively by Edwin Fischer, with some digressions into modern territory courtesy of Hewitt, dips into the Richter, and occasional sessions of Gould. But with Schiff on the way, I might as well revisit them all again! :D

In the Schiff set the partitas are particularly fascinating.  Don't restrict yourself to the preludes and fugues.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Renfield on March 17, 2009, 06:11:15 PM
In the Schiff set the partitas are particularly fascinating.  Don't restrict yourself to the preludes and fugues.


I am planning to make a point of going through the whole set. On most occasions, I simply dip into Bach's keyboard works (mostly the WTC and the Goldbergs), but this provides an opportunity to go the proverbial extra mile, I think. :) Incidentally, thanks are in order to yourself, as well, for the initial Schiff recommendation that I was anyway planning to follow up at some point, when opus67 alerted me to the offer.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 17, 2009, 07:28:11 PM
I just do not understand why the Schiff set is ONLY available in Germany?
 >:(
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: nut-job on March 17, 2009, 08:16:48 PM
I just do not understand why the Schiff set is ONLY available in Germany?
 >:(

It happens.  A similar set is available internationally, but for a lot more money.

The only thing I don't like from that set is the Goldberg Variations.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on May 23, 2009, 10:59:42 AM
Pieter-Jan Belder/Harpsichord/Brilliant Classics

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/93892.jpg)

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/CD/93892.htm

Has anyone heard it yet?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2009, 11:09:16 AM
Pieter-Jan Belder/Harpsichord/Brilliant Classics

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/93892.jpg)

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/CD/93892.htm

Has anyone heard it yet?

No...it is not yet released in UK. 

Listening to the Blandine Verlet set instead.  :)

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Verlet-B01%5BAstree%5D.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2009, 11:18:27 AM
To be followed by a disc from Moroney's harmonia mundi set.

Todd McComb of medieval.org fame has the following praise for Moroney's WTC:

"Although there are several good recordings of WTC (whereas I claim
that, for instance, Moroney's is the only good recording of AOF), and
although I did not think that Moroney's recording stood out from these
on first hearing, after a few years' acquaintance, I also find his WTC
to be the richest and most convincing.  However, I am unsure as to
whether someone struggling to enjoy these pieces on harpsichord will
enjoy the Moroney recording as much as some others -- part of what makes
his recording so convincing over the long-term is that it is so
idiomatic for the harpsichord, even to the level of phrasing.  It's
quite a revelation, actually.

That said, Moroney's WTC recording is easily my favorite Bach
recording -- the one I get the most out of, time after time. "

(http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/8692/72864449.jpg)


Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 11:26:36 AM
No...it is not yet released in UK. 

Listening to the Blandine Verlet set instead.  :)

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Verlet-B01%5BAstree%5D.jpg)


 

Didn't Belder have some earlier WTC discs that were incorporated into that mammoth 155-CD Bach Collection set released by Brilliant two years ago?  I bought that set ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2009, 11:57:32 AM
 

Didn't Belder have some earlier WTC discs that were incorporated into that mammoth 155-CD Bach Collection set released by Brilliant two years ago?  I bought that set ...

Leon Berben was the player of that recording.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on May 23, 2009, 11:58:39 AM
 

Didn't Belder have some earlier WTC discs that were incorporated into that mammoth 155-CD Bach Collection set released by Brilliant two years ago?  I bought that set ...

No, the WTC Book I & II in the Brilliant "complete" Bach box is performed by Leon Berben. His is the most sloppy recording of the WTC I ever have heard. Always, but especially in the works with many accidentals there are abundant lots of wrong notes, completely spoiling the music. To be avoided.

Belder have recorded the WTC I & II in the mid 1990es for some small Dutch firm, whose name I do not recall. Book II is OOP. I own Book I, and regret to say, that I do not intend to write home about it.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on May 23, 2009, 12:01:39 PM
Pieter-Jan Belder/Harpsichord/Brilliant Classics

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/93892.jpg)

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/CD/93892.htm

Has anyone heard it yet?

Ooh, his second recording of that work? Hopefully better, than his first.
Or is it a new recording at all?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2009, 12:04:34 PM
No, the WTC Book I & II in the Brilliant "complete" Bach box is performed by Leon Berben. His is the most sloppy recording of the WTC I ever have heard. Always, but especially in the works with many accidentals there are abundant lots of wrong notes, completely spoiling the music. To be avoided.

Belder have recorded the WTC I & II in the mid 1990es for some small Dutch firm, whose name I do not recall. Book II is OOP. I own Book I, and regret to say, that I do not intend to write home about it.

It appears, then, that Berben recorded his WTC as sight-readings.  Brilliant idea. >:D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on May 23, 2009, 12:09:56 PM
It appears, then, that Berben recorded his WTC as sight-readings.  Brilliant idea. >:D

No, I do not think so. I think he did, what he was able to, but that he did not master the job.
But I do not understand, why it was published.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2009, 12:19:19 PM
But I do not understand, why it was puplished.

To show that the collection was originally compiled by Bach for pedagogical purposes?  >:D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 12:23:02 PM
Leon Berben was the player of that recording.

Belder was on a good number of discs in that mega box ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2009, 12:26:45 PM
Belder was on a good number of discs in that mega box ...

So?  Berben should have his name remembered for making what is likely the sloppiest WTC on record.... :o
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 12:28:20 PM
I will add that Belder's upcoming WTC set on my shopping list ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2009, 12:30:49 PM
I will add that Belder's upcoming WTC set on my shopping list ...

I will take a pass.  To me he is better as a recorder player.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 12:32:44 PM
I will take a pass.  To me he is better as a recorder player.
 

You mean Belder does not specialize in harpsichord? 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2009, 12:36:35 PM
 

You mean Belder does not specialize in harpsichord? 

No he doesn't.  His earliest recordings for BC are of music for recorders.

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/00/920700.jpg)
 


Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 12:39:11 PM
No he doesn't.  His earliest recordings for BC are of music for recorders.

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/00/920700.jpg)
 




So Belder is Jack of all trades, master of none?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2009, 12:40:38 PM
So Belder is Jack of all trades, master of none?

As I said I prefer him as a recorder player... But your mileage may vary.   :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 12:42:28 PM
As I said I prefer him as a recorder player...
 

I will take a pass as well.  I want to listen to performance by a specialist.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2009, 12:47:16 PM
I will take a pass as well.  I want to listen to performance by a specialist.

Well our premont specialises in Bach recordings on historical keyboards, so you may find his advice re: Belder valuable.  :)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 12:51:46 PM
Well our premont specialises in Bach recordings on historical keyboards, so you may find his advice re: Belder valuable.  :)



It appears he shares my sentiment for once.  I do think a musician who is a "Jack of all trades, master of none" will bother some people.  I will stick with Bob van Asperen ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on May 23, 2009, 12:52:56 PM
 

I will take a pass as well.  I want to listen to performance by a specialist.

Tsss. Sorry, but that is truly unfair to Belder. I admit that he failed to convince me with his Scarlatti or his Bach, but he sounded like a very good harpsichordist in both. And his Soler rocks: it is superb.
He graduated at the Hague Royal Conservatory under Bob van Asperen! ::)

Q

Edit: I meant Bach, not Couperin.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2009, 12:56:07 PM
Tsss. Sorry, but that is truly unfair to Belder. I admit that he failed to convince me with his Scarlatti or his Couperin, but he sounded like a very good harpsichordist in both. And his Soler rocks: it is superb.

Q

Perhaps coopmv would be better off spending his Belder money on some Soler....
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 12:57:52 PM
Perhaps coopmv would be better off spending his Belder money on some Soler....

Refresh my memory, is Soler the so called Spanish JS Bach?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 23, 2009, 01:01:21 PM
Refresh my memory, is Soler the so called Spanish JS Bach?

I have never heard that before; do you have a source?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 01:09:50 PM
I have never heard that before; do you have a source?

I think I saw the reference of Antonio Soler as the Spanish Bach somewhere on the web.  Johann Helmich Roman is often referred to as the Swedish Handel and I have a good number of his recordings, which are quite difficult to find.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on May 23, 2009, 01:10:13 PM
Refresh my memory, is Soler the so called Spanish JS Bach?

Wrong period, Soler is more like an early Classical (or transitional Baroque/Classical) variety of Domenico Scarlatti.

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 01:12:29 PM
Wrong period, Soler is more like an early Classical (or transitional Baroque/Classical) variety of Domenico Scarlatti.

Q

The Baroque era ended with the death of Handel in 1759 ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Soler
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on May 23, 2009, 01:16:34 PM
The Baroque era ended with the death of Handel in 1759 ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Soler

So? Soler lived to 1783. Quote from "your" wiki: "Antonio Francisco Javier José Soler Ramos, usually known as Padre Antonio Soler, (December 3, 1729 (baptized) – December 20, 1783) was a Spanish composer whose works span the late Baroque and early Classical music eras..

And apart from the numerology, and more importantly: it sounds transitional.

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 01:34:10 PM
So? Soler lived to 1783. Quote from "your" wiki: "Antonio Francisco Javier José Soler Ramos, usually known as Padre Antonio Soler, (December 3, 1729 (baptized) – December 20, 1783) was a Spanish composer whose works span the late Baroque and early Classical music eras..

And apart from the numerology, and more importantly: it sounds transitional.

Q
   

You have to check with William Boyce to see if he objects to being called a baroque composer ...    ;D  ;D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Boyce
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 23, 2009, 02:06:51 PM
Tsss. Sorry, but that is truly unfair to Belder. I admit that he failed to convince me with his Scarlatti or his Bach, but he sounded like a very good harpsichordist in both. And his Soler rocks: it is superb.
He graduated at the Hague Royal Conservatory under Bob van Asperen! ::)

Q

Edit: I meant Bach, not Couperin.

I totally agree with Que.

Pieter Jan Belder is a true harsichordist and many times a great harpsichordist, for instance in Soler.

I like his Bach recordings too. For example, his Italian Concerto and his Goldbergs are excellent.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 02:13:50 PM
I totally agree with Que.

Pieter Jan Belder is a true harsichordist and many times a great harpsichordist, for instance in Soler.

I like his Bach recordings too. For example, his Italian Concerto and his Goldbergs are excellent.


 

We are dealing with cultural issue here in that we have been taught to believe if a musician plays more than one instrument, he cannot be a specialist in either ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 23, 2009, 02:31:48 PM
 

We are dealing with cultural issue here in that we have been taught to believe if a musician plays more than one instrument, he cannot be a specialist in either ...

IMO, Coop, the issue is that we just believe in specialists and professionals. Therefore, "amateur" and "dilettante", for example, are pejorative words.

But what reason in the world forbids to have skills in two musical instruments?

Obviously, the case of Pieter-Jan Belder is different because he has veritable academic credentials in both instruments.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on May 23, 2009, 02:37:01 PM
We are dealing with cultural issue here in that we have been taught to believe if a musician plays more than one instrument, he cannot be a specialist in either ...

Where did you get that idea?  I never heard of it, and it makes no sense at all.

How about conductors who play one or more instruments?  Or composers who play an instrument *and* conduct?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Marc on May 23, 2009, 03:15:15 PM
[....]
Belder have recorded the WTC I & II in the mid 1990es for some small Dutch firm, whose name I do not recall. Book II is OOP. I own Book I, and regret to say, that I do not intend to write home about it.

Must have been part of the Erasmus catalogue. Owner was Wijnand van Hooff. All the Erasmus CD's did get a WH labelnumber.
Unfortunately this budget-label didn't survive. It supported mainly young and talented Dutch musicians. Not all the recordings were that good, I think, but in a way Erasmus paved the way for Brilliant Classics.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 03:18:02 PM
Must have been part of the Erasmus catalogue. Owner was Wijnand van Hooff. All the Erasmus CD's did get a WH labelnumber.
Unfortunately this budget-label didn't survive. It supported mainly young and talented Dutch musicians. Not all the recordings were that good, I think, but in a way Erasmus paved the way for Brilliant Classics.
 

Is Brilliant Classics Dutch?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Marc on May 23, 2009, 03:26:30 PM
Is Brilliant Classics Dutch?

I always thought so. ;D
Their CD's are made by Joan Records, a company in Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 23, 2009, 03:28:48 PM
 
Is Brilliant Classics Dutch?

Stuart - of course! And, I think that Harry owns the company!  ;) ;D  Dave
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 03:40:42 PM
I always thought so. ;D
Their CD's are made by Joan Records, a company in Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands.
 

At least I am getting genuine 100% Dutch products when I buy Brilliant.  Unlike this company Prima Luna that bills its products as Dutch when they are all made in China ...

http://www.primaluna-usa.com/reviews.htm
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 23, 2009, 03:42:13 PM
Stuart - of course! And, I think that Harry owns the company!  ;) ;D  Dave
 

We should be honored to rub virtual shoulders with Harry ...   ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on May 24, 2009, 12:22:48 AM
It appears that this is Belder's second go at it. JPC says "Label: Brilliant, DDD, 2008".

At least I am getting genuine 100% Dutch products when I buy Brilliant.

Not when they have licensed recordings from, say, a German company and burnt them onto a Taiwanese-made CD. ::)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 24, 2009, 12:30:22 AM

Not when they have licensed recordings from, say, a German company and burnt them onto a Taiwanese-made CD. ::)

Do Brilliant Classics burn or press their CD's?  The best blanks for burning for me are the Maxell ones for music, and the ones for sale in EU at least are made in Hungary.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on May 24, 2009, 12:38:02 AM
Do Brilliant Classics burn or press their CD's?  The best blanks for burning for me are the Maxell ones for music, and the ones for sale in EU at least are made in Hungary.

Okay, okay: pressed them onto Taiwanese-made CD.

Happy? ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 24, 2009, 12:51:21 AM
Okay, okay: pressed them onto Taiwanese-made CD.

At least I know I am not getting CD-R's from BC.   But are the CD's indeed Taiwanese-made?   

Quote
Happy? ;D

Not exactly.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on May 24, 2009, 12:56:15 AM
At least I know I am not getting CD-R's from BC.   But are the CD's indeed Taiwanese-made?  

I don't know. Was just trying to pull coopmv's leg. ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on May 24, 2009, 02:33:50 AM
Must have been part of the Erasmus catalogue.

Yes, this one:

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/SESSIONID/22d46a7725f6c4527cdde565d1763a41/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Woltemperiertes-Klavier/hnum/4409564
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 24, 2009, 03:47:10 AM
It appears that this is Belder's second go at it. JPC says "Label: Brilliant, DDD, 2008".

Not when they have licensed recordings from, say, a German company and burnt them onto a Taiwanese-made CD. ::)

If the company that is doing the burning is Dutch, it is still Dutch product.  The CD is just the raw material.  Taiwan also makes higher quality products than China anyway.    ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 24, 2009, 03:51:25 AM
Do Brilliant Classics burn or press their CD's?  The best blanks for burning for me are the Maxell ones for music, and the ones for sale in EU at least are made in Hungary.

Maxell may still be Japanese-owned.  It used to be a division of Hitachi, the conglomerate.  I heard that TDK sold off its media products, which of course include CD/R, CD/W and DVD, etc to concentrate on high-margin products.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on May 24, 2009, 07:45:43 AM
Sorry, but that is truly unfair to Belder. I admit that he failed to convince me with his Scarlatti or his Bach, but he sounded like a very good harpsichordist in both.

Well, Belder has improved considerably since his Erasmus years, and I do not think I shall get tired of his honest and well-considered no-nonsense style, deprived of any superficial effects. This is certainly true of his Bach. Scarlatti sometimes seems to ask for superficial effects, but I think he can do without them.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 24, 2009, 08:20:58 AM
Well, Belder has improved considerably since his Erasmus years, and I do not think I shall get tired of his honest and well-considered no-nonsense style, deprived of any superficial effects. This is certainly true of his Bach. Scarlatti sometimes seems to ask for superficial effects, but I think he can do without them.

I thought a few discs from that mammoth 155-CD Complete Bach Works set released by BC where he played the harpsichord, the performance was quite good ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on May 24, 2009, 09:30:17 PM
Taiwan also makes higher quality products than China anyway.    ;D

:)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 25, 2009, 03:46:57 AM
The WTC by the late Christiane Jaccottet on harpsichord is excellent.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on June 09, 2009, 10:32:06 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/411S8AY4YCL._SS500_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VvriP1QwL._SS500_.jpg)

In general, Levin prefers faster than average tempi.  This is not really out of line though, as, if CPE Bach is to be trusted in his testimonies, JS actually was one fast player among his contemporaries.  An assortment of instruments were used in this recording, including an original Baroque organ in Wassenaar, NL.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: jwinter on June 09, 2009, 11:57:26 AM
Just last week I picked up the WTC by Vladimir Feltsman, still haven't broken the shrink-wrap.  Any thoughts on his set?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: dirkronk on June 09, 2009, 02:12:37 PM
Just last week I picked up the WTC by Vladimir Feltsman, still haven't broken the shrink-wrap.  Any thoughts on his set?

On the strong urging of a former poster to this and similar boards, I bought Book 1 by Feltsman several years back. I have Feltsman doing a couple of concerts of other composers and so was already favorably disposed toward his playing, but the WTC is especially impressive when done well. I listened to it twice, found it good to very good, perhaps a shade higher than that in some individual pieces, but at the end of the day decided not to bother tracking down Book 2. I wish I could be specific for you, but while my overall impression was good, I didn't find it quite distinctive enough to make me swoon. If it helps to know what standards I judge by, I still prefer my personal faves: Richter (esp. in Book 1) and Samuil Feinberg (esp. in Book 2) on piano get the most play, on rare occasion some Gould or Martins (first recording), E. Fischer for historic piano perspective, and when I listen to harpsichord (it isn't frequent, I confess) it's to Jaccottet or Moroney.

I'd be interested to know YOUR impressions once you get a chance to listen.

Cheers,

Dirk
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: dirkronk on June 10, 2009, 07:48:23 AM
While writing the response above, a thought occurred to me. The WTC is a major work but not one that all pianists tackle...at least in recorded form. Of the pianists who HAVEN'T released their take, who would you most like to do so?

The name that popped into my head was Sergei Babayan.

I may think of others, as well...but who would YOU like to hear?

Dirk
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on June 10, 2009, 07:56:07 AM
While writing the response above, a thought occurred to me. The WTC is a major work but not one that all pianists tackle...at least in recorded form. Of the pianists who HAVEN'T released their take, who would you most like to do so?

The name that popped into my head was Sergei Babayan.

I may think of others, as well...but who would YOU like to hear?

Dirk

On harpsichord I'd love to hear David Cates record the WTC.  Cates, on Music & Arts, has the most compelling Bach French Suites in the catalogs.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on June 10, 2009, 12:17:29 PM
On harpsichord I'd love to hear David Cates record the WTC.  Cates, on Music & Arts, has the most compelling Bach French Suites in the catalogs.

I'd be interested to hear Alfred Brendel.  He hasn't recorded much Bach, but I do have one disc of Bach pieces from him that I found rewarding to listen to.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: admiralackbar74 on July 07, 2009, 02:21:47 PM
I'm reviving this thread because I'm in the market for a complete (i.e. both books) recording of the Well-Tempered Clavier on piano. I don't mind a fair amount of expressiveness in this music; I want a pianistic take on the WTC. Suggestions?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Joe_Campbell on July 07, 2009, 04:08:55 PM
Well, you can listen to samples of both Angela Hewitt cycles on www.hyperion-records.co.uk. I just ordered the 2008 version. :)
After quite a bit of comparative listening between the two (though only through samples), I'm under the impression that Hewitt was a little bit more rhythmically flexible on the recent recording. I also noted a bit more distinctiveness in her voicing (i.e. larger dynamic separation). However, I don't think you could go wrong with either, and the earlier set has the added bonus of being about $8 cheaper!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Josquin des Prez on July 07, 2009, 04:11:53 PM
Just last week I picked up the WTC by Vladimir Feltsman, still haven't broken the shrink-wrap.  Any thoughts on his set?

It's my favored on piano (among modern pianists anyway), which means everybody here hates it. If you like it i recommend his recording of the harpsichord concertos (on piano), which is equally amazing.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on July 07, 2009, 04:31:54 PM
I'm reviving this thread because I'm in the market for a complete (i.e. both books) recording of the Well-Tempered Clavier on piano. I don't mind a fair amount of expressiveness in this music; I want a pianistic take on the WTC. Suggestions?

My two favorites on the piano are Richter (RCA) [or the rare Live at Insbruck] OR Samuel Feinberg. Richter has better sound, but the Feinberg is something very special. I think you can sample it over at Russian DVD.com. The best transfers of these Feinberg performances are on the "Russian Compact Disc" label. This set has the "Talents of Russia" logo on the front.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on July 07, 2009, 04:41:26 PM
I'm reviving this thread because I'm in the market for a complete (i.e. both books) recording of the Well-Tempered Clavier on piano. I don't mind a fair amount of expressiveness in this music; I want a pianistic take on the WTC. Suggestions?

Assuming you want both books in one package, I have three recommendations that fit your requirements:

Jill Crossland/Signum
Evelyne Crochet/Music and Arts of America
Rosalyn Tureck/DG

If admirable sound quality is a requirement, take Tureck off the list.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on July 07, 2009, 04:43:36 PM
My two favorites on the piano are Richter (RCA) [or the rare Live at Insbruck] OR Samuel Feinberg. Richter has better sound, but the Feinberg is something very special. I think you can sample it over at Russian DVD.com. The best transfers of these Feinberg performances are on the "Russian Compact Disc" label. This set has the "Talents of Russia" logo on the front.

Although I find both Richter and Feinberg exceptional, my loyalties remain with Rosalyn Tureck.  The sound quality on all three leave much to be desired.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: admiralackbar74 on July 07, 2009, 05:07:31 PM
I listened to the Tureck on DG a few years ago. (Is there more than one?) The sound quality is quite poor. As a piano student, I found Tureck worth listening to, particularly in the pieces I was working on, but I'd like to have something with better sound quality for the collection, if possible.

I remember enjoying Hewitt's first set when I was listening a few years back. Maybe I'll purchase the re-release now that it's packaged together (and at a reasonable price).

Why does her new set have such a horrendous cover? What on earth is she wearing!?

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571177410.png)

Any thoughts on Schiff?

And I thought I heard that Perahia is going to record this. When might that be released?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on July 07, 2009, 05:15:17 PM
Although I find both Richter and Feinberg exceptional, my loyalties remain with Rosalyn Tureck.  The sound quality on all three leave much to be desired.

Yes, I need to get to know that Tureck set in the coming months. I have it downloaded to my computer at work.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Brewski on July 07, 2009, 05:18:43 PM
Why does her new set have such a horrendous cover? What on earth is she wearing!?

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571177410.png)

Man, that is really below Hyperion's standards (and I'm a Hewitt fan, too).  A shame, since IMHO a good cover would encourage people to explore her take on the material.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: admiralackbar74 on July 07, 2009, 05:23:03 PM
The cover to the first set in its re-released form is actually quite appealing.

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571142913.png)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Joe_Campbell on July 07, 2009, 05:24:29 PM
Man, that is really below Hyperion's standards (and I'm a Hewitt fan, too).  A shame, since IMHO a good cover would encourage people to explore her take on the material.

--Bruce
I hope you just mean the cover! I just shelled out about $50 for it!

And Ackbar, I like that cover much more, too!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Brewski on July 07, 2009, 05:37:44 PM
The cover to the first set in its re-released form is actually quite appealing.

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571142913.png)

MUCH better!  So why...?  Ah well, doesn't matter at this point...

I hope you just mean the cover! I just shelled out about $50 for it!

Oh yes, not to worry, I'm a big Hewitt fan.  (Although I haven't heard her WTC.)  Years ago my brother played me some of her Bach Toccatas CD, and it converted me...

--Bruce
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: admiralackbar74 on July 07, 2009, 05:40:10 PM
In order that my other inquiries don't get lost in the muddle...

Any thoughts on Schiff?

And I thought I heard that Perahia is going to record this. When might that be released?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on July 07, 2009, 05:47:25 PM
Yes, I need to get to know that Tureck set in the coming months. I have it downloaded to my computer at work.

FWIW, I think that listening to Tureck's set at work will not do the trick.  Her interpretations require full concentration.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on July 07, 2009, 05:51:03 PM
Why does her new set have such a horrendous cover? What on earth is she wearing!?

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571177410.png)

Any thoughts on Schiff?

And I thought I heard that Perahia is going to record this. When might that be released?

Hewitt isn't much on beauty, so I wouldn't expect a lot from a cover that includes her face.

As for Schiff, I think well of his WTC.

Concerning Perahia, I don't find his Bach anything special.  His Mozart's a different story.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on July 07, 2009, 07:00:00 PM
I don't think you'll go wrong with any of the recommendations above.  FWIW I just got Schiff's and think it's terrific.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on July 07, 2009, 09:55:48 PM
FWIW I just got Schiff's and think it's terrific.


Glad to hear it. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: The new erato on July 07, 2009, 11:12:40 PM
I don't think you'll go wrong with any of the recommendations above.  FWIW I just got Schiff's and think it's terrific.

I bought the big Eloquence package of all Schiff's Bach from amazon.de for a pittance (about 23 Euro for 12 discs) and find it one of my best buys ever.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: admiralackbar74 on July 08, 2009, 05:59:37 AM
I wish that Schiff box set were available in the US. :-\ It's a shame that it's not.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on July 08, 2009, 06:06:46 AM
I wish that Schiff box set were available in the US. :-\ It's a shame that it's not.
Here is the Amazon link for it: http://www.amazon.com/Well-Tempered-Klavier-J-S-Bach/dp/B0018NUM56/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1247065513&sr=1-8 (http://www.amazon.com/Well-Tempered-Klavier-J-S-Bach/dp/B0018NUM56/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1247065513&sr=1-8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on July 08, 2009, 06:16:24 AM
Here is the Amazon link for it: http://www.amazon.com/Well-Tempered-Klavier-J-S-Bach/dp/B0018NUM56/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1247065513&sr=1-8 (http://www.amazon.com/Well-Tempered-Klavier-J-S-Bach/dp/B0018NUM56/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1247065513&sr=1-8)

No, no, admiralackbar is referring to the too-much-lamented-about 12-CD set of Schiff's complete recordings of Bach's solo keyboard works (http://www.amazon.de/S%C3%A4mtliche-Grossen-Werke-Klavier-Solo/dp/B001DTA8QS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1247066068&sr=8-1) for Decca, which seems to be available only in Germany for a generally high shipping fee.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on July 08, 2009, 06:44:21 AM
No, no, admiralackbar is referring to the too-much-lamented-about 12-CD set of Schiff's complete recordings of Bach's solo keyboard works (http://www.amazon.de/S%C3%A4mtliche-Grossen-Werke-Klavier-Solo/dp/B001DTA8QS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1247066068&sr=8-1) for Decca, which seems to be available only in Germany for a generally high shipping fee.
Ah...duh!  Well, minus VAT, plus shipping, makes about $50 or less than $5/disc.  I usually order German goods from jpc.de and take advantage of low prices on other items bundled into one order with the flat rate shipping charge.  Eloquence discs that aren't available Stateside are good purchases, so are Apex discs, and then there are always the Universal products that aren't sold in the US, like most of Suwanai's recordings!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: admiralackbar74 on July 08, 2009, 08:18:08 AM
Here is the Amazon link for it: http://www.amazon.com/Well-Tempered-Klavier-J-S-Bach/dp/B0018NUM56/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1247065513&sr=1-8 (http://www.amazon.com/Well-Tempered-Klavier-J-S-Bach/dp/B0018NUM56/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1247065513&sr=1-8)

It is good to know, however, that Schiff's WTC has been repackaged at a lower price point. Thanks for pointing that out.

Has anyone done a fairly thorough review of Hewitt's two boxes and compared them? I'd like to see it if it's out there.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on July 08, 2009, 09:21:45 AM
Ah...duh!  Well, minus VAT, plus shipping, makes about $50 or less than $5/disc.  I usually order German goods from jpc.de and take advantage of low prices on other items bundled into one order with the flat rate shipping charge.  Eloquence discs that aren't available Stateside are good purchases, so are Apex discs, and then there are always the Universal products that aren't sold in the US, like most of Suwanai's recordings!

I got a pair of those German Eloquence sets with the AMSI logo, which stands for Ambient Surround Imaging, and they sounded awful.  Apparently it is a method of encoding a 2-channel CD so that it can be rendered as surround sound when passed through a surround decoder.   To my ears, on a normal 2-channel stereo it sounded artificial, with distorted tonal balance and weird imaging.   I'm selling off the two sets I got that way (Guarneri Beethoven and Brendel Schubert).  I'd advise avoiding any recording with the AMSI logo.

Unfortunately they're out of print and scarce, but I treasure this non-bastardized version:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51E7RGYNHDL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 06, 2009, 04:34:12 PM
Does anyone have both Tureck/DG (mono) and the later Tureck/BBC Legends?
Besides better sound is the BBC performance equal or better than the older DG set?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TVS934J2L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31KJTE91XKL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 06, 2009, 04:35:49 PM
Does anyone have both Tureck/DG (mono) and the later Tureck/BBC Legends?
Besides better sound is the BBC performance equal or better than the older DG set?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TVS934J2L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31KJTE91XKL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I have the DG version.  It sounds quite good to me for its age ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 06, 2009, 04:55:09 PM
Does anyone have both Tureck/DG (mono) and the later Tureck/BBC Legends?
Besides better sound is the BBC performance equal or better than the older DG set?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TVS934J2L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31KJTE91XKL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I wouldn't say that the BBC is better.  There's a warmth to the DG performance that I love, while the BBC is more incisive.  Much of this likely has to do with the sound; the BBC sound is very clinical. 

Being a big fan of Tureck's Bach, I can't imagine not having both sets.  However, since the DG sound can be difficult to abide, I would recommend the BBC for the one set group.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 06, 2009, 05:00:30 PM
I wouldn't say that the BBC is better.  There's a warmth to the DG performance that I love, while the BBC is more incisive.  Much of this likely has to do with the sound; the BBC sound is very clinical. 

Being a big fan of Tureck's Bach, I can't imagine not having both sets.  However, since the DG sound can be difficult to abide, I would recommend the BBC for the one set group.

I was afraid that would be the answer..............
the cost of the BBC version is about 2X that of DG set on Amazon USA  :o
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 06, 2009, 05:03:28 PM
I was afraid that would be the answer..............
the cost of the BBC version is about 2X that of DG set on Amazon USA  :o

Check with George, who knows more about piano works than most on the forum.  I think he has this Tureck's DG set as well.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 06, 2009, 05:06:39 PM
I was afraid that would be the answer..............
the cost of the BBC version is about 2X that of DG set on Amazon USA  :o

That would make the decision easy for me. The sound on the DG is perfectly fine IMO, unless your someone who focuses on sound ahead of performance.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 06, 2009, 05:07:44 PM
Check with George, who knows more a lot about piano works than most on the forum.  I think he has this Tureck's DG set as well.

Fixed.  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 06, 2009, 05:12:11 PM
That would make the decision easy for me. The sound on the DG is perfectly fine IMO, unless your someone who focuses on sound ahead of performance.

There you go, DA.  I cannot agree more.  I have at least 15 versions of these works, mostly on piano but a few on harpsichord.  I will not bother with the BBC version myself.  BTW, there are also some excellent harpsichord versions of these works as well ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Franco on December 06, 2009, 05:18:30 PM
I have the DG version and can't imagine what about the sound would be objectionable; in fact, I think the sound is very pleasant, intimate and not very reverberant, as if she were playing in a room as opposed to a concert hall.   I haven't heard the BBC recording so can't compare the two.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 06, 2009, 05:31:39 PM
George,

IIRC, you have multiple versions of WTC by Sviatoslav Richter?  I only have the RCA Gold Seal version ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 06, 2009, 06:41:20 PM
George,

IIRC, you have multiple versions of WTC by Sviatoslav Richter?  I only have the RCA Gold Seal version ...

Yes, I have three, though for 1969 only Book One was released.

1. '70, '72, '73 - Salzburg Studio (RCA)
2. '73 - Live at Insbruck (Victor)
3. '69 - Live (Revelation)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 06, 2009, 06:53:44 PM
Thanks for the Tureck info gents.........I will buy the mono DG and save some green.

If I want good sound I have the Hewitt/Hyperion WTC   ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 06, 2009, 07:18:13 PM
Thanks for the Tureck info gents.........I will buy the mono DG and save some green.

If I want good sound I have the Hewitt/Hyperion WTC   ;)

Angela Hewitt 2008 WTC and the much-harder-to-find WTC by Tatiana Nikolayeva are just about the last 2 versions of WTC I would like to get.  I have the earlier version of WTC by HW already and of course the WTC by the iconoclastic Glenn Gould via that 80-CD set, which I bought for $109 (shipping included) two years ago but is now listed for just under $500 ...    :o

BTW, the WTC by Edwin Fischer on Naxos Historical is quite nice as well.  I bought those 2 sets last spring ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WCF2lN6aL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 06, 2009, 07:24:53 PM
Yes, I have three, though for 1969 only Book One was released.

1. '70, '72, '73 - Salzburg Studio (RCA)
2. '73 - Live at Insbruck (Victor)
3. '69 - Live (Revelation)

Is the RCA Gold Seal version (the set I have) a totally different set of recordings?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 06, 2009, 07:26:20 PM
Is the RCA Gold Seal version (the set I have) a totally different set of recordings?

Nope, that's the RCA I listed first.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 06, 2009, 11:07:00 PM
I have the DG version and can't imagine what about the sound would be objectionable; in fact, I think the sound is very pleasant, intimate and not very reverberant, as if she were playing in a room as opposed to a concert hall.   

Well, the Tureck/DG sound does have a lot of debris with recessed piano tone.  Still, this is the set that I most treasure.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 07, 2009, 08:07:41 AM
Looking for best WTC performed using clavichord............hopefully in good modern sound

What are my options?

Interesting article on Tureck's website has me searching one out........
http://tureckbach.com/documents/piano-harpsichord-or-clavichord/ (http://tureckbach.com/documents/piano-harpsichord-or-clavichord/)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 07, 2009, 09:20:20 AM
Looking for best WTC performed using clavichord............hopefully in good modern sound

What are my options?

I'm familiar with the Kirkpatrick on DG and Tilney on Hyperion; note that Tilney uses a harpsichord for Bk. 2.

I find the Kirkpatrick the better performance.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 07, 2009, 11:35:32 AM
I'm familiar with the Kirkpatrick on DG and Tilney on Hyperion; note that Tilney uses a harpsichord for Bk. 2.

I find the Kirkpatrick the better performance.

OK I placed order for Kirkpatrick/DG Originals Archiv Bk II since price was very cheap at Amazon USA
There is also a hard to find version by Tuma/Supraphon someone mentioned here............

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 07, 2009, 09:55:21 PM
Pollini's WTC I arrived at my door today.  Think I'll do some comparision with the five other sets I acquired within the past two or three years:  Watchorn, Egarr, Sheppard, Crossland and Rangell. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 08, 2009, 05:17:43 AM
Pollini's WTC I arrived at my door today.  Think I'll do some comparision with the five other sets I acquired within the past two or three years:  Watchorn, Egarr, Sheppard, Crossland and Rangell.

Bulldog
What is your current favorite WTC if you could keep only one.......
Also do you like Gould for WTC?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 08, 2009, 05:32:26 AM
Bulldog
What is your current favorite WTC if you could keep only one.......


In case you need a quick reply, I asked him that question and I believe his answer was Tureck, DG. 

EDIT: (see below)

Well, the Tureck/DG sound does have a lot of debris with recessed piano tone.  Still, this is the set that I most treasure.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 08, 2009, 05:49:02 AM
In case you need a quick reply, I asked him that question and I believe his answer was Tureck, DG. 

I have the Tureck/DG ordered........as well as the Crossland WTC which is very cheap now
Also recently received the Van Asperen/Virgin WTC for harpsicord

Mostly listen to Hewitt/Hyperion and Gould/Sony right now........but always looking for new contenders

I also have the Richter/RCA WTC but find it a bit puzzling, not yet fully in sync with it yet
I need to be in a certain mood to listen to Bach and go long periods with no Bach......
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 08, 2009, 05:58:40 AM
I have the Tureck/DG ordered........as well as the Crossland WTC which is very cheap now
Also recently received the Van Asperen/Virgin WTC for harpsicord

Mostly listen to Hewitt/Hyperion and Gould/Sony right now........but always looking for new contenders

Try Feinberg.  8)

http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=35887&genreid=

Click on "Preview" to sample, I think it plays the whole first CD.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 08, 2009, 06:40:37 AM
George

Very nice, great sound for late 1950s mono, Feinberg has my name written on it  ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 08, 2009, 07:17:01 AM
George

Very nice, great sound for late 1950s mono, Feinberg has my name written on it  ;)

Great! Just so you know, that's the best mastering of those performances available.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 08, 2009, 09:47:19 AM
Bulldog
What is your current favorite WTC if you could keep only one.......
Also do you like Gould for WTC?

As George said, it's the Tureck/DG for me.  Concerning Gould, I very much like his WTC as well as his other Bach recordings.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 08, 2009, 09:50:26 AM
As George said, it's the Tureck/DG for me.  Concerning Gould, I very much like his WTC as well as his other Bach recordings.

He was my intro to Bach and I like his Bach so much that I don't own many other recordings of Bach's keyboard stuff. There's a playful, happy quality to his playing that I very much enjoy. Not to mention his clarity and precision. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 08, 2009, 09:55:46 AM
I have the Tureck/DG ordered........as well as the Crossland WTC which is very cheap now
Also recently received the Van Asperen/Virgin WTC for harpsicord


That van Asperen set is excellent, although my preferrred harpsichord version comes from Glen Wilson.

That reminds me of an amusing story.  A few years ago, when I was buying discs like crazy and reviewing them, Wilson sent me an e-mail and wanted my address so he could send me a couple of his cds.  A few weeks later, my wife answers the phone and it's Wilson on the other line.  According to my wife, he said "Is this the home of Don Satz, the Bach expert?".  Wilson just wanted to make sure I had received the discs he sent.  When she got off the phone, my wife said that Wilson evidently wasn't aware that my true expertise was procrastination.  Boy, she sure has me pegged correctly.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 08, 2009, 09:57:41 AM
When she got off the phone, my wife said that Wilson evidently wasn't aware that my true expertise was procrastination. 

 ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 08, 2009, 09:57:48 AM
He was my intro to Bach and I like his Bach so much that I don't own many other recordings of Bach's keyboard stuff. There's a playful, happy quality to his playing that I very much enjoy. Not to mention his clarity and precision.

What I most enjoy about Gould's Bach is that he gives equal weight to each musical line and does so perfectly.  Craig Sheppard is a Gould clone in that regard.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 08, 2009, 10:00:20 AM
What I most enjoy about Gould's Bach is that he gives equal weight to each musical line and does so perfectly. 

Yes, he is staggeringly, almost inhumanly good at this aspect of his performances.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 08, 2009, 10:03:39 AM
That reminds me of an amusing story.  A few years ago, when I was buying discs like crazy and reviewing them, Wilson sent me an e-mail and wanted my address so he could send me a couple of his cds.  A few weeks later, my wife answers the phone and it's Wilson on the other line.  According to my wife, he said "Is this the home of Don Satz, the Bach expert?".  Wilson just wanted to make sure I had received the discs he sent.  When she got off the phone, my wife said that Wilson evidently wasn't aware that my true expertise was procrastination.  Boy, she sure has me pegged correctly.

Bulldog do you review CDs for a publication/website other than this forum?
That is quite an "honor" to be called the Bach expert by a noted artist  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 08, 2009, 10:12:51 AM
Bulldog do you review CDs for a publication/website other than this forum?
That is quite an "honor" to be called the Bach expert by a noted artist  :)

I was doing about one Bach review a day for Classical Net; then I started in with MusicWeb, expanding my musical boundaries.  I review very little these days (burnt out).

I don't know about the "honor" thing.  Wilson didn't even want to talk to me, just my wife.  I think he was irked that I hadn't informed him that I received the discs.  At that time I received all kinds of cds from various sources, so it wasn't easy to remember who to respond to.  Plus, I am a role-model for procrastinators.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: springrite on December 09, 2009, 05:17:46 AM
I am a role-model for procrastinators.

...which reminds me, I've been meaning to respond on this thread since its inception...

BTW, the Hewitt first set is now available at BRO. I wonder if I should get it...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Leo K. on December 09, 2009, 12:01:09 PM
These are the newer WTC's I'm aware of:

Suzuki - Bk. 2/BIS
Watchorn - Bk. 1/Musica Omnia
Egarr - Bk. 1/Harmonia Mundi

All three are available; Watchorn is the least expensive ($16).  Suzuki and Watchorn would be my picks of the three, but neither reaches the Wilson.

Wow...based on this post I bought the Watchorn on iTunes and WOW...great performance so far!!!

I have been searching for a modern harpischord WTC...

Thanks.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 09, 2009, 02:41:29 PM
Wow...based on this post I bought the Watchorn on iTunes and WOW...great performance so far!!!

I have been searching for a modern harpischord WTC...  Thanks.

Hello Leo - yes, Don & George are two of the top Bach keyboard experts here, so their advice is always worth reading (and in making purchasing decisions!) -  :D

But concerning Watchorn in the WTC Bk. 1 - you may be aware that he is playing a 'pedal harpsichord'?  If not checked out a brief discussion on the Old Musical Instrument thread HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11638.40.html) - I've ordered his WTC Bk. 2 from his website (listed previously) - was supposed to have been released by now!  I put in a pre-release order and exchanged a few e-mails w/ him recently - he says it is on the way soon!  May be something quite special!   :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on December 09, 2009, 07:00:12 PM

I have been searching for a modern harpischord WTC...


Besides the set by Glen Wilson (Teldec/ OOP) that Don/Bulldog mentioned I can reccommend Dantone. A repost from the "Bach on the harpsichord" thread:

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: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Leo K. on December 09, 2009, 10:04:49 PM
Thanks for those posts and links SonicMan and Que!!!

 8)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on December 11, 2009, 11:53:44 AM
I haven't seen any mention here of Pollini's recently released recording with DG.  I'll admit being initially intrigued, could the ice-man bring unprecedented clarity to these works?  But a quick listen to some excerpts on the led to the opposite conclusion.  Any one here heard it?

I'm also curious about Ashkenazy's recording.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 11, 2009, 01:19:18 PM
I haven't seen any mention here of Pollini's recently released recording with DG.  I'll admit being initially intrigued, could the ice-man bring unprecedented clarity to these works?  But a quick listen to some excerpts on the led to the opposite conclusion.  Any one here heard it?

I have the Pollini and have listened to it just a couple of times so far.  Although I don't care for his Prelude in C major which I find rather boring, my overall feeling about the set is positive.  I was interested in seeing how he would handle Bach's more introspective and bleak pieces; instead of the "cold" approach, I find him really digging into the emotional content.

I had heard that the sound on the set is overly resonant.  True, it is a little wet, but I haven't found it a problem.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on December 11, 2009, 02:04:36 PM
I have the Pollini and have listened to it just a couple of times so far.  Although I don't care for his Prelude in C major which I find rather boring, my overall feeling about the set is positive.  I was interested in seeing how he would handle Bach's more introspective and bleak pieces; instead of the "cold" approach, I find him really digging into the emotional content.

I had heard that the sound on the set is overly resonant.  True, it is a little wet, but I haven't found it a problem.

Thanks for your interesting comments.  I was hoping to save some money, but now...  :(
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 11, 2009, 03:08:39 PM
Thanks for your interesting comments.  I was hoping to save some money, but now...  :(

You can get it for under $20 - that's pretty good for a new 2-cd set from one of the most famous pianists.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on December 11, 2009, 03:38:35 PM
You can get it for under $20 - that's pretty good for a new 2-cd set from one of the most famous pianists.

Yes, but I can get Ashkenazy Bk I and Bk II for $20 as well.  And I haven't even listened to my Turek DG yet!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 11, 2009, 03:46:59 PM
Yes, but I can get Ashkenazy Bk I and Bk II for $20 as well.  And I haven't even listened to my Turek DG yet!

I don't know how big a fan you are of Bach's keyboard music.  For a Bach nut like myself, there is no "but".

FWIW, I wouldn't buy more WTC's until I listened to the ones already owned.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 11, 2009, 03:50:27 PM
FWIW, I wouldn't buy more WTC's until I listened to the ones already owned.

Very good advice (though I have been know to behave otherwise.)  0:)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 12, 2009, 05:44:07 AM
This surprises me very much since Hewitt's first go at it was just about 10 years ago.  I assume she has re-thought her interpretations and now has some new ideas for us.  Should be interesting, and I hope the new one's better than the first (which was pretty good but not outstanding).

http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=CDA67741/4 (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=CDA67741/4)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31eDzbM9y6L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I have ordered the new Hewitt 48 as I hear a fresher more flexible mind at work........
I will be selling original Hewitt/Hyperion if CD set sounds as good as samples

In her notes from Hyperion website she talks about all the experience from several years of live WTC performances coupled with use of a Fazioli piano which she thinks better communicates Bach's music. Before the new recording she sat down and listened in detail to her original recording taking notes thinking the original now sounds too rigid and square. Her new approach also influenced by recording Couperin & Rameau whose more flowing free style have given her new insights and freedoms in playing baroque keyboard.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 12, 2009, 06:01:00 AM
I have ordered the new Hewitt 48 as I hear a fresher more flexible mind at work........
I will be selling original Hewitt/Hyperion if CD set sounds as good as samples

In her notes from Hyperion website she talks about all the experience from several years of live WTC performances coupled with use of a Fazioli piano which she thinks better communicates Bach's music. Before the new recording she sat down and listened in detail to her original recording taking notes thinking the original now sounds too rigid and square. Her new approach also influenced by recording Couperin & Rameau whose more flowing free style have given her new insights and freedoms in playing baroque keyboard.

With over 15 complete versions of the WTC (mainly performed on piano and a few on harpsichord), most of which have already been discussed in this thread, there are only two more versions I expect to get.  The recently released version by HW (I have just about all her baroque piano works) and the very-hard-to-find version by Tatiana Nikolayeva - considered the foremost interpreter of Bach keyboard works in the former Soviet Union.  While Pollini is an excellent pianist, my suspicion of his affinity (for lack of a better word I can think of at the moment) with Bach has been confirmed by what some of you have written about his WTC recording.  BTW, I have read mostly less than flattering reviews of the version by Daniel Barenboim, which I had the foresight to skip.  I found the Ashkenazy's version a pleasant surprise with pretty refreshing tempi and excellent execution.  Helene Grimaud's recent Bach recording has not turned out to be a stunning success IMO and I doubt she will even attempt to record WTC in the near future ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 12, 2009, 06:05:43 AM
Tureck/DG
I listened to the early 1950s mono set many like here, the sound does have a noticeable amount of tape noise but it is not serious and you notice it less as you listen on. My initial run through was interesting, the slow style of Tureck seems to be deep and probing like someone studying the music in great detail, a smooth elegant style. This may allow certain details and nuances to emerge that can be rushed over, but also sacrifices some forward momentum and dramatic energy.........I will have to revisit these after sometime to more fully understand them

Coop
Who currently is your favorite WTC for piano & Harpsicord?

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 12, 2009, 06:21:14 AM
Tureck/DG
I listened to the early 1950s mono set many like here, the sound does have a noticeable amount of tape noise but it is not serious and you notice it less as you listen on. My initial run through was interesting, the slow style of Tureck seems to be cautious and probing like someone studying the music in great detail. This may allow certain details and nuances to emerge but also sacrifices some forward momentum and dramatic energy.........I will have to revisit these after sometime to more fully understand them

Coop
Who currently is your favorite WTC for piano & Harpsicord?

For piano, I really enjoy the monaural version by Tureck, there is that degree of warmth and intimacy that are lacking in most other versions.  Yeah, one may quibble with the SQ, which is actually not bad.  I have the Glenn Gould's version via that 80-CD box-set and I think the performance is excellent.  A much little-known set by Evelyne Crochet, a French-born American pianist who was a protégé to Rubinstein, which I picked up a few months ago, was a very pleasant surprise on first listen (though I need to find time for a follow-up).  For the next and younger generation, Angela Hewitt and Jill Crossland are quite good.

For harpsichord, the version by Christiane Jaccottet get my top vote.  The version by Bob van Asperen may get my second vote.  I only have the version by Leonhardt on LP and should really get it on CD.  Years ago when I first got into Leonhardt (on LP), I found his harpsichord playing a bit cold and dragging a bit.  It is probably time to re-assess my opinion.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41hBvunIVaL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 12, 2009, 06:24:01 AM
Que has prompted me to try WTC Bk II by Dantone

Last night I pulled out the Landowska RCA Bach Box to remind myself of her playing style with her huge custom made harpsicord. The early 1950 sound is actually better than Tureck, a nice set to have since she has either taught or heavily influenced many of the best harpsicord players active today

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51xLKENhViL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 12, 2009, 06:28:23 AM
Que has prompted me to try WTC Bk II by Dantone

Last night I pulled out the Landowska RCA Bach Box to remind myself of her playing style with her huge custom made harpsicord. The early 1950 sound is actually better than Tureck, a nice set to have since she has either taught or heavily influenced many of the best harpsicord players active today

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

I think Dantone records for a small label - Onyx?  I have a few recordings by him and Viktoria Mullova on Bach.  I will be interested to check out the version by Ton Koopman.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 12, 2009, 09:54:15 AM
Has anyone purchased the new Hantai/Mirare WTC I...........
If it is anything like his Goldbergs may have to try to ignore the high price of admission  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41H8R1A9FPL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Short sound samples at Amazon sound great, as with Goldbergs uses harpsicord
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 12, 2009, 10:17:44 AM
Has anyone purchased the new Hantai/Mirare WTC I...........
If it is anything like his Goldbergs may have to try to ignore the high price of admission  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41H8R1A9FPL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Short sound samples at Amazon sound great, as with Goldbergs uses harpsicord

I do not have any recordings by Hantai performing solo, though I have a number of Bach recordings where he played in some ensemble.  I still don't know him as a soloist ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 12, 2009, 10:31:46 AM
I do not have any recordings by Hantai performing solo, though I have a number of Bach recordings where he played in some ensemble.  I still don't know him as a soloist ...

Time to change that............
I cannot recommend any Bach Goldberg variations for harpsicord more highly than Hantai's first performance, I think it is essential for any Bach collection

BTW...........I found a Jaccottet 4CD set WTC on some off label at Amazon for $5 used, took a flyer  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 12, 2009, 10:43:55 AM
Time to change that............
I cannot recommend any Bach Goldberg variations for harpsicord more highly than Hantai's first performance, I think it is essential for any Bach collection

BTW...........I found a Jaccottet 4CD set WTC on some off label at Amazon for $5 used, took a flyer  :)

Can't go wrong with that.  The late Jaccottet was a very classy Swiss harpsichordist.  Not sure why many of her recordings are deleted from the Philips catalog though.  I already have over 20 versions of Goldberg Variations, including haprsichord versions by Leonhardt and Pinnock but most are on piano. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 12, 2009, 11:25:41 AM
Has anyone purchased the new Hantai/Mirare WTC I...........
If it is anything like his Goldbergs may have to try to ignore the high price of admission  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41H8R1A9FPL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Short sound samples at Amazon sound great, as with Goldbergs uses harpsicord

The Hantai WTC I isn't quite a new disc; it was recorded in 2001-02 and released in 2004.  I haven't listened to it for about three years, so my comments are from memory.  Overall, I much prefer both his Goldbergs to his WTC.  I find the soundstage overly resonant, so counterpoint detail is not admirable.  Also, I found that Hantai doesn't like to dig into Bach's dark side at all.

I should report that my opinion appears to be in the minority, and it would also be a good idea for me to listen to the set again; it's always possible that my opinion could change. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 12, 2009, 11:32:19 AM
I should report that my opinion appears to be in the minority, and it would also be a good idea for me to listen to the set again; it's always possible that my opinion could change.

I think your opinion won’t change because it is exact, IMO; although, probably, it would also be a good idea for me to listen to the set again…  :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 12, 2009, 11:32:42 AM
Tureck/DG
I listened to the early 1950s mono set many like here, the sound does have a noticeable amount of tape noise but it is not serious and you notice it less as you listen on. My initial run through was interesting, the slow style of Tureck seems to be deep and probing like someone studying the music in great detail, a smooth elegant style. This may allow certain details and nuances to emerge that can be rushed over, but also sacrifices some forward momentum and dramatic energy.........I will have to revisit these after sometime to more fully understand them

"Deep and probing" is Tureck's calling card - I love her interpretations.  If I want forward momentum, there's always Gould and many others.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 12, 2009, 11:34:48 AM
I think your opinion won’t change because it is exact, IMO; although, probably, it would also be a good idea for me to listen to the set again…  :D

Boy, I had no idea that anyone else shared my views about the Hantai WTC I.  I feel better already. ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on December 12, 2009, 11:43:41 AM
If I want forward momentum, there's always Gould and many others.

Maybe if I listen to other P&F's from his recording I might find it, but forward momentum was not something I find in the first two preludes of book 1. It was ambling away so slowly that it put me off from purchasing it. The music comes "in bits and pieces".
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 12, 2009, 11:57:34 AM
Maybe if I listen to other P&F's from his recording I might find it, but forward momentum was not something I find in the first two preludes of book 1. It was ambling away so slowly that it put me off from purchasing it. The music comes "in bits and pieces".

I'm surprised you feel this way about the Prelude in C minor where I find Gould's mild staccato quite invigorating with a strong dose of danger around the corner.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on December 12, 2009, 12:04:46 PM
I'm surprised you feel this way about the Prelude in C minor where I find Gould's mild staccato quite invigorating with a strong dose of danger around the corner.

Mild staccato? That's a mild way of putting it, I'd say. ;D Although I probably won't like it very fast, a sense of urgency is what I favour at the moment.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 12, 2009, 12:34:25 PM
Mild staccato? That's a mild way of putting it, I'd say. ;D Although I probably won't like it very fast, a sense of urgency is what I favour at the moment.

I'm not aware of any version of the Prelude in C minor that possesses greater urgency than Gould's, so we'll have to agree to disagree.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 12, 2009, 12:42:24 PM
"Deep and probing" is Tureck's calling card - I love her interpretations.  If I want forward momentum, there's always Gould and many others.

Bulldog what other worthy versions would you include in the Gould extrovert style............

Crossland/Signum
Got an amazing deal on the complete 4CD set new at Amazon USA for $11, gone now but keep watch as it pops up from time to time.

Crossland seems to be from the Tureck school, a gentle elegant style that floats by like a pleasant dream supported by an extremely high quality recording. The touch is so light and airy I sometimes thought I was hearing a harp and not a piano, however I found myself sometimes wishing there was more dramatic contrast, a touch of Gould, some vibrant colors to go with the beautiful pastel washes......
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 12, 2009, 01:35:56 PM
Can anyone give me impressions of Suzuki/BIS WTC I, II...............
Where do they rank among harpsicord versions?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41EToyRp1BL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)


Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 12, 2009, 03:57:36 PM
Bulldog what other worthy versions would you include in the Gould extrovert style............

Crossland/Signum
Got an amazing deal on the complete 4CD set new at Amazon USA for $11, gone now but keep watch as it pops up from time to time.

Crossland seems to be from the Tureck school, a gentle elegant style that floats by like a pleasant dream supported by an extremely high quality recording. The touch is so light and airy I sometimes thought I was hearing a harp and not a piano, however I found myself sometimes wishing there was more dramatic contrast, a touch of Gould, some vibrant colors to go with the beautiful pastel washes......

What I should have said is that every version is more extrovert than Tureck's.

Concerning Crossland, I think she's great with variety of colors and textures.  Actually, she often surprises me with these changes within the same piece.

I am starting to be a big fan of Andrew Rangell's WTC I on Bridge.  Some find him perverse and self-serving.  I did also initially, but I'm warming up.  His is a very interesting and unusual set of interpretations highlighted by much in the way of agogic pauses and little twists on our traditional notions of Bach's rhythmic patterns.  When you're listening to about 10 versions of the same prelude or fugue, the Rangell account gets your attention.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 12, 2009, 04:29:27 PM
Can anyone give me impressions of Suzuki/BIS WTC I, II...............
Where do they rank among harpsicord versions?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41EToyRp1BL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I've had his WTC I for a few years and find it highly artistic; however, the sound can be a little overbearing in the loudest pieces.  Have not yet picked up the WTC II but it remains on my high priority list.  As it is, I can listen to it all day long on the Naxos Music Library site.  I think you can acquire Suzuki's Bach with confidence, be it sacred choral or solo keyboard.  Try to give a listen to his ClavierUbung III on organ; I've never heard such powerful and severe readings - WOW!!!

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 12, 2009, 06:32:23 PM
Don - since you are are EXPERT on Bach's keyboard works, would you be kind enough to list your top 2-3 selections of the WTC on both the piano & the harpsichord for us?  This thread is currently becoming more lengthy and difficult to follow.

At present, for my own collection, I have Jill Crossland on the piano (culled down from some others) - is she enough on this instrument or is there 'another' more historic collection to own that is substantially different?

On the harpsichord, I own Peter Watchorn on the pedal harpsichord, Bk. 1, and have on order his Bk. 2 - I'd love to have a standard harpsichord version but there seem to be SO MANY suggested.

Any comments, listings, or recommendations would be appreciated - thanks, as usual - Dave
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 12, 2009, 08:00:10 PM
Don - since you are are EXPERT on Bach's keyboard works, would you be kind enough to list your top 2-3 selections of the WTC on both the piano & the harpsichord for us? 

Piano - Tureck/DG and BBC, Gould/Sony, Crossland/Signum, Gulda/Philips, Fellner/ECM (Bk. 1).

Harpsichord - Wilson/Apex, Leonhardt/EMI, Gilbert/DG, van Asperen/Virgin Classics, Verlet/Naive.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on December 13, 2009, 06:57:20 AM
Piano - Tureck/DG and BBC, Gould/Sony, Crossland/Signum, Gulda/Philips, Fellner/ECM (Bk. 1).

Harpsichord - Wilson/Apex, Leonhardt/EMI, Gilbert/DG, van Asperen/Virgin Classics, Verlet/Naive.

Have you had a chance to hear Pollini?

BTW -- a post of yours here put me on to Wilson's WTC -- for which I owe you a big thank you.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 13, 2009, 08:26:09 AM
Have you had a chance to hear Pollini?

BTW -- a post of yours here put me on to Wilson's WTC -- for which I owe you a big thank you.

I made a few positive comments about the Pollini on Reply # 320 (this thread).

I'm glad you're enjoying the Wilson. 8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 13, 2009, 08:51:08 AM
Piano - Tureck/DG and BBC, Gould/Sony, Crossland/Signum, Gulda/Philips, Fellner/ECM (Bk. 1).

Harpsichord - Wilson/Apex, Leonhardt/EMI, Gilbert/DG, van Asperen/Virgin Classics, Verlet/Naive.

Don - thanks for the lists above; as stated, I do own the Jill Crossland set and am quite pleased w/ her playing; also have Bk. 1 w/ Craig Sheppard (recorded live); Bk. 2 came out last year, but I've not purchased that one - must re-listen to his first release of these works - not sure 'where' Sheppard or the 'new' Hewitt would be on your 'piano' list above (if at all?).

So, I guess that a harpsichord collection of both books would be my next search - not sure 'how many' of these may be available currently nor the pricing, but will check.  BTW, BRO has Bk. 2 w/ Scott Ross listed for $8 on a label called Disques Pelleas - Ross is often mentioned as one of the best, but don't know the opinion on his playing of the WTC?

Thanks again - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on December 13, 2009, 08:59:41 AM
Harpsichord - Wilson/Apex, Leonhardt/EMI, Gilbert/DG, van Asperen/Virgin Classics, Verlet/Naive.

Exactly my ranking!!!

As to Wilson I own the old Telefunken release, but where do one find the Apex release, you write about?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 13, 2009, 09:06:38 AM
Exactly my ranking!!!

As to Wilson I own the old Telefunken release, but where do one find the Apex release, you write about?

premont,

I have collected pretty much 90% of the same list over the years.  I just have Christiane Jaccottet instead of Glen Wilson.  I found the late Christiane Jaccottet a terrific harpsichordist.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 13, 2009, 09:09:43 AM
Exactly my ranking!!!

As to Wilson I own the old Telefunken release, but where do one find the Apex release, you write about?

Premont - I also meant to ask Don if his lists were in a 'best to least best' order or just the 'tops' placed randomly - so I'd be interested in any comments regarding that question?

Don directed me to another Bach set on Apex, i.e. Alan Curtis doing the French & English Suites; eventually found the 3 discs, and at a good price - must start searching for the WTC offerings (may be a mixing of several performers?) - thanks - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on December 13, 2009, 09:23:37 AM
premont,

I found the late Christiane Jaccottet a terrific harpsichordist.

Agree, but exactly her WTC is IMO the weakest point of her Bach set, - I would rank this at the level of, say Verlet. Another one I would rank equally high is Davit Moroney. Mark you, we are talking about the top rank recordings, and the difference in "score" between Wilson and Jacccttet here is not that large.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 13, 2009, 09:34:45 AM
Agree, but exactly her WTC is IMO the weakest point of her Bach set, - I would rank this at the level of, say Verlet. Another one I would rank equally high is Davit Moroney. Mark you, we are talking about the top rank recordings, and the difference in "score" between Wilson and Jacccttet here is not that large.

Absolutely.  When it comes to baroque instrumental music, it is usually easy for two different people to make the same call when the performance is bad.  However, it is not so easy to rank two virtuosi.  I am happy with my Jaccottet's recordings and not willing to shell out a somewhat ridiculous amount of money just to get Wilson's recordings.  The money could be better spent elsewhere,  Davit Moroney is an excellent harpsichordist, as I just bought this set about a month ago ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41G1E0CXKVL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 13, 2009, 10:12:47 AM
Exactly my ranking!!!

As to Wilson I own the old Telefunken release, but where do one find the Apex release, you write about?

The Wilson is listed on Arkiv Music as on Teldec - almost $50 for both sets.  Price is steep, but the performances well worth it.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 13, 2009, 10:15:25 AM
Don - thanks for the lists above; as stated, I do own the Jill Crossland set and am quite pleased w/ her playing; also have Bk. 1 w/ Craig Sheppard (recorded live); Bk. 2 came out last year, but I've not purchased that one - must re-listen to his first release of these works - not sure 'where' Sheppard or the 'new' Hewitt would be on your 'piano' list above (if at all?).

So, I guess that a harpsichord collection of both books would be my next search - not sure 'how many' of these may be available currently nor the pricing, but will check.  BTW, BRO has Bk. 2 w/ Scott Ross listed for $8 on a label called Disques Pelleas - Ross is often mentioned as one of the best, but don't know the opinion on his playing of the WTC?

Thanks again - Dave  :)

I haven't listened enough to the Sheppard or new Hewitt WTC to give what I would call a conclusion about their sets.  As for Ross, go for it - a great Bk. 2 that I've loved for about 3 years now.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 13, 2009, 10:16:42 AM
Premont - I also meant to ask Don if his lists were in a 'best to least best' order or just the 'tops' placed randomly - so I'd be interested in any comments regarding that question?

It's "best to least best" but the distance between them is pretty slim.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 13, 2009, 10:21:51 AM
Another WTC I forgot about comes from Andrei Vieru on Alpha.  Very interesting performances chock full of agogic pauses, staggering of musical lines and rhythmic hesitations.

A while back I did a review of his Bk. 1 and the Bk. 1 from Beausejour on Naxos for Classical Net.  No contest - Beausejour is so mainstream and rather boring.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 14, 2009, 08:22:05 PM
Try Feinberg.  8)
http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=35887&genreid=

Click on "Preview" to sample, I think it plays the whole first CD.

George this is a real winner..........
Never heard of Samuel Feinberg before and extremely small number of recordings available, the 1958-1961 sound is no problem at all for me, very quiet background in latest remaster.

When listening to different WTCs there is a varying degree of analytical rigor that can border on rigidity with some, the best have a natural flow overcomes this...............the Fienberg is perhaps the most expressive free flowing WTC I think I have heard for piano, traditionialists will be put off by the freedom of expression and say he is bending the dogmatic "Bach rules" of playing but I find it fresh and exciting. Just wanted to let you know my initial thoughts

I will keep listening over next few days, any more overlooked gems you are holding back from us?  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 14, 2009, 08:34:59 PM
George this is a real winner..........
Never heard of Samuel Feinberg before and extremely small number of recordings available, the 1958-1961 sound is no problem at all for me, very quiet background in latest remaster.

Glad you like it, I suggest grabbing a copy before it's OOP.

Quote
When listening to different WTCs there is a varying degree of analytical rigor that can border on rigidity with some, the best have a natural flow overcomes this...............the Fienberg is perhaps the most expressive free flowing WTC I think I have heard for piano, traditionialists will be put off by the freedom of expression and say he is bending the dogmatic "Bach rules" of playing but I find it fresh and exciting. Just wanted to let you know my initial thoughts

Yes, his is a very beautiful, poetic Bach.

Quote
I will keep listening over next few days, any more overlooked gems you are holding back from us?  :)

 ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 14, 2009, 08:40:12 PM
Glad you like it, I suggest grabbing a copy before it's OOP.

Yes, his is a very beautiful, poetic Bach.

I already received my CD version, fast shipping by Russian DVD  :)

I will be comparing the Feinberg to the Gould/Sony since I feel Feinberg is nearly as daring in style as Gould yet able to present a more balanced naturally flowing sound......sucessfully walks the line between genius & disaster
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 14, 2009, 08:43:59 PM
I already received my CD version, fast shipping by Russian DVD  :)

Wow, very quick indeed!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 16, 2009, 08:39:18 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NXCKE1PHL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Have been enjoying the Kirkpatrick/Archiv WTC set on clavicord from 1960s, the unique sound quality had me doing some basic research to see exactly how clavicord produces sound. Clavicord uses metal wires that are struck from above and sound can vary by amount of force used to strike key and length of time key is depressed, thereby giving it some expressive features missing from harpsicord play. The volume level is low however making it primarily a solo use instrument (or small intimate chamber group).

Has a delicate intricate sound that can reveal many musical harmonies, I liked it more than I thought I would, but only as a supplement to piano & harpsicord. The lack of volume projection can be offset with close miking for solo work, but still sounds a bit anemic overall compared to piano & harpsicord, dramatic contrasts are minimized

Anyone else like these or have any other clavicord versions to recommend?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 18, 2009, 07:18:19 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NXCKE1PHL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Have been enjoying the Kirkpatrick/Archiv WTC set on clavicord from 1960s, the unique sound quality had me doing some basic research to see exactly how clavicord produces sound. Clavicord uses metal wires that are struck from above and sound can vary by amount of force used to strike key and length of time key is depressed, thereby giving it some expressive features missing from harpsicord play. The volume level is low however making it primarily a solo use instrument (or small intimate chamber group).

Has a delicate intricate sound that can reveal many musical harmonies, I liked it more than I thought I would, but only as a supplement to piano & harpsicord. The lack of volume projection can be offset with close miking for solo work, but still sounds a bit anemic overall compared to piano & harpsicord, dramatic contrasts are minimized

Anyone else like these or have any other clavicord versions to recommend?

I bought this CD a few months ago and still cannot make up my mind as to whether I really like this recording or not ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 19, 2009, 07:35:43 AM
Hewitt
I got the new WTC set and compared it to older set. It is basically just a touch slower and more refined overall, but to be honest I will keep the original set and sell new one. Nothing really to be very critical about, great sound and elegant refined performances.....the critics will love it to death and good safe recommendation. Hewitt said in notes she has a freer style from exposure to french baroque like Couperin, and has gained experience form many years of live WTC performances.......still I find the first set more interesting which I suspect will be a minority view

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31eDzbM9y6L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VpYrtp4oL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 19, 2009, 07:42:52 AM
Two recently acquired WTC piano versions have hit the spot with me:

Samuel Feinberg WTC I, II - mentioned by George, available at Russian DVD in very good remaster form 1958-1961
Horszowski WTC I, very cheap on Vanguard Classics label 1978
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 19, 2009, 07:51:45 AM
Someone mentioned earlier in this thread Watchorn WTC I set which is unique because of pedal harpsicord used, gives extended dynamic range with greater lower octaves......has a warmer overall sound as a result with opportunity for enhanced dramatic impact, samples sound good order has been placed:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51cd3srKjUL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 19, 2009, 08:00:43 AM
Watchorn also unique in instrument tuning system used as outlined on this website:
http://www.larips.com/ (http://www.larips.com/)

Seems the decorative scrolling on WTC title page is thought to actually be a guide for tuning instrument.....
What do members think of this theory?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 19, 2009, 08:17:37 AM
Two recently acquired WTC piano versions have hit the spot with me:

Samuel Feinberg WTC I, II - mentioned by George, available at Russian DVD in very good remaster form 1958-1961
Horszowski WTC I, very cheap on Vanguard Classics label 1978

Glad you are enjoying the former. I should get the latter at some point, as I don't own anything by that pianist and his name keeps coming up. .
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 19, 2009, 08:23:49 AM
Someone mentioned earlier in this thread Watchorn WTC I set which is unique because of pedal harpsicord used, gives extended dynamic range with greater lower octaves......has a warmer overall sound as a result with opportunity for enhanced dramatic impact, samples sound good order has been placed:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51cd3srKjUL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://www.musicaomnia.org/images/mo0202-fc272x233.jpg)

DA - if not already done, checkout the posts on Watchorn & the pedal harpsichord (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11638.40.html) in the 'old musical instruments' thread - I've had his first set of the WTC for a while; and I've had his WTC II (on 3 discs) on order for a while but production has been delayed - received an e-mail from Watchorn the other day that the set should be in the mail any time, so if you like him playing these works on the pedal harpsichord, then maybe another addition to your 'wish list'?  Dave  :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 19, 2009, 09:47:46 AM
Two recently acquired WTC piano versions have hit the spot with me:

Samuel Feinberg WTC I, II - mentioned by George, available at Russian DVD in very good remaster form 1958-1961
Horszowski WTC I, very cheap on Vanguard Classics label 1978

DA.  When it comes to solo piano music, be it Bach or Chopin, George is the go-to guy, period.  I don't bother with anyone else on this forum ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 19, 2009, 10:28:47 AM
... it comes to solo piano music, be it Bach ...

... perfect, if Bach had composed solo piano music...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 19, 2009, 10:40:43 AM
DA.  When it comes to solo piano music, be it Bach or Chopin, George is the go-to guy, period.  I don't bother with anyone else on this forum ...

Indeed............he is one to keep an eye on  ;)

But there is an amazing amount amount of extremely useful info at this forum from many members that you won't find anywhere else, so I just take it all in and discover many new things in the process, exchange ideas etc
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 19, 2009, 10:50:31 AM
... perfect, if Bach had composed solo piano music...

I do not believe Bach WTC, Goldberg Variations or the Italian Concerto were performed on four hands?  Have I missed something?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 19, 2009, 10:53:38 AM
Indeed............he is one to keep an eye on  ;)

But there is an amazing amount amount of extremely useful info at this forum from many members that you won't find anywhere else, so I just take it all in and discover many new things in the process, exchange ideas etc

The bottomline is, I arrived at 95% of all my WTC's which are on so called the expert's recommended list based on my own research, not through anyone from the forum, save the Richter's version recommended by George.  You probably could have done the same ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 19, 2009, 02:38:00 PM
But there is an amazing amount amount of extremely useful info at this forum from many members that you won't find anywhere else, so I just take it all in and discover many new things in the process, exchange ideas etc

*pounds fist on the table*
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 19, 2009, 02:41:36 PM
I do not believe Bach WTC, Goldberg Variations or the Italian Concerto were performed on four hands?  Have I missed something?

Evidently.  The key word here is "piano", not "solo".
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 19, 2009, 05:38:44 PM
Tureck/DG
I will have to come back and try this set again after sometime has passed, at first listen it is not the style I usually like but many people here seem to be enchanted by its magic so I will see if I can get a new perspective on it.

A few more versions on the way, but Xmas has slowed down delivery times:
-Watchorn WTC I
-Suzuki WTC II
-Hantai WTC I
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 19, 2009, 05:48:11 PM
DA I've had his first set of the WTC for a while; and I've had his WTC II (on 3 discs) on order for a while but production has been delayed

Wonder why Watchorn WTC II is stretched out to 3 Cds.......is there some bonus material included?
Only other WTC II that requires 3 CDs I have seen is the Tureck/BBC Legends
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 19, 2009, 06:00:29 PM
Wonder why Watchorn WTC II is stretched out to 3 Cds.......is there some bonus material included?
Only other WTC II that requires 3 CDs I have seen is the Tureck/BBC Legends

No bonus material; it's a matter of tempos.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 19, 2009, 06:06:07 PM
DA.  When it comes to solo piano music, be it Bach or Chopin, George is the go-to guy, period.  I don't bother with anyone else on this forum ...

That's a rather insulting and/or misinformed statement.  To begin with, there is a major distinction to be made between piano music and baroque keyboard music.  George is certainly one of our resident experts on piano music; I pay much attention to his recommendations and frequent insights.  However, for Bach and other baroque keyboard music, members such as Antoine, Que and Premont have much to offer.  I'm sure I've left out some other experts and apologize in advance.

Of course, Coopmv also has expertise - finding the cheapest source for recordings.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 19, 2009, 06:09:04 PM
Wonder why Watchorn WTC II is stretched out to 3 Cds.......is there some bonus material included?
Only other WTC II that requires 3 CDs I have seen is the Tureck/BBC Legends

DA - Antoine contacted Watchorn a couple of months ago and quoted his response a while back HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg360639.html#msg360639) - scroll to response #335 for his reply -  :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 19, 2009, 06:38:35 PM
No bonus material; it's a matter of tempos.

Bulldog, is it purely slower tempo or does Watchorn include repeats other performers usually don't?

I read that email response Sonic referred to by Watchorn and even without the 9 minute "bonus" material the total timing is 177 minutes for his WTC II.......substantially longer than average WTC II

The Tureck/DG WTC II which is slowest tempo I have heard total time 144 minutes
Speedy tempo Gould/Sony WTC II total time 104 minutes
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on December 19, 2009, 07:18:14 PM
Hewitt
I got the new WTC set and compared it to older set. It is basically just a touch slower and more refined overall, but to be honest I will keep the original set and sell new one. Nothing really to be very critical about, great sound and elegant refined performances.....the critics will love it to death and good safe recommendation. Hewitt said in notes she has a freer style from exposure to french baroque like Couperin, and has gained experience form many years of live WTC performances.......still I find the first set more interesting which I suspect will be a minority view

I haven't heard Hewitt's new WTC but I'm on board with enjoying her earlier Bach recordings. I like her subtlety - all kinds of little things going on that bring the music to life.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on December 19, 2009, 07:24:54 PM
Hewitt
I got the new WTC set and compared it to older set. It is basically just a touch slower and more refined overall, but to be honest I will keep the original set and sell new one. Nothing really to be very critical about, great sound and elegant refined performances.....the critics will love it to death and good safe recommendation. Hewitt said in notes she has a freer style from exposure to french baroque like Couperin, and has gained experience form many years of live WTC performances.......still I find the first set more interesting which I suspect will be a minority view

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31eDzbM9y6L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VpYrtp4oL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Actually, I thought her Couperin recordings were dreadful.  If that experience informs her new recordings it would make me tend to stay away.    I have and admire the first set, and with all of the different options, to get a second set by the same performer seems like a waste of resources.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 19, 2009, 07:25:15 PM

Of course, Coopmv also has expertise - finding the cheapest source for recordings.

Perhaps you should learn to be more financially savvy, buddy.  Our disdain for each other is mutual, lets leave it at that.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on December 19, 2009, 07:31:50 PM
That's a rather insulting and/or misinformed statement.  To begin with, there is a major distinction to be made between piano music and baroque keyboard music.  George is certainly one of our resident experts on piano music; I pay much attention to his recommendations and frequent insights.  However, for Bach and other baroque keyboard music, members such as Antoine, Que and Premont have much to offer.  I'm sure I've left out some other experts and apologize in advance.

Of course, Coopmv also has expertise - finding the cheapest source for recordings.

People here are mostly experts on their own taste.  I don't see see the opinions of anyone here as authoritative.  I have noticed that there are some here whose tastes are similar to my own, whose opinions I therefore tend to pay attention to.   But George is not in that category, so I find my self not influenced very much by the opinions he expresses.  On the other hand, Bulldog's comments on Bach performance are always taken note of.   ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 19, 2009, 07:37:40 PM
People here are mostly experts on their own taste.  I don't see see the opinions of anyone here as authoritative. 

Scarpia,  You hit the nail right on its head.  I do respect George for his knowledge of piano works.   But when it comes to other subgenres of classical music, I do not see opinions from anyone here as cast in stone.  If someone feels this way, that is too bad ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 20, 2009, 10:18:44 AM
Quote
Watchorn also unique in instrument tuning system used as outlined on this website:
http://www.larips.com/ (http://www.larips.com/)

Will run this by a second time to see if there are any takers...........
Can this graphic scoll really be a visual instruction guide for how Bach tunes his keyboards, any comments observations most welcome.  If this is true my respect for Bach grow even more profound.

If Mr Watchorn reads these threads would love to hear his take on this
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 20, 2009, 10:27:26 AM
Perhaps you should learn to be more financially savvy, buddy.  Our disdain for each other is mutual, lets leave it at that.

I can't; "I finish things" :D.

I've been looking for any opportunity to repeat that line used by Clint in Gran Torino. :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 20, 2009, 11:08:21 AM
Will run this by a second time to see if there are any takers...........
Can this graphic scoll really be a visual instruction guide for how Bach tunes his keyboards, any comments observations most welcome.  If this is true my respect for Bach grow even more profound.

It makes sense to me, and Lehman's discovery has received a good reception from musicologists.  In addition, performers such as Watchorn, Egarr and others have totally embraced it (as far as I can tell).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 20, 2009, 05:07:28 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41OCtY0Gw8L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Just listened to 3 CD Schiff/Decca WTC I, II and was better than I expected, these date back to 1984-85 and are fairly cheap on the used market since they get lost in the mix of the newest releases. I expected them to be a bit stodgy and stiff, but Schiff is surprisingly flexible and very competitive with some of the current big names.......

For instance I just revisited Hewitt/Hyperion and do not think Schiff yeilds any ground to that version which receives a rosette in Penguin Guide. I am not saying it is best piano version since Gould & Feinberg to name two I rate a bit higher, but just remind people these fine versions are available if not forgotten.....

I specifically hunted these down because the new Schiff/ECM performances of Goldberg & Partitas greatly impressed me, I plan to add any new ECM versions as they are released  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on December 20, 2009, 06:17:29 PM
It makes sense to me, and Lehman's discovery has received a good reception from musicologists.  In addition, performers such as Watchorn, Egarr and others have totally embraced it (as far as I can tell).

It may or may not have anything to do with the tuning.  When I looked into it a while back it struck me that interpretation of those various loops and squiggles was far from obvious, and subject to multiple interpretations.  The interpretation they made struck me as counter-intuitive.  If Bach though the tuning method was so important, why didn't he notate it in a way that could be deciphered?  Aside from that, the system that is claimed to be specified by the squiggle is not that different from other standard tunings used at the time, such as the Valotti method.
 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on December 20, 2009, 06:18:58 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41OCtY0Gw8L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Just listened to 3 CD Schiff/Decca WTC I, II and was better than I expected, these date back to 1984-85 and are fairly cheap on the used market since they get lost in the mix of the newest releases. I expected them to be a bit stodgy and stiff, but Schiff is surprisingly flexible and very competitive with some of the current big names.......

For instance I just revisited Hewitt/Hyperion and do not think Schiff yeilds any ground to that version which receives a rosette in Penguin Guide. I am not saying it is best piano version since Gould & Feinberg to name two I rate a bit higher, but just remind people these fine versions are available if not forgotten.....

I specifically hunted these down because the new Schiff/ECM performances of Goldberg & Partitas greatly impressed me, I plan to add any new ECM versions as they are released  :)

The only thing I find surprising in this is the pre-conception that Schiff would be stiff or unengaging.  For me he is near the top of the pile.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 20, 2009, 07:12:36 PM
It may or may not have anything to do with the tuning.  When I looked into it a while back it struck me that interpretation of those various loops and squiggles was far from obvious, and subject to multiple interpretations.  The interpretation they made struck me as counter-intuitive.  If Bach though the tuning method was so important, why didn't he notate it in a way that could be deciphered?  Aside from that, the system that is claimed to be specified by the squiggle is not that different from other standard tunings used at the time, such as the Valotti method.

Have you heard any Bach performances using the Lehman system?  What do you think?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on December 20, 2009, 10:43:03 PM
Have you heard any Bach performances using the Lehman system?  What do you think?

I became very interested in the issue after reading about Watchorn's recording.  Then I got a copy of Watchorn's recording of the Toccatas, which I really didn't like, so I never listened to Watchorn's WTC.

I can't say it can disprove it, but Lehman's interpretation of the ornament on Bach's manuscript doesn't convince me. 

I found this treatment of temperament to be very interesting.

http://pages.globetrotter.net/roule/temper.htm#_nr_340

There were numerous tuning systems known in Bach's time which produced a "well tempered" instrument. 

For the curious, Lehman's argument is presented at http://www.larips.com/
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 21, 2009, 05:15:57 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51DsUhw9wcL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ciEd7VgCL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

For fans of Richter/RCA WTC...........
I saw Jens list of top new & reissue Cds for 2009 and there was newly remastered versions of both books of Richter WTC set so fans can take what action they deem appropriate. I am not a huge fan of the Richter set so I keep the old versions.

http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=1471 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=1471)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on December 31, 2009, 05:38:20 PM
(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/43/432833.JPG)

Finally received my Glen Wilson/Teldec (Arkiv re-issue) WTC.............I really like Wilsons overall presentation and sound, but for some reason on many sections I hear meachanical instrument noise, a click/clack sound from operation of instrument. I occassionally hear it on any harpsicord recording but seems to be more emphasized here, enough to be distracting. Perhaps has to do with location of recording mike, or just design of this harpsicord

Am I imagining this?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 01, 2010, 01:27:37 AM
(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/43/432833.JPG)

Finally received my Glen Wilson/Teldec (Arkiv re-issue) WTC.............I really like Wilsons overall presentation and sound, but for some reason on many sections I hear meachanical instrument noise, a click/clack sound from operation of instrument. I occassionally hear it on any harpsicord recording but seems to be more emphasized here, enough to be distracting. Perhaps has to do with location of recording mike, or just design of this harpsicord

Am I imagining this?

No, you have good ears, perhaps too good.  It's a frequent noise, but I find it rather distant, similar to the sound of castanets and in line with the rhythmic patterns.  Doesn't bother me at all. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on January 01, 2010, 04:55:21 AM
No, you have good ears, perhaps too good.  It's a frequent noise, but I find it rather distant, similar to the sound of castanets and in line with the rhythmic patterns.  Doesn't bother me at all.

Yes that desciribes the sound, like a castanet click/clack......would not cause me to sell this WTC, just something to be aware of.

Performance wise like many here have said Glen Wilson is one of the best available, very balanced fluid sound that would appeal to broad number of listeners, the fine sounding keyboard is a replica harpsicord after Christian Zell 1728 Hamburg. I have a couple more harpsicord WTCs coming and then I will have to make some general comparisons

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on January 01, 2010, 09:12:03 AM
No, you have good ears, perhaps too good.  It's a frequent noise, but I find it rather distant, similar to the sound of castanets and in line with the rhythmic patterns.  Doesn't bother me at all.

Yes, like the tracker noise from an organ - part of the nature of the instrument.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 01, 2010, 09:27:21 AM
Yes that desciribes the sound, like a castanet click/clack......would not cause me to sell this WTC, just something to be aware of.

Performance wise like many here have said Glen Wilson is one of the best available, very balanced fluid sound that would appeal to broad number of listeners, the fine sounding keyboard is a replica harpsicord after Christian Zell 1728 Hamburg. I have a couple more harpsicord WTCs coming and then I will have to make some general comparisons

One thing I hadn't considered concerning the mechanical noises.  Is it possible that the sound on the Arkiv on-demand copies is a little different?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on January 01, 2010, 11:06:14 AM
One thing I hadn't considered concerning the mechanical noises.  Is it possible that the sound on the Arkiv on-demand copies is a little different?

I have not read anything where they tinkered with the mastering, Don.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 01, 2010, 11:15:38 AM
I have that set, and frankly I do not recall noticing anything of the sort.
I will have a listen tomorrow morning - will report back to you. :)

Q

I hadn't noticed it either until DarkAngel brought it up.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on January 01, 2010, 11:54:27 AM
I have not read anything where they tinkered with the mastering, Don.

I hadn't noticed it either until DarkAngel brought it up.

Neither had I. This is of course, because we are used to these discrete mechanical extra-sounds.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on January 01, 2010, 08:49:09 PM
Hello harpsichord fans,

I got Suzuki's WTC II from arkivmusic 2 weeks ago. At this time, I think his complete set is as insightful as and complementary to Leonhardt's, Gilbert's and Wilson's. I do not have Asperen's but love his English Suites, so I will be picking his up and maybe his French Suites on Aeolus after I order a couple Parmentier recordings.

I think Suzuki's playing is very tasteful, subtle and nuanced, and with nice choices in tempi and development. He is often a little more gentle than the others--and this is enhanced by the recording quality I believe-- but I'm glad someone has chosen this interpretative route, treating the lines like benevolent voices, I suppose.

Two of my favorites at the moment are his BWV875 Praeludium and BWV887 Fuge, where patience pays off. And I love how he lets the first chord of the BWV870 Praeludium hang, which no one else does.

It seems to me that some reviewers aren't willing to honor Suzuki's stylistic approach, or give him ratings just shy of great, perhaps presuming fortune's allotment has already been spent on his cantata recordings.

But I think Suzuki's WTC and Partitas rank with the best. In the latter he plays the 6th's gigue squared which I like.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on January 02, 2010, 06:38:10 AM
Darkangel, I'm listening to Glen Wilson's Book II right now and I'll be damned if I hear any obtrusive/ clearly noticeable noises. (Do you listen using headphones?)
Since neither Don nor Premont have noticed it as well, I'm wondering if that CD-R copy that you got from Arkiv is quite OK?

I listen using high end stereo, Bulldog (Don) said it sounds like castanets in the background which is a very good description, it is a sound you will hear ocassionally in almost any harpsicord recording if you listen closely, just more obvious here for whatever reason.........nothing that will cause me to sell this version or overlook this fine performance.


Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on January 02, 2010, 06:51:36 AM
I got Suzuki's WTC II from arkivmusic 2 weeks ago. At this time, I think his complete set is as insightful as and complementary to Leonhardt's, Gilbert's and Wilson's. I do not have Asperen's but love his English Suites, so I will be picking his up and maybe his French Suites on Aeolus after I order a couple Parmentier recordings.

I think Suzuki's playing is very tasteful, subtle and nuanced, and with nice choices in tempi and development. He is often a little more gentle than the others--and this is enhanced by the recording quality I believe-- but I'm glad someone has chosen this interpretative route, treating the lines like benevolent voices, I suppose.

(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/bisbiscd151314.jpg)

I also just acquired the Suzuki/BIS WTC II and you description is close to my feeling.....Zen and the art of WTC.

 Subtle and elegantly nueanced with balanced tempi, this seems to be an extension of his Bach sacred vocal works for BIS.........I would like a touch more dramatic contrast since WTC is a secular work, but with the great sound quality this will be very popular with the public and critics  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on January 02, 2010, 07:10:57 AM
(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/bisbiscd151314.jpg)

I also just acquired the Suzuki/BIS WTC II and you description is close to my feeling.....Zen and the art of WTC.


Sounds very cool!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on January 02, 2010, 07:36:19 AM
Sounds very cool!

Just the thing for a certain Minnesotan member. ;)


(What! Minnesotan isn't a word?)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 02, 2010, 08:12:10 AM
Curious about Suzuki's WTC I also, i.e. good dual set to own for harpsichord?

According to this Fanfare Review (http://www.fanfaremag.com/content/view/35534/10238/), the WTC II is considered potentially one of the best performances on this instrument; interestingly, mention is made that Suzuki's release of the first book was back in 1997!  Any thoughts about that recording from those who may own the set?  Looks like a nice 4-CD package that BIS could put together in the near future?  :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 02, 2010, 10:43:11 AM
Curious about Suzuki's WTC I also, i.e. good dual set to own for harpsichord?

According to this Fanfare Review (http://www.fanfaremag.com/content/view/35534/10238/), the WTC II is considered potentially one of the best performances on this instrument; interestingly, mention is made that Suzuki's release of the first book was back in 1997!  Any thoughts about that recording from those who may own the set?  Looks like a nice 4-CD package that BIS could put together in the near future?  :D

I have Suzuki's Bk. 1 and find it an excellent account.  It likely will be issued with Bk. 2 at some point, but I wouldn't want to wait that long.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on January 02, 2010, 02:17:51 PM
I just listened to Suzuki's Book I again to refresh my memory, and I think it is on about the same level as his Book II, and here are some examples why:

In the BWV 847 Prelude, he starts with a strong and steady tactus and when he reaches the 1:07 mark he lets loose. Pierre Hantai starts fast and does something similar, although he is more intensely virtuosic. 

The BWV 849 Prelude and Fugue are extremely beautiful, particularly how Suzuki draws out tension in the Fugue. He also plays a little arpeggiated flourish at 3:40 in the lead up to the dissonant chord, which is interesting.

He plays the BWV 851 prelude at a slower than common tempo, which is just as effective as Gilbert's drive or Leonhardt's lute stop in giving character. In general, I would agree with others that Suzuki brings out a feeling of gracefulness and dance in much of his playing.

The BWV 855 Fugue is very exciting, especially taken in contrast with the Prelude, which is developmentally astounding.

BWV 864 Fugue, how his articulation spreads out and then reins in the rhythmic energy. To put it lightly, it must require concentration to be able to do this.

BWV 867 Fugue has the most tasteful ornamentation.






 

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on January 04, 2010, 01:07:47 AM
I have a number of versions of this great compendium - all different and all worthwhile. They include the prim and proper Andras Schiff, the bombastic Richter, Feinberg's pioneering approach and the journeyman Jeno Jando.

Today I got a version (Book I only) out of the library that really made me sit up and listen.  It's very different and certainly not one for the purists. What struck me most of all is the way the fugues were handled. This pianist attempted to bring out all the voices and give each one it's little solo where he thought they should stand up and be counted and regardless of whether they were SAT or B. While it didn't work for every single fugue it was very effective for many of them and the technical skill required to do this and get away with it was hair raising in places.

It is the orchestral/operatic approach to these works that makes this CD so interesting and one I will purchase specifically for this aspect. The fact that this pianist is also a conductor listening to it I sought out reviews. The musical critics were not impressed. Jed Distler really panned it (no surprise). When I went to Amazon however the reviews overall were very positive in the main. This is possibly a recording that might get someone into listening to and enjoying the WTC who would otherwise have ignored it.

As for me, I really like this Bk I recording. It's the fugues in particular that have really grabbed me. With all my other recordings the opposite has been the case.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 04, 2010, 06:38:34 AM
Why didn't you name the pianist?  For the present, I'll assume you're talking about Barenboim.  FWIW, my opinion of the performances is in sync with Distler's.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Carolus on January 04, 2010, 06:53:35 AM
Gulda's enough for me.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: springrite on January 04, 2010, 06:58:27 AM
Why didn't you name the pianist? 

Maybe this is a quiz thread...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on January 04, 2010, 07:32:06 AM
Why didn't you name the pianist?  For the present, I'll assume you're talking about Barenboim.  FWIW, my opinion of the performances is in sync with Distler's.

Indeed, what is the purpose of discussing an unknown performance?
Bulldog most likely has guessed the performance in question:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=8061 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=8061)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on January 04, 2010, 02:41:05 PM
Sorry, in my haste write the thread I forgot. it is Barenboim.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on January 04, 2010, 09:42:22 PM
Sorry, in my haste write the thread I forgot. it is Barenboim.

No need to haste, - Barenboim surely does not run anywhere.   :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on January 21, 2010, 02:11:34 PM
Have recently listened to the first six preludes and fugues of Bk I from Glenn Gould.  I must say, I am not getting a great deal of pleasure from these recordings and I wonder if I should continue listening, given the number of alternatives.  Certainly the clarity of the articulation is admirable, but at times I feel like I am listening to a player piano or a midi synthesizer. 

And, again it seems a shame that this pianist, who did not give any concerts in his substantive career, left only a small number of recordings which are characterized by very poor audio engineering, judging from this set.   

Maybe I should listen to that Barenboim set, mentioned above and gathering dust on my shelves.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 22, 2010, 11:17:42 AM
Have recently listened to the first six preludes and fugues of Bk I from Glenn Gould.  I must say, I am not getting a great deal of pleasure from these recordings and I wonder if I should continue listening, given the number of alternatives.  Certainly the clarity of the articulation is admirable, but at times I feel like I am listening to a player piano or a midi synthesizer. 

And, again it seems a shame that this pianist, who did not give any concerts in his substantive career, left only a small number of recordings which are characterized by very poor audio engineering, judging from this set.   

Maybe I should listen to that Barenboim set, mentioned above and gathering dust on my shelves.

You're a hard man to please when it comes to sound quality; I don't find Gould's sound bad at all.

As for either of the Barenboim sets, they shouldn't be gathering dust on your shelves; they should be in the next refuse pick-up. :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on January 22, 2010, 11:41:11 AM
You're a hard man to please when it comes to sound quality; I don't find Gould's sound bad at all.

As for either of the Barenboim sets, they shouldn't be gathering dust on your shelves; they should be in the next refuse pick-up. :D

He did two?  I have a set from Warner Classics.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: kishnevi on January 22, 2010, 11:58:39 AM
Any opinions about Pollini's recent release of Book I?

To add my $.02, I'm perfectly satisfied with the sonics and the musicianship on Gould's recordings. Out of those that I have heard of his recordings (most of them Bach), the only recording of his that I have not been impressed by is the Hindemith sonatas, and I suspect that's because of Hindemith, not Gould.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 22, 2010, 08:58:00 PM
In the current issue of American Record Guide, the recent Pieter Belder Brilliant Classics set was hailed as worthy to stand on the same footing as Dantone and Maasuki. I mean, Suzuki. Considering the price advantage, I think I'll go for it as a replacement to The Olde Verlet nad Moroney versions. Fresh blood, yeeaahh >:D ! Oups! ::)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 22, 2010, 09:28:34 PM
He did two?  I have a set from Warner Classics.

Sorry.  Barenboim didn't do two; one set is Bk. 1, the other Bk. 2.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on January 23, 2010, 05:59:57 AM
In the current issue of American Record Guide, the recent Pieter Belder Brilliant Classics set was hailed as worthy to stand on the same footing as Dantone and Maasuki. I mean, Suzuki. Considering the price advantage, I think I'll go for it as a replacement to The Olde Verlet nad Moroney versions. Fresh blood, yeeaahh >:D ! Oups! ::)

I always take new reviews with a grain of salt..........."flavor of the month" syndrome is rampant among professional reviewers

Constantly hail the next great new recording then 2-3 yrs from now all is forgotten while the true classics eventually rise to the top, not saying that Belder is not good but I am naturally skeptical.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on January 23, 2010, 06:07:19 AM
I always take new reviews with a grain of salt..........."flavor of the month" syndrome is rampant among professional reviewers

Constantly hail the next great new recording then 2-3 yrs from now all is forgotten while the true classics eventually rise to the top, not saying that Belder is not good but I am naturally skeptical.

I have held this view for years.  I am only interested in having recordings that have passed the test of times or have the potential of meeting this goal in my collection.  There is rampant me-tooism out there and the syndrome is not limited only to classical music ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 23, 2010, 04:04:49 PM
I don't have an opinion on Belder's set. ARG's reviewer analyses many performance isssues in detail, so I suppose he's done his homework.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 23, 2010, 04:33:39 PM
I have held this view for years.  I am only interested in having recordings that have passed the test of times or have the potential of meeting this goal in my collection. 

Really?  I'd rather have recordings that satisfy my tastes.  The "test of time" is too generalized, being based on some sort of consensus.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on January 24, 2010, 02:20:21 AM
Really?  I'd rather have recordings that satisfy my tastes.  The "test of time" is too generalized, being based on some sort of consensus.
Me, too.  Those "test of time" folks tend to favor recordings made 70 or more years ago.  By the time they finally catch up and recognize the quality of many recordings made today and in recent decades, they'll be long dead!    ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on January 24, 2010, 03:01:20 AM
In the current issue of American Record Guide, the recent Pieter Belder Brilliant Classics set was hailed as worthy to stand on the same footing as Dantone and Maasuki. I mean, Suzuki. Considering the price advantage, I think I'll go for it as a replacement to The Olde Verlet nad Moroney versions. Fresh blood, yeeaahh >:D ! Oups! ::)

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/5028421938929.jpg)

I had a look at jpc (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-1-2/hnum/4887080) and listened to the samples of Belder's new recording. It sounds actually pretty good, gentlemen.... Though a comparison with Ottavio Dantone is out of order - totally different approach. (Dantone & Glen Wilson are my top rec. sofar, I'm not into Suzuki's barren, overly meticulous & micro-focused, "Zen"-like Bach). Based on these first impressions Belder's approach sounds to me very much in the mould of Belder's teacher Bob van Asperen and his teacher Gustav Leonhardt. Another chip of the old Dutchman's block, so to speak! :) Straight, rhythmically rigourous, strongly articlulated, no frills. On first hearing Belder does apply more flexibility than the old master, and more "colour" than Van Asperen, which are good things IMO.

I will eagerly await the undoubtedly more founded impressions of those here who decide to go for it. :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: 71 dB on January 24, 2010, 03:46:59 AM
I don't regret buying this one:
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on January 24, 2010, 03:54:34 AM
I don't regret buying this one:

I did and parted with it.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on January 24, 2010, 04:57:16 AM
(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/5028421938929.jpg)

I had a look at jpc (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-1-2/hnum/4887080) and listened to the samples of Belder's new recording. It sounds actually pretty good, gentlemen.... Though a comparison with Ottavio Dantone is out of order - totally different approach. (Dantone & Glen Wilson are my top rec. sofar, I'm not into Suzuki's barren, overly meticulous & micro-focused, "Zen"-like Bach). Based on these first impressions Belder's approach sounds to me very much in the mould of Belder's teacher Bob van Asperen and his teacher Gustav Leonhardt. Another chip of the old Dutchman's block, so to speak! :) Straight, rhythmically rigourous, strongly articlulated, no frills. On first hearing Belder does apply more flexibility than the old master, and more "colour" than Van Asperen, which are good things IMO.

I will eagerly await the undoubtedly more founded impressions of those here who decide to go for it. :)

Q

I have the version by van Asperen.  It is one of those that can stand the test of times IMO.  At the very least, you and I are on the same page.  Is the version by Leonhardt OOP?  I may have one book on LP but nothing on CD?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on January 24, 2010, 05:02:18 AM
I have the version by van Asperen.  It is one of those that can stand the test of times IMO.  At the very least, you and I are on the same page.  Is the version by Leonhardt OOP?  I may have one book on LP but nothing on CD?

Leonhardt's recordings have been issued on CD, OOP but copies are still around. Undoubtedly scheduled for reissue one of these days.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/411NZ9X9XGL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61XQBHJ6SEL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on January 24, 2010, 06:05:43 AM
I have the version by van Asperen.  It is one of those that can stand the test of times IMO.  At the very least, you and I are on the same page.  Is the version by Leonhardt OOP?  I may have one book on LP but nothing on CD?

I don't buy into this "test of time" bit.  If you lived in 1800 you would be claiming that Bach has not withstood the "test of time."   I know what I like, and although I don't let reviewers dictate my purchasing decisions, if I read a review by a good reviewer I can usually judge whether I will like it, test of time or no test of time.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on January 24, 2010, 06:13:15 AM
I don't buy into this "test of time" bit.  If you lived in 1800 you would be claiming that Bach has not withstood the "test of time."   I know what I like, and although I don't let reviewers dictate my purchasing decisions, if I read a review by a good reviewer I can usually judge whether I will like it, test of time or no test of time.

My definition of test of time is not quite as long as you think.  I think it is necessary to separate recordings that are worth getting back to in a few years, as compared with those me-too recordings.  Many Bach keyboard works have been released over the past few years, often by pianists who have never before come near Bach.  It seems like having Bach keyboard works recorded these days has become a fashion statement for many artists. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on January 24, 2010, 07:08:32 AM
On the basis of Belder's Scarlatti sonata set which I own about 50% of I am not a motivated buyer of his WTC. He has a clean flexible but somewhat cautious style compared to Scott Ross complete set or CDs by Hantai, Staier etc, leaves some cards on the table if you will. You may think well that is exactly what I want for harpsicord Bach......perhaps but not for me, although I do think as Que indicates he could be more rythmic flexible compared to the old school Leonhardt or Van Asperen styles which is a good thing

Preferences
For harpsicord versions Hantai WTC I, Watchorn WTC I, and Wilson WTC I, II
For piano Feinberg WTC I, II and Gould WTC I, II
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 24, 2010, 07:16:09 AM
I don't need a new WTC, but one thing I notice is that recorded sound for harpsichord recordings has evolved substantially over the years. I used to have Ruzickova some 30 years ago, then Moroney, and now Verlet. the latter is quite good on all counts. But I'm not against having an update on both the interpretation and the sonic experience. Belder's set is issued by Brilliant, so it should be very affordable.

OTOH, Belder's complete Scarlatti sonatas is not on a par with some individual discs I have (both in terms of interpretation and sound). I think I'll sample before I decide.

Quote
Many Bach keyboard works have been released over the past few years, often by pianists who have never before come near Bach.  It seems like having Bach keyboard works recorded these days has become a fashion statement for many artists.
All important pianists play Bach by bits and pieces in their recitals. An English suite here, a Partita there, etc. But you don't make a carreer out of playing Bach only. They relish the chance to make records when asked. I don't see that as a fashion statement at all. It's a musical statement. Every artist worthy of the name wants to have a go at Bach's major works. Just like every soprano wants to try her hand at Violetta or Isolde.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 24, 2010, 07:38:03 AM
Well, I now have both books of the WTC w/ Peter Watchorn on the pedal harpsichord; so still in the market for a version on standard harpsichord.  I was just re-reading the review on Peter-Jan Belder's Brilliant release of these works (the price is certainly right!) in the American Record Guide (Jan-Feb 2010).

The reviewer is Rob Haskins - he also did a back-to-back writeup of Suzuki's WTC II; his top 3 choices are Suzuki, Dantone, & Belder in that order (w/ no mention of Glen Wilson); so the competition does deepen -  :D

I shall await the thoughts of some of our esteemed Bachians on their first-hand listening to the Belder set -  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on January 24, 2010, 07:49:32 AM
I am getting VERY curious about that Suzuki set.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 24, 2010, 09:04:05 AM
I did and parted with it.

I was very disappointed in Beausejour's Bk. 1: very mainstream, limited range of color and texture and a representation of Bach's music as quite moderate.  Further, bass response was thin, damaging the musical dialogue.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 24, 2010, 09:11:38 AM
Well, I now have both books of the WTC w/ Peter Watchorn on the pedal harpsichord; so still in the market for a version on standard harpsichord.  I was just re-reading the review on Peter-Jan Belder's Brilliant release of these works (the price is certainly right!) in the American Record Guide (Jan-Feb 2010).

The reviewer is Rob Haskins - he also did a back-to-back writeup of Suzuki's WTC II; his top 3 choices are Suzuki, Dantone, & Belder in that order (w/ no mention of Glen Wilson); so the competition does deepen -  :D

I shall await the thoughts of some of our esteemed Bachians on their first-hand listening to the Belder set -  :)

I have much respect for Rob Haskins.  He's not a reviewer who plays a disc a couple of times and then makes definititive pronouncements.  He listens many times and always is questioning his own preconceptions.  A case in point is his review of Vartolo's Art of Fugue (Naxos) in the November/December ARG.  Those who read it will find Haskins a top-notch reviewer.

None of the above means that I will agree with Haskin's opinion of the Belder set, but an honest and thorough reviewer demands our attention.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 24, 2010, 09:14:42 AM
I am getting VERY curious about that Suzuki set.

Me too: the word "Zen" -used by Q, although not in a favourable way- can be very compelling as a description.  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on January 24, 2010, 09:33:12 AM
Me too: the word "Zen" -used by Q, although not in a favourable way- can be very compelling as a description.  :)
I almost commented on that, too, when first I saw it, wondering what the heck "zen" has to do with "barren, overly meticulous & micro-focused."  More unzenlike qualities are hard to imagine.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bunny on January 24, 2010, 09:57:18 AM
Well, I now have both books of the WTC w/ Peter Watchorn on the pedal harpsichord; so still in the market for a version on standard harpsichord.  I was just re-reading the review on Peter-Jan Belder's Brilliant release of these works (the price is certainly right!) in the American Record Guide (Jan-Feb 2010).

The reviewer is Rob Haskins - he also did a back-to-back writeup of Suzuki's WTC II; his top 3 choices are Suzuki, Dantone, & Belder in that order (w/ no mention of Glen Wilson); so the competition does deepen -  :D

I shall await the thoughts of some of our esteemed Bachians on their first-hand listening to the Belder set -  :)

I'd go for the Dantone (which I already have) if I were you.  He is so baroque -- and I mean that in the best way: theatrical, ornamented, and never, ever, boring.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 24, 2010, 12:22:33 PM
Belder's Scarlatti is much like the examples I know of Beauséjour's playing: fluent and unobtrusive, always musical, but somewhat short on imagination and daring. The Lagacés (Mireille and Bernard) and Kenneth Gilbert are the grand old people of canadian organ and harpsichord playing , and unfortunately the defects I mention can all be traced back to their fastidious, tasteful but unimaginative music-making. Sometimes a playing tradition can do more harm than good... I'll take Scott Ross over Belder any day in Scarlatti - athough he, too, has been left behind by the younger generation of players.

For the piano version I go for Horszowski in book 1, and Feltsman in Book II. Vastly different approaches that complement each other well. Book II is quite different from Book I anyway.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on January 24, 2010, 12:43:07 PM
On the basis of Belder's Scarlatti sonata set which I own about 50% of I am not a motivated buyer of his WTC. He has a clean flexible but somewhat cautious style compared to Scott Ross complete set or CDs by Hantai, Staier etc, leaves some cards on the table if you will. You may think well that is exactly what I want for harpsicord Bach......perhaps but not for me, although I do think as Que indicates he could be more rythmic flexible compared to the old school Leonhardt or Van Asperen styles which is a good thing
I do 100% agree with your assesment of Belder's Scarlatti, cautious & stiff/ "wooden". Scott Ross is my no. 1  8). And I wasn't enchanted by Belder's F. Couperin set, either....no mystery..no poetry! But, but: I do think his Soler absolutely rocks! :) So, it all depends on the match between performer & composer. I haven't tried his new Rameau or the Händel set.

That all being said, I've not been terribly keen on Van Asperen's Bach - though downright smitten by his Froberger! :o - or was won over by Leonhardt's WTC. Maybe Belder will trump his old masters, but I won't know before I try the set properly. Maybe I will. :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on January 24, 2010, 12:47:27 PM
The recorded sound of Glen Wilson's Zell copy is close to perfect.
If I had to recommend a first WTC, I would definitely choose his set because of the microphone placement and it's excitement and virtuosity.

Leonhardt sounds the most authentic and authoritative to me, whatever that means, but the recorded sound is not ideal. I wish he would do some more bach recordings, e.g. the partitas with repeats, before he leaves this earth. That Byrd selection for Alpha is great.

I think the Suzuki set can be just as rewarding, has a great sound, but may require more patience and somehow seems modern (due in part to BIS's production). Direct prelude and fugue comparisons with Gilbert, Leonhardt, and Wilson, among others, reveal Suzuki's insights on the interplay of voices. Sure, it's predictable given his conducting background and style, but it's nevertheless true.

Scott Ross's Scarlatti is just incredible on so many levels.

As for Asperen, it would appear, based on reviews of his Aeolus recordings, that he has further matured, although I haven't gotten around to buying those yet.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on January 24, 2010, 01:02:17 PM
Me too: the word "Zen" -used by Q, although not in a favourable way- can be very compelling as a description.  :)

Indeed. The adjective has been used (in a favorable way) to describe Rudolf Serkin's playing.

I checked my usual places to see if I could download it and try it out before buying it, but unfortunately, no one seems to have it. However, the amazon samples didn't send me running to the checkout.  :-\ I think I'd prefer to get to know my two newest WTC (Tureck DG and Moroney HM) before seeking out more versions.   
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on January 24, 2010, 01:09:27 PM
Indeed. The adjective has been used (in a favorable way) to describe Rudolf Serkin's playing.

I checked my usual places to see if I could download it and try it out before buying it, but unfortunately, no one seems to have it. However, the amazon samples didn't send me running to the checkout.  :-\ I think I'd prefer to get to know my two newest WTC (Tureck DG and Moroney HM) before seeking out more versions.

I have the following Moroney set but really have not thought about getting his WTC set (with that weird hand?  ;D).  I have had the Tureck's set for a good number of months and that was a good purchase decision.  I doubt there are any versions other than the latest version by Angela Hewitt and the Leonhardt's set I want to own ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41G1E0CXKVL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on February 18, 2010, 08:26:09 AM
My Gould copy sold on Amazon Marketplace.  Whew, that's a relief.   :D  I have replaced it with the Ashkenazy, which hasn't arrived yet but which I am looking forward to.  Also just received Hewitt take 2 for a very good price from that outrageous French website with the sale.   Actually, I noticed the package did not come from France.  It came from a Naxos warehouse at an address in Germany.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on February 18, 2010, 08:38:56 AM
My Gould copy sold on Amazon Marketplace.  Whew, that's a relief.   :D  I have replaced it with the Ashkenazy, which hasn't arrived yet but which I am looking forward to.  Also just received Hewitt take 2 for a very good price from that outrageous French website with the sale.   Actually, I noticed the package did not come from France.  It came from a Naxos warehouse at an address in Germany.

Are you sure you don't have room for either of Gould's Goldberg Variations in your collection?
 
Even if it is not your favorite version good to keep as a reference since it will always be referred to in any Goldberg discussion........
 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on February 18, 2010, 08:44:27 AM
My Gould copy sold on Amazon Marketplace.  Whew, that's a relief.   :D  I have replaced it with the Ashkenazy, which hasn't arrived yet but which I am looking forward to.  Also just received Hewitt take 2 for a very good price from that outrageous French website with the sale.   Actually, I noticed the package did not come from France.  It came from a Naxos warehouse at an address in Germany.
Even though our tastes diverge as often as not, I am interested to hear your impressions of Hewitt II.

"Outrageous French website with the sale?"
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 18, 2010, 08:52:15 AM

Are you sure you don't have room for either of Gould's Goldberg Variations in your collection?
 
Even if it is not your favorite version good to keep as a reference since it will always be referred to in any Goldberg discussion........

Which of them? The first or the second one?  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on February 18, 2010, 08:59:00 AM
Even though our tastes diverge as often as not, I am interested to hear your impressions of Hewitt II.

"Outrageous French website with the sale?"

http://classique.abeillemusique.com/

You picked the wrong week to stay away from GMG.  Sale is over, unfortunately.  I got Hewitt take 2 (Bk I and II), and the complete Chopin by Ohlsson on Hyperion for 39 Euros, including about 7 Euros for shipping to the US.  Going by list price, that should be $250.   The deals Brilliant Classics were particularly outrageous, but I resisted.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on February 18, 2010, 10:34:09 AM

Are you sure you don't have room for either of Gould's Goldberg Variations in your collection?
 
Even if it is not your favorite version good to keep as a reference since it will always be referred to in any Goldberg discussion........

Sorry forgot this is the WTC thread, but same logic applies.........every collection should have Gould WTC if only for reference purposes.
 
About Angela Hewitt WTC version II
As said earlier here they are similar to her WTC version I no need to really have both, if I could only keep one it would be her WTC I despite the reasons given in her booklet why she feels WTC version II are even better after years of performances and the experience gained
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on February 18, 2010, 11:06:20 AM
Sorry forgot this is the WTC thread, but same logic applies.........every collection should have Gould WTC if only for reference purposes.
 
About Angela Hewitt WTC II
As said earlier here they are similar to her WTC I no need to really have both, if I could only keep one it would be her WTC I despite the reasons given in her booklet why she feels WTC II are even better after years of performances and the experience gained

I had the same impression about Hewitt's WTCs, except with the sale it was so cheap I can sell whichever I like least and come out with no money lost, or perhaps a modest profit.

Back to Gould, I don't generally keep recordings "for reference."  I'm sure that if I live to be 1000 years old I will never want to listen to the Gould recording again.  It simply repulsed me from every point of view.  The artificial-sounding engineering grated on my nerves, the humming, the overly mechanical, staccato articulation of every note.  The last straw was when I rented some opera DVD which had a preview of a film about Glenn Gould.  Aside from the social awkwardness, his comments about music didn't leave me interested in any "insights" that he might have.  Too many alternatives to have these recordings taking up space on my shelves.  (In retrospect, I should have ripped the discs to mp3 files before sending it off, just to remind myself never to be tempted to buy it again.  :D)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on February 18, 2010, 11:59:31 AM
I had the same impression about Hewitt's WTCs, except with the sale it was so cheap I can sell whichever I like least and come out with no money lost, or perhaps a modest profit.

Back to Gould, I don't generally keep recordings "for reference." I'm sure that if I live to be 1000 years old I will never want to listen to the Gould recording again.  It simply repulsed me from every point of view.  The artificial-sounding engineering grated on my nerves, the humming, the overly mechanical, staccato articulation of every note.  The last straw was when I rented some opera DVD which had a preview of a film about Glenn Gould.  Aside from the social awkwardness, his comments about music didn't leave me interested in any "insights" that he might have.  Too many alternatives to have these recordings taking up space on my shelves.  (In retrospect, I should have ripped the discs to mp3 files before sending it off, just to remind myself never to be tempted to buy it again.  :D )

I fully recoginze that Gould WTC  is a love/hate type performance.......not much middle ground.
Plus the humming can be very distracting compared to other artists
 
I think it is a good thing to have artists push the envelope from time to time, make you reconsider what is possible
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on February 18, 2010, 12:06:51 PM
I think it is a good thing to have artists push the envelope from time to time, make you reconsider what is possible

I completely agree about pushing the envelope.  I will benefit by listening to pianists who leaned something from Gould, without actually being mentally ill themselves.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 18, 2010, 12:12:59 PM
Back to Gould, I don't generally keep recordings "for reference."  I'm sure that if I live to be 1000 years old I will never want to listen to the Gould recording again.  It simply repulsed me from every point of view. 

That's a reaction to Gould that I can't comprehend.  However, I also don't keep recordings around for reference; if I think they suck, they're gone (not worth the space they take up).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: kishnevi on February 18, 2010, 05:36:36 PM

Back to Gould, I don't generally keep recordings "for reference."  I'm sure that if I live to be 1000 years old I will never want to listen to the Gould recording again.  It simply repulsed me from every point of view.  The artificial-sounding engineering grated on my nerves, the humming, the overly mechanical, staccato articulation of every note.  The last straw was when I rented some opera DVD which had a preview of a film about Glenn Gould.  Aside from the social awkwardness, his comments about music didn't leave me interested in any "insights" that he might have.  Too many alternatives to have these recordings taking up space on my shelves.  (In retrospect, I should have ripped the discs to mp3 files before sending it off, just to remind myself never to be tempted to buy it again.  :D)

Well,  there's no doubt about where you stand on Gould!
I have most of his Bach recordings, and listen to them with pleasure.  I think there are several better recordings of the Goldbergs since his original version appeared--fifty five years is a very long time in the recording business--but there are still things worth hearing in his performances.  I have two of his non Bach recordings:  Renaissance keyboard works by Byrd and others, and the Hindemith piano sonatas.  The latter does not impress me, but I'm inclined to suspect the fault there lies with Hindemith, not Gould.

I think the trailer you saw was highly edited, and meant to emphasize his eccentricities.  He did in fact have more than a few interesting things to say about music; I've read a book containing some of his essays (some of them originally liner notes for his albums), and they were all high quality writing.  (IIRC, the book was called The Glenn Gould Reader.)  If you come across them,  they make worthwhile reading no matter what you think of his actual recordings.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on February 19, 2010, 12:46:30 AM
I've read some interesting reviews about this

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516Xcs7v26L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

The short excerpts provided don't really give an idea of the structure of the works. Has anyone heard this who can comment?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 19, 2010, 07:25:53 AM
I've read some interesting reviews about this

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516Xcs7v26L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

The short excerpts provided don't really give an idea of the structure of the works. Has anyone heard this who can comment?

Holden - can't help but will be interested in comments - excellent review on his website HERE (http://www.rogerwoodward.com/) by Jed Distler; also, a 5* Amazon USA Review (http://www.amazon.com/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Well-Tempered-Complete/dp/B002QB4AC0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1266592558&sr=1-1) mentions a 'pocket score' included - not sure what that may mean, but I would be curious as to how this offering is packaged?   :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 19, 2010, 08:58:26 AM
I've read some interesting reviews about this

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516Xcs7v26L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

The short excerpts provided don't really give an idea of the structure of the works. Has anyone heard this who can comment?

I'm very familiar with the set and consider it exceptional, although not compelling in every prelude and fugue.  Generally, Woodward offers very serious interpretations with some "lift" lacking in the faster pieces.  Therefore, his best performances are of the slower pieces where despair and regret are prominent such as the Fugue in F minor from Bk. 1 and Prelude in C sharp minor from Bk. 2. 

Woodward's counterpoint is wonderful and conversational patterns illuminating.  I also love his strong articulation; when he departs from this strength, the performances are not outstanding.

I've read the linked reviews that Dave provided and find them to be the stuff of promotion, such as the nonsense of some kind of significance that Woodward records the set at the same age that Bach died.

I first became familiar with Woodward's Bach through another Celestial Harmonies disc containing a French Suite, Partita and Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue.  I love that disc and this new set as well.

I can't report on the packaging, because I have been listening to the entire set on the Naxos Music Library.  I notice that the cost of the physical product is about $90.  That's quite steep, but I do think the set well worth it.

As for comparisons, Tureck's set still remains my no. 1 pick.  However, Woodward stands tall next to Richter, Gould, Gulda, Vieru, Sheppard, Crossland, Schepkin and Fellner.  He's also more rewarding than Schiff and Hewitt.

Just one more thing.  I remember that the MusicWeb reviewer was not very complimentary about the single disc I mentioned above; he felt that the readings were overly romanticized and not conducive to the dancing nature of the works.  I disagree.  The romanticism is not "over the top", and Woodward's supreme dialogue easily overcomes any lack of the "traditional" dance element.

Another edit.  When I first read the Amazon link from Dave, I didn't notice the David Cates review.  I believe that he's the same David Cates who recorded the French Suites on Music & Arts; that set is my favorite.  I put a lot of faith in what Cates has to say.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on February 19, 2010, 09:40:26 AM
As for comparisons, Tureck's set still remains my no. 1 pick.

What are your feelings regarding her DG vs BBC recordings? ,
Personally, I've been considering buying the Aldwell Book I mp3s because the samples are so good. It's utterly ridiculous that Nonesuch has II in CD form but not I, especially of an artist who died pretty recently. Maybe if I listen to the mp3s enough I'll save up the $200 necessary for the price gougers, and I can have lossless. Why can't everyone be like Linn?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 19, 2010, 10:05:38 AM
What are your feelings regarding her DG vs BBC recordings? ,
Personally, I've been considering buying the Aldwell Book I mp3s because the samples are so good. It's utterly ridiculous that Nonesuch has II in CD form but not I, especially of an artist who died pretty recently. Maybe if I listen to the mp3s enough I'll save up the $200 necessary for the price gougers, and I can have lossless. Why can't everyone be like Linn?

I have both Tureck sets and find the DG a more affectionate and warmer performance; the BBC is rather clinical.  However, I love both of them.

As for Aldwell, I acquired both books when they were initially released many years ago.  Excellent performances.  If you'd like a CD-R of either or both books, just let me know.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on February 19, 2010, 10:23:10 AM
I have both Tureck sets and find the DG a more affectionate and warmer performance; the BBC is rather clinical.  However, I love both of them.

As for Aldwell, I acquired both books when they were initially released many years ago.  Excellent performances.  If you'd like a CD-R of either or both books, just let me know.

Ah, that's good to know. I recently picked up her DG set, and it's got tons of personality. Thank you for your kind offer of Aldwell.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 20, 2010, 02:54:43 PM
Woodward's counterpoint is wonderful and conversational patterns illuminating.  I also love his strong articulation; when he departs from this strength, the performances are not outstanding.

I can't report on the packaging, because I have been listening to the entire set on the Naxos Music Library.  I notice that the cost of the physical product is about $90.  That's quite steep, but I do think the set well worth it.

As for comparisons, Tureck's set still remains my no. 1 pick. Sheppard, Crossland, ....

Another edit.  When I first read the Amazon link from Dave, I didn't notice the David Cates review.  I believe that he's the same David Cates who recorded the French Suites on Music & Arts; that set is my favorite.  I put a lot of faith in what Cates has to say.

Don - that Woodward 'combined' offering interests me - being offered at about $44 at MDT (shipping would be cheap w/ a good sized order) - now I have Crossland & Sheppard Bk. 1 (his Bk. 2 seems to have received a lesser enthusiastic reception?) - so if I want a couple 'piano' versions of the WTC, should I just pick up Sheppard Bk. 2 or go w/ the Woodward 5-disc set purchased across the pond?  BTW - a little reluctant to consider Tureck because of the age & sonics of the recordings?  So, how is that price quoted above?  :D  Dave
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 20, 2010, 07:32:07 PM
Don - that Woodward 'combined' offering interests me - being offered at about $44 at MDT (shipping would be cheap w/ a good sized order) - now I have Crossland & Sheppard Bk. 1 (his Bk. 2 seems to have received a lesser enthusiastic reception?) - so if I want a couple 'piano' versions of the WTC, should I just pick up Sheppard Bk. 2 or go w/ the Woodward 5-disc set purchased across the pond?  BTW - a little reluctant to consider Tureck because of the age & sonics of the recordings?  So, how is that price quoted above?  :D  Dave

That's a great price.

Concerning the Sheppard, I remember a review, likely in Fanfare, that favored his Bk. 1 over 2.  I also recall a review favoring Bk. 2.  Personally, I think both are exceptional.

It's a little amusing that you're reluctant to acquire the Tureck set, because I'd be willing to give up all my other WTCs if that's what it took to keep the Tureck.  It's the most treasured recording in my entire collection, all composers included.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on February 20, 2010, 07:41:54 PM
It's a little amusing that you're reluctant to acquire the Tureck set, because I'd be willing to give up all my other WTCs if that's what it took to keep the Tureck.  It's the most treasured recording in my entire collection, all composers included.

Not to mention the fact that the sonics are fine.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 20, 2010, 08:07:40 PM
Not to mention the fact that the sonics are fine.

Agree.  If I can deal with the WTC I & II by Edwin Fischer reconstructed/remastered by MOT, then the SQ of Tureck's WTC on DG is actually quite good IMO ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 20, 2010, 10:32:19 PM
This Scarpia character is just your stereotypical musical ignoramus that's all.

Gould on the other hand was a musical genius.

You keep talking like that, and Scarpia will zap you with the FUBAR II. ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Valentino on February 21, 2010, 01:57:41 AM
My new favourite Book I:

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_umVPctM9AqI/SuJBm0Qpl1I/AAAAAAAABk4/VDHlwFIILnA/s320/bach_pollini.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 21, 2010, 05:09:27 AM
My new favourite Book I:

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_umVPctM9AqI/SuJBm0Qpl1I/AAAAAAAABk4/VDHlwFIILnA/s320/bach_pollini.jpg)

Val,   Your post is always interesting to me since you probably have the most leading-edge sound system - all digital - among all the folks on this forum.  There is much I can learn from you when I decide to go digital whole hog ...    ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on February 21, 2010, 06:39:22 AM
My new favourite Book I:

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_umVPctM9AqI/SuJBm0Qpl1I/AAAAAAAABk4/VDHlwFIILnA/s320/bach_pollini.jpg)

Anything more specific you can say about it?  What is your second favorite?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Valentino on February 21, 2010, 07:58:55 AM
I like Andras Schiff, and I prefer his to Hewitt's first. I find Ashkenazy boring.
Then along comes Pollini blows the cowwebs away. Modernism suits Bach.

(The main difference to my sound system to most others is that the speakers are dynamic dipoles. Not many of those around. And they are active. Even fewer. And they have software crossovers. Tres Avant Garde, oui.)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 21, 2010, 09:49:33 AM
I like Andras Schiff, and I prefer his to Hewitt's first. I find Ashkenazy boring.
Then along comes Pollini blows the cowwebs away. Modernism suits Bach.

I very much enjoy the Pollini set and especially like that he delves deeply into Bach's dark side, considering the common complaint that Pollini's a rather cold pianist.

However, I don't know what you mean by "modernism"; could you explain?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 21, 2010, 10:48:34 AM
I very much enjoy the Pollini set and especially like that he delves deeply into Bach's dark side, considering the common complaint that Pollini's a rather cold pianist.

However, I don't know what you mean by "modernism"; could you explain?

Good question.

And while we're at it -- maybe you could say which are the bits where you hear him delve deeply. You've got me thinking.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on February 21, 2010, 11:06:11 AM
I very much enjoy the Pollini set and especially like that he delves deeply into Bach's dark side, considering the common complaint that Pollini's a rather cold pianist.

However, I don't know what you mean by "modernism"; could you explain?

Interesting.  I seemed not particularly remarkable in the 30 second excepts, but clearly that is no way to appreciate whether a performance delves deeply.  I'm getting intrigued again. 

As far a Pollini being cold, I think that was an issue with his early performances.  In more recent recordings there seems to be less emphasis on technical purity, and more on beauty of sound and creating the correct atmosphere.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 21, 2010, 05:52:48 PM
Good question.

And while we're at it -- maybe you could say which are the bits where you hear him delve deeply. You've got me thinking.

Check out Pollini's Prelude in C sharp minor - very bleak and emotionally piercing.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 04, 2010, 10:03:19 AM
I've been listening a few more times to the Pollini WTC I.  Haven't reached a final opinion, if there is such a thing, but the performances seem quite mainstream to me with plenty of energy and excitement in the faster pieces and sufficient angst in the darker preludes and fugues.  It's definitely a worthy piano version with a slight chance of being outstanding.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 04, 2010, 10:06:52 AM
I've been listening a few more times to the Pollini WTC I.  Haven't reached a final opinion, if there is such a thing, but the performances seem quite mainstream to me with plenty of energy and excitement in the faster pieces and sufficient angst in the darker preludes and fugues.  It's definitely a worthy piano version with a slight chance of being outstanding.

Sounds interesting.  I will spring for it when and if WTC II is released.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 04, 2010, 10:41:46 AM
Sounds interesting.  I will spring for it when and if WTC II is released.

I assume your decision is based on a box set being released having price advantages; you are a patient man.  When I want something, I immediately shoot for it.  Delayed gratification is not in my nature.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 04, 2010, 10:51:37 AM
I assume your decision is based on a box set being released having price advantages; you are a patient man.  When I want something, I immediately shoot for it.  Delayed gratification is not in my nature.

Actually, my main motivation is that I like Bk II better than Bk I.  Having Bk I without Bk II would be annoying.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Franco on March 04, 2010, 10:51:56 AM
I got Book I just as it came out and will get Book II as soon as it is out as well.

I am a big fan of Pollini and had been awaiting this recording ever since I heard it was in the works.  It has quickly become one of my favorite recordings of the WTC.  Pollini is known for his strong sense of line, prodigious technique and restrained emotionalism - these are all traits which serve Bach well, and the sound of the recording is excellent.

Very highly recommended.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 04, 2010, 10:59:34 AM
I got Book I just as it came out and will get Book II as soon as it is out as well.

I am a big fan of Pollini and had been awaiting this recording ever since I heard it was in the works.  It has quickly become one of my favorite recordings of the WTC.  Pollini is known for his strong sense of line, prodigious technique and restrained emotionalism - these are all traits which serve Bach well, and the sound of the recording is excellent.

Very highly recommended.

Are you implying that DG has made it known that Bk II is in the works?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Franco on March 04, 2010, 11:24:59 AM
Are you implying that DG has made it known that Bk II is in the works?

No, I have not heard that - I may be anticipating something not actually in the works.  It took him long enough to get Bk. I out, who knows if he will ever get around to Bk. II - although I am hoping it follows along soon.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 04, 2010, 11:29:59 AM
No, I have not heard that - I may be anticipating something not actually in the works.  It took him long enough to get Bk. I out, who knows if he will ever get around to Bk. II - although I am hoping it follows along soon.

Something to keep in mind is that he hasn't finished the complete Beethoven sonatas yet, IIRC. And that project (though not official) was started thirty some-odd years ago.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on March 04, 2010, 01:48:27 PM
Val,   Your post is always interesting to me since you probably have the most leading-edge sound system - all digital - among all the folks on this forum.  There is much I can learn from you when I decide to go digital whole hog ...    ;D
All digital?  You mean Valentino (not Val, he's a different member) not only lacks analog sources, but lacks digital-to-analog conversion as well?  What kind of loudspeakers does he have?  And how do they convert the 1s and 0s to sound waves (which are, after all, analog)? 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 04, 2010, 02:27:54 PM
All digital?  You mean Valentino (not Val, he's a different member) not only lacks analog sources, but lacks digital-to-analog conversion as well?  What kind of loudspeakers does he have?  And how do they convert the 1s and 0s to sound waves (which are, after all, analog)?

All digital, that's the way to go!


  367320: df ff 83 fe be ff 67 fe ae ff 61 fe a2 ff 77 fe 9f ff 62 fe
  367340: a2 ff 3b fe 93 ff 39 fe 7d ff 45 fe 6a ff 49 fe 48 ff 41 fe
  367360: 32 ff 3e fe 11 ff 3a fe  1 ff 2c fe ee fe 1a fe ea fe 11 fe
  367380: f6 fe 12 fe  e ff 10 fe 33 ff 1d fe 5b ff 32 fe 64 ff 2b fe
  367400: 7e ff 20 fe 99 ff 14 fe a8 ff 18 fe b0 ff  c fe b0 ff  8 fe
  367420: a9 ff  2 fe ad ff 10 fe b9 ff 3a fe c4 ff 50 fe da ff 5e fe
  367440: ea ff 77 fe f6 ff 98 fe 10  0 bc fe 29  0 f5 fe 2d  0 3e ff
  367460: 3c  0 93 ff 3d  0 e0 ff 49  0  e  0 46  0 37  0 46  0 4a  0
  367480: 45  0 60  0 4c  0 86  0 4f  0 ae  0 67  0 d8  0 71  0 d4  0
  367500: 77  0 be  0 8c  0 b2  0 93  0 b1  0 99  0 90  0 a6  0 95  0
  367520: 9f  0 86  0 a3  0 78  0 9b  0 69  0 95  0 54  0 98  0 56  0
  367540: 97  0 4c  0 97  0 35  0 8f  0 47  0 85  0 52  0 64  0 4f  0
  367560: 48  0 55  0 27  0 57  0  f  0 6a  0 f5 ff 6e  0 d3 ff 70  0
  367580: c1 ff 6d  0 b3 ff 65  0 b1 ff 63  0 ba ff 66  0 b3 ff 5a  0
  367600: bd ff 54  0 c3 ff 48  0 cb ff 2a  0 dd ff 18  0 f3 ff 14  0
  367620: f9 ff  b  0  0  0 18  0  b  0  a  0 26  0  0  0 41  0  3  0
  367640: 51  0  4  0 59  0 f5 ff 5d  0 ed ff 53  0 d9 ff 40  0 b7 ff
  367660: 27  0 9c ff  d  0 90 ff f9 ff 76 ff e0 ff 41 ff d7 ff 33 ff
  367680: cd ff 2c ff bd ff 23 ff aa ff fe fe 9d ff e4 fe 95 ff e4 fe
  367700: 8b ff ca fe 93 ff cd fe 88 ff d9 fe 80 ff  0 ff 7f ff  4 ff
  367720: 77 ff  5 ff 77 ff 2b ff 70 ff 3a ff 7f ff 55 ff 8e ff 7b ff
  367740: 97 ff a5 ff 9d ff ad ff b4 ff b8 ff b8 ff c3 ff b5 ff c5 ff



exquisite!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 05, 2010, 02:03:05 PM
I assume your decision is based on a box set being released having price advantages; you are a patient man.  When I want something, I immediately shoot for it.  Delayed gratification is not in my nature.

Ok, you've brow-beat me into ordering the Pollini recording.  I hope you're satisfied.   >:D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 05, 2010, 02:11:33 PM
Ok, you've brow-beat me into ordering the Pollini recording.  I hope you're satisfied.   >:D

And I hope you will be satisfied with your purchase.   8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on March 05, 2010, 02:27:41 PM
All digital, that's the way to go!


  367320: df ff 83 fe be ff 67 fe ae ff 61 fe a2 ff 77 fe 9f ff 62 fe
  367340: a2 ff 3b fe 93 ff 39 fe 7d ff 45 fe 6a ff 49 fe 48 ff 41 fe
  367360: 32 ff 3e fe 11 ff 3a fe  1 ff 2c fe ee fe 1a fe ea fe 11 fe
  367380: f6 fe 12 fe  e ff 10 fe 33 ff 1d fe 5b ff 32 fe 64 ff 2b fe
  367400: 7e ff 20 fe 99 ff 14 fe a8 ff 18 fe b0 ff  c fe b0 ff  8 fe
  367420: a9 ff  2 fe ad ff 10 fe b9 ff 3a fe c4 ff 50 fe da ff 5e fe
  367440: ea ff 77 fe f6 ff 98 fe 10  0 bc fe 29  0 f5 fe 2d  0 3e ff
  367460: 3c  0 93 ff 3d  0 e0 ff 49  0  e  0 46  0 37  0 46  0 4a  0
  367480: 45  0 60  0 4c  0 86  0 4f  0 ae  0 67  0 d8  0 71  0 d4  0
  367500: 77  0 be  0 8c  0 b2  0 93  0 b1  0 99  0 90  0 a6  0 95  0
  367520: 9f  0 86  0 a3  0 78  0 9b  0 69  0 95  0 54  0 98  0 56  0
  367540: 97  0 4c  0 97  0 35  0 8f  0 47  0 85  0 52  0 64  0 4f  0
  367560: 48  0 55  0 27  0 57  0  f  0 6a  0 f5 ff 6e  0 d3 ff 70  0
  367580: c1 ff 6d  0 b3 ff 65  0 b1 ff 63  0 ba ff 66  0 b3 ff 5a  0
  367600: bd ff 54  0 c3 ff 48  0 cb ff 2a  0 dd ff 18  0 f3 ff 14  0
  367620: f9 ff  b  0  0  0 18  0  b  0  a  0 26  0  0  0 41  0  3  0
  367640: 51  0  4  0 59  0 f5 ff 5d  0 ed ff 53  0 d9 ff 40  0 b7 ff
  367660: 27  0 9c ff  d  0 90 ff f9 ff 76 ff e0 ff 41 ff d7 ff 33 ff
  367680: cd ff 2c ff bd ff 23 ff aa ff fe fe 9d ff e4 fe 95 ff e4 fe
  367700: 8b ff ca fe 93 ff cd fe 88 ff d9 fe 80 ff  0 ff 7f ff  4 ff
  367720: 77 ff  5 ff 77 ff 2b ff 70 ff 3a ff 7f ff 55 ff 8e ff 7b ff
  367740: 97 ff a5 ff 9d ff ad ff b4 ff b8 ff b8 ff c3 ff b5 ff c5 ff



exquisite!
;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 05, 2010, 04:38:41 PM
I assume your decision is based on a box set being released having price advantages; you are a patient man.  When I want something, I immediately shoot for it.  Delayed gratification is not in my nature.

Well, some complete WTC sets on piano seem to have been lost in the shuffle here?  :-\  Jill Crossland on Signum for $30 (4-discs) from MDT 'across the pond' - a previous recommendation from Don (and excellent reviews) - I've owned this set for a while - hard to beat the quality and price?

Also, Robert Woodward - 5CD set for $44 from MDT - excellent review on Amazon by David Cates (who recorded Bach's 'French Suites' on harpsichord); and a Gramophone Editor's Choice for Feb 2010 - I could easily acquired another piano version of these works and this set has me interested!  :D

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/SIGCD136.jpg)  (http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/199222.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 05, 2010, 05:13:55 PM
Well, some complete WTC sets on piano seem to have been lost in the shuffle here?  :-\  Jill Crossland on Signum for $30 (4-discs) from MDT 'across the pond' - a previous recommendation from Don (and excellent reviews) - I've owned this set for a while - hard to beat the quality and price?

Also, Robert Woodward - 5CD set for $44 from MDT - excellent review on Amazon by David Cates (who recorded Bach's 'French Suites' on harpsichord); and a Gramophone Editor's Choice for Feb 2010 - I could easily acquired another piano version of these works and this set has me interested!  :D

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/SIGCD136.jpg)  (http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/199222.jpg)

Am already holding Crossland.  That the other manages to stretch it to 5 discs made me suspect that something is wrong, foaming at the mouth reviews or no foaming at the mouth reviews.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 05, 2010, 05:57:08 PM
Am already holding Crossland.  That the other manages to stretch it to 5 discs made me suspect that something is wrong, foaming at the mouth reviews or no foaming at the mouth reviews.

Scarpia - not to worry about the 5-discs - apparently Bk. 2 can extend to 3 discs - I own the Peter Watchorn offerings on Omnia Musica of the WTC books on the pedal harpsichord - Bk. 1 is 2 discs, while Bk.2 is on 3 discs - explanations are given in the liner notes, so not a reason to avoid this offering by Woodward, if interested?  Dave  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWTC1Watchorn/535883471_rUMj9-O.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWTCIIWatchornA/758744700_Cj5Ky-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 05, 2010, 06:10:51 PM
Am already holding Crossland.  That the other manages to stretch it to 5 discs made me suspect that something is wrong, foaming at the mouth reviews or no foaming at the mouth reviews.

No, there's no reason to be skeptical.  I've been listening to the Woodward, and it's excellent.  Three discs are used for Bk. 2, but the total playing time for Bk. 2 is about 157 minutes.  So, in theory, it could have fit on two discs.
For reference purposes, the Crossland and Suzuki Bk. 2's also take about 157 minutes. 

In a way, I hate bringing up this total time stuff.  It's not how fast or slow the music is played, but what the artist does with the selected tempos.  Woodward does just fine.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 05, 2010, 06:34:11 PM
No, there's no reason to be skeptical.  I've been listening to the Woodward, and it's excellent.  Three discs are used for Bk. 2, but the total playing time for Bk. 2 is about 157 minutes.  So, in theory, it could have fit on two discs.
For reference purposes, the Crossland and Suzuki Bk. 2's also take about 157 minutes. 

In a way, I hate bringing up this total time stuff.  It's not how fast or slow the music is played, but what the artist does with the selected tempos.  Woodward does just fine.

Just for the record, the Watchorn Bk. 2 w/ 3 discs is 186 minutes - I've not done any analysis of why Peter wants to add an apparent 30 minutes to this book - maybe others can help; but as Don has already stated, the 'bottom line' is not the length of performing these works but the quality of the perfomances -  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 05, 2010, 06:49:29 PM
Ok, you've brow-beat me into ordering the Pollini recording.  I hope you're satisfied.   >:D

Not to beat a dead horse, but I'm not really satisfied.  I just did some comparison between Pollini and Woodward; Woodward is way better. ;D

I'm not kidding.  Woodward is a thinking person's version, and I know you do a lot of thinking.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 05, 2010, 07:27:00 PM
What do you think of this one, Don (and others)?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515LcQWTRFL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 05, 2010, 10:34:45 PM
What do you think of this one, Don (and others)?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515LcQWTRFL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I've had this set for many years and just gave it a listen so I could give you a current opinion.  That opinion is highly favorable; I enjoyed it more than ever before.  My sole complaint is that Horszowski isn't exactly a virtuoso.  He had some technical problems in a few of the faster pieces such as the Fugue in E flat major, but the artistry is top-notch.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Valentino on March 05, 2010, 11:46:59 PM
To me Pollini's modernity is his unique ability to make the music he plays sound less interpreted than most other pianists. Of course he interprets, but I do think his way brings me closer to the music than most other pianists do.


All digital?  You mean Valentino (not Val, he's a different member) not only lacks analog sources, but lacks digital-to-analog conversion as well?  What kind of loudspeakers does he have?  And how do they convert the 1s and 0s to sound waves (which are, after all, analog)? 
I do have a record player. I digitize it with a USB soundcard and do RIAA conversion (and four way crossover) on a 32 bit FP format with Waves in a little laptop. I use the Logitech Squeezebox and -server for CD and downloads. 8 DACs  feed class D amplifiers in the speakers which are dynamic dipoles with closed box subwoofers coming in below 40 Hz.
There's a thread about it here (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/160554-inspired-linkwitz-presentation-dipole-speaker-system.html).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on March 06, 2010, 02:08:53 AM
Val,   Your post is always interesting to me since you probably have the most leading-edge sound system - all digital - among all the folks on this forum.  There is much I can learn from you when I decide to go digital whole hog ...    ;D
All digital?  You mean Valentino (not Val, he's a different member) not only lacks analog sources, but lacks digital-to-analog conversion as well?  What kind of loudspeakers does he have?  And how do they convert the 1s and 0s to sound waves (which are, after all, analog)?
I do have a record player. I digitize it with a USB soundcard and do RIAA conversion (and four way crossover) on a 32 bit FP format with Waves in a little laptop. I use the Logitech Squeezebox and -server for CD and downloads. 8 DACs  feed class D amplifiers in the speakers which are dynamic dipoles with closed box subwoofers coming in below 40 Hz.
There's a thread about it here (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/160554-inspired-linkwitz-presentation-dipole-speaker-system.html).
Ah, I see.  Not an "all digital" system at all (whatever that means), but a relatively conventional high-end system that includes a Squeezebox and your serious hobbyist DIY di-pole loudspeakers.  Looks like a nice setup.  I trust it provides you many hours of pleasure.  8)

It seems odd to convert the output from your record player from analog to digital and then back again before feeding your amps.  I presume you're doing this for the sake of converting treasured recordings on LP to a format your digital server can handle and are willing to accept some degradation of sound quality for the sake of convenience...?

The most pressing questions, of course--at least for the sake of this thread--are: "How does Bach's WTC sound through this system? And which great recordings of the WTC do you prefer?"
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Valentino on March 06, 2010, 05:21:59 AM
If my system is conventional I do wonder how an unconventional system looks.  0:)
Since my crossovers are digital I have to digitize the gramophone input. No way around that.  One could always make a discussion what sounds best: A traditional analog RIAA amplifier+ADC or a microphone amplifier+ADC+digital RIAA EQ, but I guess it quickly would dgrade to the normal religious audiophile trench war.

The WTC: I need more recordings. Further up I've said something about the ones I know well.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 06, 2010, 05:26:51 AM

I do have a record player. I digitize it with a USB soundcard and do RIAA conversion (and four way crossover) on a 32 bit FP format with Waves in a little laptop. I use the Logitech Squeezebox and -server for CD and downloads. 8 DACs  feed class D amplifiers in the speakers which are dynamic dipoles with closed box subwoofers coming in below 40 Hz.
There's a thread about it here (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/160554-inspired-linkwitz-presentation-dipole-speaker-system.html).

I do have an ION USB device that allowed me to digitize a few open-reel tapes of live recordings by Christopher Hogwood and Nikolaus Harnoncourt to my hard-drive with very satisfactory results.  I have not tried that on my LP collection - 4000+ LP's is a lot of digitization work.  My understanding is there is now some one-click pops-and-clicks removal software, which is a whole lot better than some from a few years ago that required manual declicking ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 06, 2010, 05:30:25 AM
If my system is conventional I do wonder how an unconventional system looks.  0:)
Since my crossovers are digital I have to digitize the gramophone input. No way around that.  One could always make a discussion what sounds best: A traditional analog RIAA amplifier+ADC or a microphone amplifier+ADC+digital RIAA EQ, but I guess it quickly would dgrade to the normal religious audiophile trench war.

The WTC: I need more recordings. Further up I've said something about the ones I know well.

Valentino,  You may have to consider joining another forum George and I are also members of.  That forum has tons of expertise in hardware and digital sound technologies, though most of its members have no interest in classical music ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 06:14:09 AM
I've had this set for many years and just gave it a listen so I could give you a current opinion.  That opinion is highly favorable; I enjoyed it more than ever before.  My sole complaint is that Horszowski isn't exactly a virtuoso.  He had some technical problems in a few of the faster pieces such as the Fugue in E flat major, but the artistry is top-notch.

Thanks very much!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 06, 2010, 06:16:17 AM
What do you think of this one, Don (and others)?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515LcQWTRFL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41p1rwqTolL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
 
I mentioned the Horszowski several months ago here and love it, same general performance style as Feinberg which has become my very favorite piano version of WTC........these two artists do more than just play the notes, they have a rythmic flow that eludes must others, imaginative and dramatic without sounding forced/willful as Gould can sometimes seem.
 
I have the above mentioned Pollini, Crossland, Hewitt etc and they play the notes beautifully and accurately but sometimes without the natural flow I hear in these two. The middle part of WTC I can sound flat if the keyboard player does not have a sense of imagination and ryhtmic flow, that is where I find most differences between versions and where these two stand out for me
 
Same can be said of Chopin's Mazurkas, if you just accurately play the notes they become a muddled mess. Artist must have a sense of rythmic flow in thier delivery that brings them to life
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 06, 2010, 06:19:59 AM

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41p1rwqTolL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
 
I mentioned the Horszowski several months ago here and love it, same general performance style as Feinberg which has become my very favorite piano version of WTC........these two artists do more than just play the notes, they have a rythmic flow that eludes must others, imaginative and dramatic without sounding forced/willful as Gould can sometimes seem.
 
I have the above mentioned Pollini, Crossland, Hewitt etc and they play the notes beautifully and accurately but sometimes without the natural flow I hear in these two. The middle part of WTC I can sound flat if the keyboard player does not have a sense of imagination and ryhtmic flow, that is where I find most differences between versions and where these two stand out for me
 
Same can be said of Chopin's Mazurkas, if you just accurately play the notes they become a muddled mess. Artist must have a sense of rythmic flow in thier delivery that brings them to life

Have you heard the sets by Edwin Fischer on Naxos Historical.  I have the 2 sets - WTC1 and WTC2 ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/413NV68VZGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41G8J0NC24L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 06:25:02 AM

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41p1rwqTolL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
 
I mentioned the Horszowski several months ago here and love it, same general performance style as Feinberg which has become my very favorite piano version of WTC........these two artists do more than just play the notes, they have a rythmic flow that eludes must others, imaginative and dramatic without sounding forced/willful as Gould can sometimes seem.

Thanks Dark Angel. I read your prior comments last night. I sampled the Horszowski last night at a used store, but wasn't knocked out by it so I put it back. I need to spend more time with my Gould, Feinberg, Richter (Innsbruck and RCA), Fischer (Pearl) and Tureck sets before buying more.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 06, 2010, 06:53:20 AM
Coop
I have heard samples of Fischer, but the sound may be too "historical" for me to buy the set or listen to on a regular basis, I really do like his dynamic style of his performance
 
George
Interesting that you are fan of Feinberg but not impressed with Horszowski, my initial impression was they are cut from same cloth with similar style......will give another listen later today to see if I missed something.
 
I also like Feinberg more than Richter RCA....... ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 07:10:09 AM
George
Interesting that you are fan of Feinberg but not impressed with Horszowski, my initial impression was they are cut from same cloth with similar style......will give another listen later today to see if I missed something.

That's just it. I don't tend to get multiple recordings that are in a similar vein. I like more contrast.
 
Quote
I also like Feinberg more than Richter RCA....... ;)

Me too.  8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 06, 2010, 07:14:45 AM
That's just it. I don't tend to get multiple recordings that are in a similar vein. I like more contrast.
 
Me too.  8)

I don't have the WTC by Feinberg ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 07:20:17 AM
I don't have the WTC by Feinberg ...

The one to have is the one that Dark Angel posted. It has the best mastering of those performances. I bought mine through the website Russian DVD.com.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 06, 2010, 07:28:01 AM
I don't have the WTC by Feinberg ...

Yes if you want one buy from Russian DVD out of NY..........expensive but cheapest place I have found
http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=35887&genreid= (http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=35887&genreid=)
 
I think I will break down and buy a Edwin Fischer set for historical reference, he does have a very dynamic style I like.....Anyone have a preference for 3CD EMI vs 4CD Naxos versions?
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KV7nW32xL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)   (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/413NV68VZGL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 06, 2010, 07:32:05 AM

Yes if you want one buy from Russian DVD out of NY..........expensive but cheapest place I have found
http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=35887&genreid= (http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=35887&genreid=)
 
I think I will break down and buy a Edwin Fischer set for historical reference, he does have a very dynamic style I like.....Anyone have a preference for EMI vs Naxos versions?
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KV7nW32xL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)   (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/413NV68VZGL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

The Naxos Historical version should have better SQ.  I found my sets to have excellent piano tone.

BTW, is the e-tailer Russian DVD you recommended located in NY?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on March 06, 2010, 07:32:32 AM
If my system is conventional I do wonder how an unconventional system looks.  0:)
;D 8) Hah!  Just saying that it's hardly "all digital" (as someone other than yourself described it). 
The WTC: I need more recordings. Further up I've said something about the ones I know well.
Need?  Not if you have Schiff.   8)  And especially not if Pollini is even better!  ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 07:40:26 AM

Yes if you want one buy from Russian DVD out of NY..........expensive but cheapest place I have found
http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=35887&genreid= (http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=35887&genreid=)
 
I think I will break down and buy a Edwin Fischer set for historical reference, he does have a very dynamic style I like.....Anyone have a preference for 3CD EMI vs 4CD Naxos versions?
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KV7nW32xL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)   (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/413NV68VZGL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I am not sure who did the Naxos. Coop?

But stay away from the EMI, as it's overfiltered and sounds like the piano is in the next room.

I have and enjoy the Pearl, but that's OOP.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 06, 2010, 07:44:08 AM
I am not sure who did the Naxos. Coop?

But stay away from the EMI, as it's overfiltered and sounds like the piano is in the next room.

I have and enjoy the Pearl, but that's OOP.

Stuart A. Rosenthal
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 07:46:28 AM
Stuart A. Rosenthal

Thanks. I haven't heard any of his work. I also recall hearing not so favorable things about the Naxos, but I forget where.

Dark Angel - more info here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,9456.msg349128.html#msg349128).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 06, 2010, 07:53:13 AM
The Naxos Historical version should have better SQ.  I found my sets to have excellent piano tone.

BTW, is the e-tailer Russian DVD you recommended located in NY?

Russian DVD ships from NY but I don't know if they have retail sales......or only website orders
Give them a call.....
 
RussianDVD.com,
269 Brighton Beach Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11235

Tel: (718) 934-5048
Tel: 1-800-901-5543 (orders only)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 06, 2010, 08:03:40 AM
Thanks. I haven't heard any of his work. I also recall hearing not so favorable things about the Naxos, but I forget where.

Dark Angel - more info here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,9456.msg349128.html#msg349128).

ClassicsToday blasted the Naxos for over-filtering the sound, considering the EMI transfers more natural.  Interesting since you have the opposite conclusions.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 06, 2010, 09:20:49 AM
ClassicsToday blasted the Naxos for over-filtering the sound, considering the EMI transfers more natural.  Interesting since you have the opposite conclusions.

I have the EMI set, to which I have listened to precious little, although the audio seemed as good as could be expected, given the recording date.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 12:20:26 PM
ClassicsToday blasted the Naxos for over-filtering the sound, considering the EMI transfers more natural.  Interesting since you have the opposite conclusions.

Not in this case. I haven't even heard the Naxos. Where did you read otherwise?  ???
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 06, 2010, 01:35:36 PM
Not in this case. I haven't even heard the Naxos. Where did you read otherwise?  ???

Sorry - my mistake.

I've been listening to the Egarr Bk. 1 the past couple of weeks while driving.  It keeps growing on me, although I still don't find it outstanding.  However, it's a big improvement over his Goldbergs - more variety of expression, a good deal of rhythmic hesitation, and I don't think he's using those seagull quills.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 06, 2010, 01:39:45 PM
I am not sure who did the Naxos. Coop?

But stay away from the EMI, as it's overfiltered and sounds like the piano is in the next room.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41EJKX0E5VL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KV7nW32xL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
 
I notice EMI has 2000 References release and newer 2008 GROTC release.......
In the discussion thread George referenced the discussion was about the 2000 release
 
Maybe sound has been remastered again for 2008 release with better results?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 01:45:47 PM

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41EJKX0E5VL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KV7nW32xL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
 
I notice EMI has 2000 References release and newer 2008 GROTC release.......
In the discussion thread George referenced the discussion was about the 2000 release
 
Maybe sound has been remastered again for 2008 release with better results?

Could be. Have you sampled it over at amazon or itunes?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 01:57:40 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KV7nW32xL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

No way, Jose. Sounds (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Well-Tempered-Clavier-Preludes-846-893/dp/B000VYYSH6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1267912506&sr=8-1) overfiltered to me.

Keep in mind the Pearl is very noisy, so if that will bother, the EMI might be the way to go. But to me, it sounds like Mr. Fischer is playing in a room down the hall.  :-\
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on March 06, 2010, 01:57:55 PM
I think I will break down and buy a Edwin Fischer set for historical reference, he does have a very dynamic style I like.....Anyone have a preference for 3CD EMI vs 4CD Naxos versions?
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KV7nW32xL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)   (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/413NV68VZGL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41EJKX0E5VL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KV7nW32xL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
 
I notice EMI has 2000 References release and newer 2008 GROTC release.......
In the discussion thread George referenced the discussion was about the 2000 release
 
Maybe sound has been remastered again for 2008 release with better results?


I have heard the Naxos Historical transfers - and they are considerably below the general standard in that series. I also heard the EMI  Références series - and that's much worse, I wouldn't recommend that to anyone. If the GROC issue has a new transfer that could be better. I have the recordings on Pearl - significantly  better than either EMI Références or Naxos.

I frankly doubt if the two EMI transfers are different  - both issues have the "ART" sign on the cover, which usually produces excellent results BTW. As for alternatives, Pristine Classical (http://www.pristineclassical.com/LargeWorks/Keyboard/PAKM001.php) had a go - can't comment on the results.

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 02:00:24 PM
I have heard the Naxos Historical transfers - and they are considerably below the general standard in that series. I also heard the EMI Références series - and that's much worse, I wouldn't recommend that to anyone. If the GROC issue has a new transfer that could be better.

Unfortunately no, check the samples in the link above.


Quote
I frankly doubt if the two EMI transfers are different  - both issues have the "ART" sign on the cover, which usually produce excellent results BTW. As for alternativeves, Pristine Classical (http://www.pristineclassical.com/LargeWorks/Keyboard/PAKM001.php) had a go - can't comment on the results.

Q

I heard a sample of Pristine's. Like most of their stuff that I have sampled, it sounded very processed.  :-\

It's a damn shame that these performances haven't been served well and the best of the bunch (Pearl) is OOP.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bunny on March 06, 2010, 02:41:59 PM
Unfortunately no, check the samples in the link above.


I heard a sample of Pristine's. Like most of their stuff that I have sampled, it sounded very processed.  :-\

It's a damn shame that these performances haven't been served well and the best of the bunch (Pearl) is OOP.

According to the Pearl website (Pavillion Records (http://www.pavilionrecords.com/)) none of their titles are oop, but can be ordered directly from them.  It's hard going through the online catalog, but it can be done.  After you get the catalog number, you print out their order form and send it to them. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 06, 2010, 02:44:58 PM
According to the Pearl website (Pavillion Records (http://www.pavilionrecords.com/)) none of their titles are oop, but can be ordered directly from them.  It's hard going through the online catalog, but it can be done.  After you get the catalog number, you print out their order form and send it to them.

Are these CDR's ready to be burned when the order arrives?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 06, 2010, 03:02:08 PM

I have heard the Naxos Historical transfers - and they are considerably below the general standard in that series. I also heard the EMI  Références series - and that's much worse, I wouldn't recommend that to anyone.
Q

Judging from the samples, the Naxos sound is much better than the EMI.  Sometimes I wonder what Jed Distler is smoking in his pipe (regarding his ClassicsToday reviews).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 03:05:23 PM
According to the Pearl website (Pavillion Records (http://www.pavilionrecords.com/)) none of their titles are oop, but can be ordered directly from them.  It's hard going through the online catalog, but it can be done.  After you get the catalog number, you print out their order form and send it to them.

I contacted Pearl via email last year and they told me that they had a number of titles in stock and ready for order, but not all titles. It's definitely worth contacting them though. I was able to get the two Rosenthal CDs that I hadn't seen for quite some time.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 06, 2010, 03:21:41 PM
Not to beat a dead horse, but I'm not really satisfied.  I just did some comparison between Pollini and Woodward; Woodward is way better. ;D

I'm not kidding.  Woodward is a thinking person's version, and I know you do a lot of thinking.

Now you're just playing with me.  I listened to some samples of the Woodward.  It sounds like he is playing a Toyota piano with a stuck sustain pedal.   Anyway, off-putting enough to delay a purchase, at least.  :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 03:36:09 PM
George, the 1st link is empty! And I'm very curious. :)

Q

So my plan worked!  ;D Just kiddin'  ;) - I fixed the link (see below.)

You got the 2 Pearls though, right?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 03:37:10 PM

Just found this link (http://avaxhome.ws/music/classical/baroque/Das.Wohltemperierte.Klavier.html) to yet another transfer of the Edwin Fischer WTC.

Also, this review (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=2290) of the Naxos WTC underlines some of the points made in this thread.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 03:48:35 PM
Just found this link (http://avaxhome.ws/music/classical/baroque/Das.Wohltemperierte.Klavier.html) to yet another transfer of the Edwin Fischer WTC.

I believe it's on the Membran label. The link says DG, but that's obviously wrong.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on March 06, 2010, 04:06:56 PM
I believe it's on the Membran label. The link says DG, but that's obviously wrong.

Just checked jpc, they list it as on the (in)famous "Documents" label, which is the same company as Membran BTW. To my ears it sounds (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-1-2/hnum/5304015) like a transfer from an early LP issue, which is legal (in Europe) after 50 years.

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 06, 2010, 04:22:57 PM
Great discussion here (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.music.classical.recordings/browse_thread/thread/95f64dce518b3051/ed85158084d4231e?lnk=gst&q=fischer+pearl+bach#ed85158084d4231e), with Seth Winner, the man who did the transfers for Pearl, making a few comments.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 07, 2010, 11:08:06 AM
Now you're just playing with me.  I listened to some samples of the Woodward.  It sounds like he is playing a Toyota piano with a stuck sustain pedal.   Anyway, off-putting enough to delay a purchase, at least.  :D

No, not playing at all, but I did forget how particular you are concerning preferences.  Maybe Woodward is enamored with the sustain pedal; didn't bother me since I didn't notice it much.  For me, Woodward is in the "slow and thought-provoking" vein like Aldwell, Horszowski, Martins, Tureck and Vieru.  It's just one of the Bach performance styles I enjoy, but it is a big winner given my tastes.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on March 07, 2010, 12:08:33 PM
No, not playing at all, but I did forget how particular you are concerning preferences.  Maybe Woodward is enamored with the sustain pedal; didn't bother me since I didn't notice it much.  For me, Woodward is in the "slow and thought-provoking" vein like Aldwell, Horszowski, Martins, Tureck and Vieru.  It's just one of the Bach performance styles I enjoy, but it is a big winner given my tastes.

On the slow side, who is your favorite of these, Don?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 07, 2010, 02:50:29 PM
On the slow side, who is your favorite of these, Don?

Rosalyn Tureck, of course. 8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 07, 2010, 02:55:40 PM
Rosalyn Tureck, of course. 8)

The DG one, Bill!  0:)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 07, 2010, 03:14:29 PM
The DG one, Bill!  0:)

Good memory, George.  I should take you with me when food shopping. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 07, 2010, 03:16:11 PM
Good memory, George.  I should take you with me when food shopping. :)

Nah, I am always forgetting to pick up one or two things. Until I get home, of course.  ::)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 07, 2010, 03:22:20 PM
Nah, I am always forgetting to pick up one or two things. Until I get home, of course.  ::)

Right, but you likely have a cell phone and can call home to get needed information.  I don't own a cell phone; my intent is to be the last adult in the States without one.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 07, 2010, 03:26:37 PM
Right, but you likely have a cell phone and can call home to get needed information.  I don't own a cell phone; my intent is to be the last adult in the States without one.

We have something in common. I don't own one too. I like to be unreachable.  8)

Good part is that I walk home every day, right past the grocery store.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 07, 2010, 03:29:17 PM
We have something in common. I don't own one too. I like to be unreachable.  8)

You know, cell phones do have on/off switches. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 07, 2010, 04:14:01 PM
You know, cell phones do have on/off switches.

But you have to carry them around; I like to travel light.  Boy, that sure sounds lame.  I need to come up with a better reason.  Here it is - if Bach didn't need a cell phone, I don't need one either.  That sucks too.  Oh well, I'll just have to go with being contrary; it's in my nature.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: kishnevi on March 07, 2010, 06:01:21 PM
But you have to carry them around; I like to travel light.  Boy, that sure sounds lame.  I need to come up with a better reason.  Here it is - if Bach didn't need a cell phone, I don't need one either.  That sucks too.  Oh well, I'll just have to go with being contrary; it's in my nature.

I'm another member of the uncellphoned brigade.
What I tell people: "If it's that important, it's probably something I don't want to know about". 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 07, 2010, 06:11:05 PM
I'm another member of the uncellphoned brigade.
What I tell people: "If it's that important, it's probably something I don't want to know about".

 ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 08, 2010, 05:39:33 AM
Now, has anyone heard the WTC played on a cellphone keypad? 0:)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 08, 2010, 07:18:57 AM
Now, has anyone heard the WTC played on a cellphone keypad? 0:)

No, but I have a historical recording of someone playing it on this:

(http://artandcritique.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/archaic-beauty-rotary-telephone.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 08, 2010, 07:25:32 AM
No, but I have a historical recording of someone playing it on this:

(http://artandcritique.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/archaic-beauty-rotary-telephone.jpg)

Wired Telephonic Cacophony? :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 09, 2010, 11:54:12 AM
Well, yesterday both March-April issues of the American Record Guide & Fanfare arrived!  And surprisingly in both issues, there was a lot of discussion on Bach's WTC - been reading the reviews the last couple of days - will put some brief comments below to further add to the discussion - BTW, I'm still contemplating a 'harpsichord' version and another 'piano' set:

American Record Guide

  Haskin's thoughts on Pollini BkI -
Quote
This has become my favorite Well-Tempered Clavier on piano....Occasionally his singing and breathing is audible—very audible—I love it, but it’s probably not to everyone’staste.

  Haskin's on Watchorn BkII (pedal harpsichord) -
Quote
Peter told me that he’s been working on his interpretation of the WTC II for 40 years, and it  shows: this is music-making of the highest  order. I’ve listened to this set four times now  and haven’t tired of it yet. You won’t, either.....From an interpretive standpoint, Watchorn goes farther than any harpsichordist I know to bring this harpsichord music into the sacred orbit of Bach’s Leipzig years.

Fanfare

  Phillip Scott also on Pollini BkI -
Quote
Unlike Hewitt in her second recording, he does not pull tempos around, but keeps then strict, almost robotic...Another minus...is the pianist's tendency to hum along in a tuneless vocal....I returned to the Hewitt and found her playing full of felicitous touches

  Jerry Dubins on Belder (hpd) both Bks -
Quote
Belder uses two different instruments...in BkI....a lack of color and imagination, and quite likely the lifelessness of the harpsichord...BkII is a significant improvement...sparks Belder to some of his finest playing.....If my reaction to BkI was tepid, it was more than thawed by my enthusiasm for BkII...for a harpsichord version, you can't really go wrong with this set.

  Lynn Bayler on Jill Crossland BkII -
Quote
Perhaps I am just more sensitive to this sort of approach, but I find her playing far superior to Edwin Fischer's because she finds moods and stories in this music and not just spirituality.

Arkiv Music has reprinted the Fanfare reviews of Scott & Dubins - hope that these brief comments might add some 'fodder' to the thread -  ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 09, 2010, 04:31:10 PM
Well, yesterday both March-April issues of the American Record Guide & Fanfare arrived!  And surprisingly in both issues, there was a lot of discussion on Bach's WTC - been reading the reviews the last couple of days - will put some brief comments below to further add to the discussion - BTW, I'm still contemplating a 'harpsichord' version and another 'piano' set:

American Record Guide

  Haskin's thoughts on Pollini BkI -
  Haskin's on Watchorn BkII (pedal harpsichord) -
Fanfare

  Phillip Scott also on Pollini BkI -
  Jerry Dubins on Belder (hpd) both Bks -
  Lynn Bayler on Jill Crossland BkII -
Arkiv Music has reprinted the Fanfare reviews of Scott & Dubins - hope that these brief comments might add some 'fodder' to the thread -  ;D

Just shows that everyone has an opinion. 8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 09, 2010, 05:01:38 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4127J9ZW0RL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
 
Good news, I recently made a very good "score" on the used market....... :)
 
Got this 11 CD boxset that includes Alan Curtis French & English suites, Scott Ross partitas, Glen Wilson WTC I & II, plus more.......waited many months to find one. Now will someone please buy my Glen Wilson WTCs in the for sale section here
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 09, 2010, 05:18:01 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4127J9ZW0RL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
 
Good news, I recently made a very good "score" on the used market....... :)
 
Got this 11 CD boxset that includes Alan Curtis French & English suites, Scott Ross partitas, Glen Wilson WTC I & II, plus more.......waited many months to find one. Now will someone please buy my Glen Wilson WTCs in the for sale section here

Ooooo, I have the orchestral music box from that set.   Packaging is astonishing, the box is almost entirely empty.  I guess the entire thing is supposed to form a wall that spells out Bach's name.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 09, 2010, 05:26:12 PM
Ooooo, I have the orchestral music box from that set.   Packaging is astonishing, the box is almost entirely empty.  I guess the entire thing is supposed to form a wall that spells out Bach's name.

Yes the box is a cube and really only needs to be 1-2" thick clamshell box.......
I notice someone is selling a used complete 153 CD set for only $2,500 used at Amazon  ::)
 
http://www.amazon.com/Bach-2000-Complete-Commemorative-Book/dp/B00001IV8B/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1268182769&sr=1-12 (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-2000-Complete-Commemorative-Book/dp/B00001IV8B/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1268182769&sr=1-12)
 
 
 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bunny on March 09, 2010, 07:27:47 PM

Yes the box is a cube and really only needs to be 1-2" thick clamshell box.......
I notice someone is selling a used complete 153 CD set for only $2,500 used at Amazon  ::)
 
http://www.amazon.com/Bach-2000-Complete-Commemorative-Book/dp/B00001IV8B/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1268182769&sr=1-12 (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-2000-Complete-Commemorative-Book/dp/B00001IV8B/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1268182769&sr=1-12)

I have the "secular" cantatas from that set and the packaging is reminiscent of a counter display of chocolates.  I can't imagine what the graphics department at Teldec was thinking of when they came up with it.  Or maybe they had boxes that were designed for jewelcases, and then decided to adapt them for sleeve covered cds? In any event, I love the music (Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra) as much as I'm puzzled by the packaging.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/313V7MANSXL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 09, 2010, 09:24:09 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4127J9ZW0RL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
 
Good news, I recently made a very good "score" on the used market....... :)
 
Got this 11 CD boxset that includes Alan Curtis French & English suites, Scott Ross partitas, Glen Wilson WTC I & II, plus more.......waited many months to find one. Now will someone please buy my Glen Wilson WTCs in the for sale section here

That's a fantastic boxset.  Folks who buy it will have a major treat in store for them.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 10, 2010, 12:07:59 AM
Listened to the first four pairs from from this one:

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

No big interpretive risks, so far, but beautifully played, with clarity and grace.  Very pleased so far.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 10, 2010, 03:48:14 PM
I had heard some of Koroliov's WTC performances but only recently acquired, through a friend, the entire WTC.  Although I'm not yet in a position to offer conclusive opinions, I have been bowled over by his fantastic virtuosity combined with stellar interpretations.  Most amazing to me is his decision-making as to staccato, detached and legato touch; you never know what he will do except that he'll do all of it.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if I end up placing Koroliov's sets among the very best along with Gould, Gulda, Woodward,Fellner, etc.  I'm already convinced he's superior to Hewitt, Schiff, Ashkenazy, Crochet, Pollini and most others.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 10, 2010, 04:29:29 PM
I had heard some of Koroliov's WTC performances but only recently acquired, through a friend, the entire WTC.  Although I'm not yet in a position to offer conclusive opinions, I have been bowled over by his fantastic virtuosity combined with stellar interpretations.  Most amazing to me is his decision-making as to staccato, detached and legato touch; you never know what he will do except that he'll do all of it.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if I end up placing Koroliov's sets among the very best along with Gould, Gulda, Woodward,Fellner, etc.  I'm already convinced he's superior to Hewitt, Schiff, Ashkenazy, Crochet, Pollini and most others.

I remember classicstoday reviewers David Hurwitz and Jed Distler gave this 10/10 for both WTC I & II
Very expensive on import boutique label for USA buyers, that is what holds me back (friends are good to have)
 
http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=1230 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=1230)
 
Samples at JPC:
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-1/hnum/2210920 (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-1/hnum/2210920)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 10, 2010, 04:54:27 PM
Just shows that everyone has an opinion. 8)

Yes, Don - after reading SO MANY reviews of these performances, seems like the decision is in one's own mind & ears -  ;D

And as we all know, opinions are like the 'other end' of your GI tract (my specialty BTW), i.e. everyone has one!  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 10, 2010, 05:01:56 PM

I remember classicstoday reviewers David Hurwitz and Jed Distler gave this 10/10 for both WTC I & II
Very expensive on import boutique label for USA buyers, that is what holds me back (friends are good to have)
 

Yes, I consider friends among the "Big Four", the other three being family, pets and Bach.  Sometimes I even let my dog Jackson make the musical selections; I just throw a few discs on the floor and Jackson eventually picks one or two of them.  Of course, a little dab of butter on a favored/flavored disc does influence the outcome.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bunny on March 10, 2010, 06:07:14 PM

I remember classicstoday reviewers David Hurwitz and Jed Distler gave this 10/10 for both WTC I & II
Very expensive on import boutique label for USA buyers, that is what holds me back (friends are good to have)
 
http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=1230 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=1230)
 
Samples at JPC:
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-1/hnum/2210920 (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-1/hnum/2210920)



The Hänssler Bach box set that you had been considering at Berkshire has Koroliov's Goldbergs as well as his recordings of the Inventions and Sinfonia, and the French Overture and Italian concerto. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 11, 2010, 03:40:15 PM
I noticed an old hyperion recording of the WTC, by Colin Tilney, on Clavichord.  Out of print and no used copies evident.  Any well regarded recordings of the WTC on clavichord I should know about.  There is the Kirkpatrick on DG, but others?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 11, 2010, 04:10:38 PM
I remember classicstoday reviewers David Hurwitz and Jed Distler gave this 10/10 for both WTC I & II
Very expensive on import boutique label for USA buyers, that is what holds me back (friends are good to have)

Coincidentally, the Koroliov Book One and Two appeared over at Demonoid last night. I am listening to book one right now and it is indeed performed splendidly. Nice sound too.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Marc on March 11, 2010, 04:15:56 PM
Yes, I consider friends among the "Big Four", the other three being family, pets and Bach.  Sometimes I even let my dog Jackson make the musical selections; I just throw a few discs on the floor and Jackson eventually picks one or two of them.  Of course, a little dab of butter on a favored/flavored disc does influence the outcome.
I think I like Jackson. Apparently we share some passions.

Butter, Bach and Booze .... that's all I need! :P

And a pet with a good musical taste. Like my late cat, who amazingly seemed to like Mahler. Jumped on the (warm) amplifier, with speakers to his left and right, and sitting and listening with ears pricked and eyes closed to the Auferstehung.
He wasn't all that fond of the piano though. Especially when the boss himself (yours truly) was trying to play some 2 part Invention.

I never dared to touch the WTC .... ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 11, 2010, 08:27:19 PM
Bach
WTC BK 1, CD 1
Koroliov
Tacet


For those who might wish to sample Koroliov's Bach, here's links to these four works:

Prelude in C Major (http://queencdmastering.wikispaces.com/file/detail/Track01.mp3)

Fugue in C Major (http://queencdmastering.wikispaces.com/file/detail/Track02.mp3)

Prelude in c minor (http://queencdmastering.wikispaces.com/file/detail/Track03.mp3)

Fugue in c minor (http://queencdmastering.wikispaces.com/file/detail/Track04.mp3)

Player is found at the bottom left of your screen. Just click on the triangle.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 14, 2010, 10:37:37 AM
Bach
WTC BK 1, CD 1
Koroliov
Tacet


For those who might wish to sample Koroliov's Bach, here's links to these four works:

Prelude in C Minor (http://queencdmastering.wikispaces.com/file/detail/Track01.mp3)

Fugue in C Minor (http://queencdmastering.wikispaces.com/file/detail/Track02.mp3)

Prelude in C minor (http://queencdmastering.wikispaces.com/file/detail/Track03.mp3)

Fugue in C minor (http://queencdmastering.wikispaces.com/file/detail/Track04.mp3)

Player is found at the bottom left of your screen. Just click on the triangle.

For the first two you mean C-major, I assume.

They sound very nice.  Why is it, I wonder, that these very fine Bach recordings always seem to be on dodgy labels, out of print and/or available an exorbitant prices?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 14, 2010, 12:03:17 PM
For the first two you mean C-major, I assume.

They sound very nice.  Why is it, I wonder, that these very fine Bach recordings always seem to be on dodgy labels, out of print and/or available an exorbitant prices?

So that we can feel justified in downloading them for free?

(Yes, the first two are C Major, I'll fix that)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 14, 2010, 01:15:06 PM
For the first two you mean C-major, I assume.

They sound very nice.  Why is it, I wonder, that these very fine Bach recordings always seem to be on dodgy labels, out of print and/or available an exorbitant prices?

There's nothing "dodgy" about the Tacet label.  It's just a small German company, and we're all aware that many outstanding recordings come from labels that aren't big-time.

One can buy both Books directly from Tacet at less than exorbitant prices.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 14, 2010, 01:47:06 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21WR5C51C5L._SL500_AA130_.jpg)
 
Bulldog (or anyone else) do I dare ask how you feel about Anthony Newman's WTC I?
 
He has a 3CD set that is done in both piano and harpsicord versions, Newman prefers the harpsicord for Bach since he almost always wants to use instruments available to the original composer, he does mention in notes that piano versions outsell harpsicord versions by a large margin and some very good classic piano versions by Fischer, Gould and others have given rise to public preference.
 
Newman uses a scored marked up by Karl Czerny (student and friend of Beethoven) that represents his best recollection of how Beethoven performed these pieces, has extreme tempo variations both fast and slow from standard practice today.......some are indeed very fast!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on March 14, 2010, 02:16:06 PM
For the first two you mean C-major, I assume.

They sound very nice.  Why is it, I wonder, that these very fine Bach recordings always seem to be on dodgy labels, out of print and/or available an exorbitant prices?

I have three recordings of Bach's music by Koroliov and all are excellent which leads me to think that he must be one of the top exponents of JSB keyboard works if not the absolute #1. If you haven't already, see if you can sample these.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416TGTW9CML._SL160_AA115_.jpg)  (http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/37/372835.JPG)  (http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/44/73/a3a781b0c8a0609aea05e110.L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 14, 2010, 02:43:28 PM
Well, I believe that I acquired a harpsichord version of these works that will please me for a long time!  :D

I was extremely fortunate to obtain the Glen Wilson double-discs sets shown below (each packaged nicely as 2-CDs in single-sized jewel boxes - love it!) from one of our illustrious members who is also an 'Amazon Marketplace' retailer - he gave me a great deal (won't mention who since he likely wants to be anonymous) - thanks!  Dave  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWilsonWTCI/808647413_YBs23-O.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWilsonWTCII/808647425_cFuTb-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 14, 2010, 02:46:16 PM
I have three recordings of Bach's music by Koroliov and all are excellent which leads me to think that he must be one of the top exponents of JSB keyboard works if not the absolute #1. If you haven't already, see if you can sample these.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416TGTW9CML._SL160_AA115_.jpg)  (http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/37/372835.JPG)  (http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/44/73/a3a781b0c8a0609aea05e110.L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I have sampled some of those and found them very good.  If only his WTC were available in the US, or even from overseas at a sane price.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 14, 2010, 03:17:57 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21WR5C51C5L._SL500_AA130_.jpg)
 
Bulldog (or anyone else) do I dare ask how you feel about Anthony Newman's WTC I?

Sorry, never heard it.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 14, 2010, 03:27:39 PM
I have three recordings of Bach's music by Koroliov and all are excellent which leads me to think that he must be one of the top exponents of JSB keyboard works if not the absolute #1. If you haven't already, ................
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516Xcs7v26L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Holden - a few pages or so back in this thread, you brought up the Woodward recordings of both books of the WTC - if you own and have heard these discs, any opinions?  Currently I own the complete set w/ Jill Crossland (and have plenty of 'harpsichord' sets now), so still looking for another one on piano - so many options?  Not a 'cheap' set but available at MDT for $40+ - thanks for any comments - Dave   :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on March 14, 2010, 09:19:00 PM
In the US, Tacet can be bought through

http://www.spinningdogrecords.com/tacetsound.html

Koroliov's WTC is tremendous.
He first performed it at 17, so his interpretations are mature, to say the least.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 14, 2010, 09:53:21 PM
In the US, Tacet can be bought through

http://www.spinningdogrecords.com/tacetsound.html

Koroliov's WTC is tremendous.
He first performed it at 17, so his interpretations are mature, to say the least.

On that site, it would cost $80 to get books 1 and 2.  Too rich for my blood, and considerably more than it would cost to import it from one of the usual UK web sites.  I can't imagine there are enough rubes in the world to keep a site like this "spinningdogrecords" in business.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 14, 2010, 10:26:44 PM
On that site, it would cost $80 to get books 1 and 2.  Too rich for my blood, and considerably more than it would cost to import it from one of the usual UK web sites.  I can't imagine there are enough rubes in the world to keep a site like this "spinningdogrecords" in business.

Wow - $80! Just as a comparison, you can find the Richter for $20-25 (maybe others for even less).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 14, 2010, 11:02:56 PM
Wow - $80! Just as a comparison, you can find the Richter for $20-25 (maybe others for even less).

Quite so, much more expensive than recordings by the most renown pianists such as Ashkenazy, Pollini, Richter, Schiff, Hewitt, etc.  Not so say that music is a commodity that should be sold based on cents per minute, but a priori I don't know how good these recordings are.  Why should I pay four times as much to hear these recordings as some other recordings that might be equally good.   

Clearly they can charge anything they want, but they've priced themselves out of my consideration, and I'm a lunatic who owns more than half a dozen recordings of the WTC.  Who is their customer, I'd like to know?  I'll keep an eye on the clearance houses, waiting for the moment they go bankrupt and their recordings are remaindered for a dollar a disc.   ;D

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on March 14, 2010, 11:30:16 PM
Quite so, much more expensive than recordings by the most renown pianists such as Ashkenazy, Pollini, Richter, Schiff, Hewitt, etc.  Not so say that music is a commodity that should be sold based on cents per minute, but a priori I don't know how good these recordings are.  Why should I pay four times as much to hear these recordings as some other recordings that might be equally good.   

Clearly they can charge anything they want, but they've priced themselves out of my consideration, and I'm a lunatic who owns more than half a dozen recordings of the WTC.  Who is their customer, I'd like to know?  I'll keep an eye on the clearance houses, waiting for the moment they go bankrupt and their recordings are remaindered for a dollar a disc.   ;D

Because Pollini, Schiff, and Hewitt (both) are not equally good. Hewitt is genteel in comparison, which I suppose is why so many people like her, and don't get me started on Schiff.
Pollini is interesting, but I don't think on the same level.   
Ashkenazy I don't know.

If you want a mature, profound but tasteful performance get the Koroliov.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on March 15, 2010, 01:17:31 AM
Holden - a few pages or so back in this thread, you brought up the Woodward recordings of both books of the WTC - if you own and have heard these discs, any opinions?  Currently I own the complete set w/ Jill Crossland (and have plenty of 'harpsichord' sets now), so still looking for another one on piano - so many options?  Not a 'cheap' set but available at MDT for $40+ - thanks for any comments - Dave   :)

I've only heard snippets/samples but enough to make me very intrigued. It's rated very highly by many posters across a range of forums.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 15, 2010, 01:56:29 AM
There's nothing "dodgy" about the Tacet label.  It's just a small German company, and we're all aware that many outstanding recordings come from labels that aren't big-time.

One can buy both Books directly from Tacet at less than exorbitant prices.

The cheapest I have found so far is mdt (at approx $65, including shipping). Tacet is 30EUR (w/o VAT) per part! Then, it looks like they add in 10.75EUR for shipping to the US! This doesn't seem to be a good option for US buyers. JPC is even worse (EUR35). And to think I limit myself to a maximum disc price of $15 or so (and I can think of only about 4-5 discs where I spent as much as that in recent years)!!

I am intrigued too though, as it sounds to my taste. The First prelude had a bit of slight tempo slowdowns periodically, but I didn't really hear that elsewhere, so presumably this it limited in scope? JPC has some samples for those who want to hear more scope of the work (in addition to a few longer ones provided earlier in this thread - thanks for that).  Anyway, perhaps a good sale will come along at some point.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 15, 2010, 05:59:37 AM
Because Pollini, Schiff, and Hewitt (both) are not equally good. Hewitt is genteel in comparison, which I suppose is why so many people like her, and don't get me started on Schiff.
Pollini is interesting, but I don't think on the same level.   
Ashkenazy I don't know.

If you want a mature, profound but tasteful performance get the Koroliov.

I'm to plunk down $80 to find out if I like it?  Sorry, there are too many other recordings of the WTC that I've never heard.  I can try out 3 of them for the price of this one.  If this recording is as good as you say, well that's just a shame.  I suspect it's mediocre.  People who bought it need to invent a narrative for why they let themselves be taken advantage of.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on March 15, 2010, 06:49:38 AM
I'm to plunk down $80 to find out if I like it?  Sorry, there are too many other recordings of the WTC that I've never heard.  I can try out 3 of them for the price of this one.  If this recording is as good as you say, well that's just a shame.  I suspect it's mediocre.  People who bought it need to invent a narrative for why they let themselves be taken advantage of.
FWIW, both books for $60 + shipping (~$3 to USA) from MDT.  I've not heard these discs, so don't know if they're to my taste, or sufficiently different & better than the sets I already have to be worthwhile--for me.  Again, FWIW, the Hurwitzer loves Koroliov's WTC.  (I suspect that impresses you no more favorably than it does me.)

Schiff, whom I like very much in this as in the Goldbergs and English Suites, goes for about $40 on Amazon.  Crossland, who ain't bad either, can be had for about $30.   
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 15, 2010, 07:59:37 AM
Schiff, whom I like very much in this as in the Goldbergs and English Suites, goes for about $40 on Amazon.  Crossland, who ain't bad either, can be had for about $30.

All of which I have.   More to the point, the Woodward recording on another boutique label, which up until now I thought of as expensive, is 28 pounds on MDT, as opposed to 40 pounds for Koroliov (comparing prices for the 48).  In both cases shipping would be 3 pounds.  I see the exchange rate has moved to favor US purchasers, 1 pound = 1.5 dollars.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 15, 2010, 08:02:42 AM
I'm to plunk down $80 to find out if I like it?  Sorry, there are too many other recordings of the WTC that I've never heard.  I can try out 3 of them for the price of this one.  If this recording is as good as you say, well that's just a shame.  I suspect it's mediocre.  People who bought it need to invent a narrative for why they let themselves be taken advantage of.

Let's get down to Earth about this matter:

1.  Koroliov is never mediocre.

2.  I didn't pay one cent for my copies of his WTC and consider the performances outstanding.

3. There are recordings that transcend adjectives such as excellent or satisfying; the Koroliov WTC is in this category.

4.  Sometimes, these transcendent recordings are only available at a very high price.

5.  Your decision to make, but don't make the mistake of depreciating the long-term value of the recordings in question because you don't want to pay the freight.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 15, 2010, 08:07:32 AM
Let's get down to Earth about this matter:

1.  Koroliov is never mediocre.

2.  I didn't pay one cent for my copies of his WTC and consider the performances outstanding.

3. There are recordings that transcend adjectives such as excellent or satisfying; the Koroliov WTC is in this category.

4.  Sometimes, these transcendent recordings are only available at a very high price.

5.  Your decision to make, but don't make the mistake of depreciating the long-term value of the recordings in question because you don't want to pay the freight.

I see, how did you manage to get it without paying a cent?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 15, 2010, 08:28:39 AM
I see, how did you manage to get it without paying a cent?

A friend made copies for me.  Unlike some of the folks on the board, I have no problem with CD-R's.  Each of the four discs offers fantastic sound that I expect will hold up for decades.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 15, 2010, 08:53:12 AM
A friend made copies for me.  Unlike some of the folks on the board, I have no problem with CD-R's.  Each of the four discs offers fantastic sound that I expect will hold up for decades.

Lucky dog.

There is no reason to imagine that a CD-R would sound any different from the CD it was copied from.   After all, I can copy 700 Mb of data to a CDR and read it back without losing single bit of data.  How long they will last another question.  I have definitely had CDRs that became unreadable after being left in the car on a sunny summer day.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 15, 2010, 08:59:46 AM
Lucky dog.

There is no reason to imagine that a CD-R would sound any different from the CD it was copied from.   After all, I can copy 700 Mb of data to a CDR and read it back without losing single bit of data.  How long they will last another question.  I have definitely had CDRs that became unreadable after being left in the car on a sunny summer day.

I'd be dead if you left me in the car on hot summer's day. ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 15, 2010, 09:27:06 AM
A friend made copies for me. 

I got mine from an anonymous friend. In cases like this, I have no problem living with a CD-R. If I happen to really fall in love with the performances (as I sometimes do), I will likely buy the CDs at some point. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 15, 2010, 09:32:07 AM
I got mine from an anonymous friend. In cases like this, I have no problem living with a CD-R. If I happen to really fall in love with the performances (as I sometimes do), I will likely buy the CDs at some point.

Web sites ring with the praises of these recordings from people who listening to illegitimate copies.  What a sucker I would be to actually buy the thing.  Probably there is only one copy in circulation and it hasn't gotten to my town yet.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: 71 dB on March 15, 2010, 10:04:25 AM
After all, I can copy 700 MB of data to a CDR and read it back without losing single bit of data.

Data discs use stronger error correction (more bits used for that). That's why a CD-R takes more music than data (700 MB data discs take 80 minutes of music when 80 minutes of stereo 44100 Hz/16 bits music means about 800 MB of PCM data).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 15, 2010, 10:07:02 AM
Data discs use stronger error correction (more bits used for that). That's why a CD-R takes more music than data (700 MB data discs take 80 minutes of music when 80 minutes of stereo 44100 Hz/16 bits music means about 800 MB of PCM data).

I was referring to the process of burning an audio CD and comparing the data on the resulting CD-R to the original data, be that the original CD or the source wav files.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 15, 2010, 10:20:33 AM
Web sites ring with the praises of these recordings from people who listening to illegitimate copies.  What a sucker I would be to actually buy the thing.  Probably there is only one copy in circulation and it hasn't gotten to my town yet.

You're not a member at Demonoid? It's been seeding there for a few days.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 15, 2010, 10:26:43 AM
You're not a member at Demonoid? It's been seeding there for a few days.

14! That's the largest I've seen for a classical album... at least among the ones I have seen/searched for so far, anyway
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 15, 2010, 10:31:38 AM
14! That's the largest I've seen for a classical album... at least among the ones I have seen/searched for so far, anyway

Right and how many downloaded?  I bet over a couple hundred.

I was the one who requested the re-seed BTW.  0:)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 15, 2010, 10:33:24 AM
You're not a member at Demonoid? It's been seeding there for a few days.

What's a Demonoid?   :o
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 15, 2010, 10:38:01 AM
Right and how many downloaded?  I bet over a couple hundred.
If you mean the files, a little over a hundred at the moment. ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on March 15, 2010, 11:04:08 AM
To reiterate, just because Koroliov is on a label without good circulation in the US, doesn't mean he's an obscure Bach pianist.

To give some examples,

Aside from the two critics at Classics Today, Distler (who also writes for Gramophone) and Hurwitz.

His Book II and Goldberg variations each received a Diapason d'Or.

His Art of Fugue was editor's choice in Gramophone.
And of course, there's that famous quote from György Ligeti, who is one of if not the greatest composer of the 2nd half of the 20th century.

Unfortunately, however, he has been overshadowed in the markets by Schiff, Hewitt, and Perahia. Perahia, of course, has done the Partitas and English suites, which Koroliov has not recorded. Schiff is a mincing pianist in everything, and he screws with the counterpoint in Bach. Hewitt is too timid, genteel, and bird-like for me at least. Just because they have been more heavily promoted, and have a politely appealing sound, does not mean they are on the same interpretive level



Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 15, 2010, 11:25:53 AM
To reiterate, just because Koroliov is on a label without good circulation in the US, doesn't mean he's an
Unfortunately, however, he has been overshadowed in the markets by Schiff, Hewitt, and Perahia. Perahia, of course, has done the Partitas and English suites, which Koroliov has not recorded. Schiff is a mincing pianist in everything, and he screws with the counterpoint in Bach. Hewitt is too timid, genteel, and bird-like for me at least. Just because they have been more heavily promoted, and have a politely appealing sound, does not mean they are on the same interpretive level

Hans did you originally make the comment about Angela Hewitt sounding like a small bird pecking away gently at the paino keys below.......
I love that description and have used it a few times here  ;)
 
I think the reason I like her 1st set of WTC better is that she uses a Steinway and it has more power and stronger dymanic range, the new set with the lighter clearer toned Fasoli piano just accentuates the bird like quality.....
 
 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 15, 2010, 01:03:56 PM
I'm not down with that, the Fasoli piano has a very rich sound, not at all "lightweight" compared with a Steinway, IMO.

To change the subject somewhat, what do you all think of the Watchorn?  And what's with Egarr, why did he stop after Book I?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 15, 2010, 01:48:10 PM
I'm not down with that, the Fasoli piano has a very rich sound, not at all "lightweight" compared with a Steinway, IMO.

To change the subject somewhat, what do you all think of the Watchorn?  And what's with Egarr, why did he stop after Book I?

I must correct myself the name is Fazioli piano, and one of its selling points is a 4th pedal that supposed to more easily accurately produce soft sounds, less force used on strings.......but for me this is not what Hewitt needs more of in her new WTC, I long for her more dramatic sounding (less soft) original set.
 
Watchorn WTC I
Has been mention by a few people in this thread all positive as I recall, I really like the rich full sound of the pedal harpsicord he uses which makes it unique and highly desireable version
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 15, 2010, 01:51:08 PM
To change the subject somewhat, what do you all think of the Watchorn?  And what's with Egarr, why did he stop after Book I?

There have been many favorable comments on this board about Watchorn's WTC, mine among them.  As for Egarr, he's made some recordings of Bach, Handel and Purcell since his WTC I; I assume he will eventually get to BK. 2, and I'm having no problem being patient about it since his Bk. 1 is not what I would call a compelling account.  However, it is much better than his Goldbergs disc.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 15, 2010, 02:22:17 PM
Thanks for your comments on Watchorn.  In addition to his playing, I'm curious as to whether the tuning method he advocates makes any distinctive difference.  I've recently been listening to Ashkenazy's account and there have been times when I have wondered whether the piano was tuned in something other than even temperament.  On the other hand, maybe my ears are just going.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on March 15, 2010, 02:30:11 PM
There have been many favorable comments on this board about Watchorn's WTC, mine among them.  As for Egarr, he's made some recordings of Bach, Handel and Purcell since his WTC I; I assume he will eventually get to BK. 2, and I'm having no problem being patient about it since his Bk. 1 is not what I would call a compelling account.  However, it is much better than his Goldbergs disc.

Apparently that BK. 2 by Egarr was already recorded and even produced because some weeks ago, IIRC, I saw the picture of its cover in another forum. And Watchorn: IMO, a superior recording, although I have just listened to his Bk. 1. 

P.S.: About Watchorn - somewhere in this thread you will find my hysterical reaction when I knew his Bk. 1.   ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on March 15, 2010, 07:06:35 PM

Hans did you originally make the comment about Angela Hewitt sounding like a small bird pecking away gently at the paino keys below.......
I love that description and have used it a few times here  ;)
 
I think the reason I like her 1st set of WTC better is that she uses a Steinway and it has more power and stronger dymanic range, the new set with the lighter clearer toned Fasoli piano just accentuates the bird like quality.....

Yeah, it's also the acoustic the producers use. Personally, I think smoother sounding instruments have less character. But Fazioli this, Fazioli that.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on March 15, 2010, 07:22:30 PM
My, my.  Through the wonders of modern technology I've been able to hear a good bit of Koroliov's WTC.  At the risk of going just a wee bit overboard, I must say it sounds pretty damned near perfect to me.  I guess MDT (or some other vendor) will be getting another order for it in the near future.

I still like Schiff, however, and Crossland, and Hewitt as well, though I've yet to hear more than samples from her newer recording with the Fazioli.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 15, 2010, 08:02:55 PM
My, my.  Through the wonders of modern technology I've been able to hear a good bit of Koroliov's WTC.  At the risk of going just a wee bit overboard, I must say it sounds pretty damned near perfect to me.  I guess MDT (or some other vendor) will be getting another order for it in the near future.

I still like Schiff, however, and Crossland, and Hewitt as well, though I've yet to hear more than samples from her newer recording with the Fazioli.

The wonders of modern technology have led me to a similar conclusion.   If they ever offer the thing for sale in the states I may buy it.  Until then, I will be relying on the wonders of technology.

In the mean time, I'd like to add a set on harpsichord/clavichord and when I listen to the excerpts Watchorn just doesn't do it for me.  From what I've heard Glen Wilson appeals to me most, but the set is oop and rare.  I managed to pick up a used set of part II in good condition for a good price, but part I is a problem, it will show up eventually.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 17, 2010, 07:18:56 AM
My, my.  Through the wonders of modern technology I've been able to hear a good bit of Koroliov's WTC.  At the risk of going just a wee bit overboard, I must say it sounds pretty damned near perfect to me.  I guess MDT (or some other vendor) will be getting another order for it in the near future.

Next
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 17, 2010, 07:33:56 AM

As Bunny mentioned earlier here best way to get the Koroliov WTC and much more is in the Bach keyboard 16 CD Hanssler boxset for $40 from Berkshire Record Outlet.......mine is due to arrive tomorrow, I will post a picture of the contents

No, sir, that 16-disc-er does not contain the WTC. Goldbergs, Italian Concerto, and some other things filling up a CD or two, or four... but not the WTC. (If anything, they should have included Levin's WTC, to make it a completely PI affair.) But congratulations on the acquisition nevertheless. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 17, 2010, 07:35:55 AM

As Bunny mentioned earlier here best way to get the Koroliov WTC and much more is in the Bach keyboard 16 CD Hanssler boxset for $40 from Berkshire Record Outlet.......mine is due to arrive tomorrow, I will post a picture of the contents

Koroliov's WTC is on the Tacet label.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on March 17, 2010, 07:46:52 AM
No, sir, that 16-disc-er does not contain the WTC. Goldbergs, Italian Concerto, and some other things filling up a CD or two, or four... but not the WTC. (If anything, they should have included Levin's WTC, to make it a completely PI affair.) But congratulations on the acquisition nevertheless. :)

OMG......you may be be right, will have to see tomorrow......how can there be no WTC?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on March 17, 2010, 07:51:31 AM
No, sir, that 16-disc-er does not contain the WTC. Goldbergs, Italian Concerto, and some other things filling up a CD or two, or four... but not the WTC. (If anything, they should have included Levin's WTC, to make it a completely PI affair.) But congratulations on the acquisition nevertheless. :)
Beat me to it.  I just looked this up, too.  Not sure I really want Koroliov's WTC anyway, as subsequent listening indicates a a relentless quality that wears on me as Schiff or Hewitt, for instance, do not.  I heard it last night, and am hearing it again this morning. I'll keep listening, but already I'm less satisfied than that first impression suggested.

Here's a more complete listing from Arkiv's site: http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=50261
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 17, 2010, 07:53:24 AM

OMG......you may be be right, will have to see tomorrow......how can there be no WTC?

Correction: I am right. ;) You can find the list of contents at Amazon.de (http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00005QHY6/ref=asc_df_B00005QHY6415372/?tag=ciao-music-21&creative=7986&creativeASIN=B00005QHY6&linkCode=asn).

Actually, it does contain some portion of the WTC, except that it's not played by Koroliov but by Robert Hill. And as for the reason why it does not contain Koroliov's, look at Scarpia's post above yours. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on March 17, 2010, 08:06:31 AM
Correction: I am right. ;) You can find the list of contents at Amazon.de (http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00005QHY6/ref=asc_df_B00005QHY6415372/?tag=ciao-music-21&creative=7986&creativeASIN=B00005QHY6&linkCode=asn).

Actually, it does contain some portion of the WTC, except that it's not played by Koroliov but by Robert Hill. And as for the reason why it does not contain Koroliov's, look at Scarpia's post above yours. :)

That's got to be wrong. The Hanssler box has Levin for WTC.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on March 17, 2010, 08:08:42 AM
That's wrong. The Hanssler box has Levin for WTC.
Not according to the listings I've seen, such as the one linked above on Amazon Deutschland. But even if it did, that's still not Koroliov.

edit: From Presto's site:  the box (92568), described as vols 102-112  (http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/hanssler.php?k=11&w=Edition+Bachakademie&page=15)

the page w/ vols 102-109 (http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/hanssler.php?k=11&w=Edition+Bachakademie&page=11)
the page w/ vols 110-112, plus Levin's WTC (116-117) (http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/hanssler.php?k=11&w=Edition+Bachakademie&page=12)

Vol 112 is Koroliov's Goldbergs
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 17, 2010, 08:19:44 AM
That's got to be wrong. The Hanssler box has Levin for WTC.

The Hanssler box in question is Keyboard works, Part I.  It includes volumes 102-112 of their Bachacademie.  It lacks the English Suites, the French Suites, the Partitas, and both books of the WTC.   That stuff is presumably in Part II, which if it existed does not seem to be available anymore.

An orderly list of the series is here:
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/albumList.jsp?page_size=50&name_id1=527&name_role1=1&genre=128&label_id=1084&bcorder=619

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 17, 2010, 08:21:27 AM
That's got to be wrong. The Hanssler box has Levin for WTC.

Yes, Levin recorded the two books in their entirety on a harpsichord; Hill played those excerpts, perhaps, on a clavichord or a lute-harpsichord.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: stingo on March 17, 2010, 08:29:11 AM
Has Pierre Hantai recorded Book 2 yet?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 17, 2010, 08:32:35 AM
Has Pierre Hantai recorded Book 2 yet?

No.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 17, 2010, 08:33:38 AM
Yes, Levin recorded the two books in their entirety on a harpsichord; Hill played those excerpts, perhaps, on a clavichord or a lute-harpsichord.

I don't know what you mean.  The set includes numerous preludes and fugues performed by Hill, but they are not from the WTC (except one, an alternate version of which is part of the WTC).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 17, 2010, 08:37:24 AM
Yes, Levin recorded the two books in their entirety on a harpsichord;

And organ, clavichord and fortepiano.  Levin's a versatile man.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 17, 2010, 08:38:41 AM
I don't know what you mean.  The set includes numerous preludes and fugues performed by Hill, but they are not from the WTC (except one, an alternate version of which is part of the WTC).

Just a couple of preludes, then, from the second book. (Tracks 74 and 77.) I incorrectly assumed that the subsequent tracks contained the associated fugues.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 17, 2010, 08:40:38 AM
And organ, clavichord and fortepiano.  Levin's a versatile man.

Indeed.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on March 17, 2010, 03:20:48 PM
I went back and relistened to my copy of Feinberg and it's still obvious that this is a superb version of the WTC. I have (or have heard):

Schiff - too pedantic
Jando - well played but lacking something I can't put my finger on
Barenboim - quite similar to Feinberg in some respects but without the brio. His ability to 'orchestrate' the fugues is so well done.
Richter - various P&Fs only. I though I had the whole set. Having heard some of his 1954 recital in Hungary maybe I should invest in his complete undertaking.

I would like to audition the Roger Woodward.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on March 17, 2010, 03:32:28 PM
Schiff - too pedantic
Pedantic?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 17, 2010, 10:48:00 PM
I went back and relistened to my copy of Feinberg and it's still obvious that this is a superb version of the WTC. I have (or have heard):

Schiff - too pedantic

Assuming you're using "pedantic" to indicate an obsession with little details, I agree that Schiff sometimes falls into this category; however, I think there's far less of this effect in his WTC than in his other Bach/Decca recordings.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: kishnevi on March 18, 2010, 10:41:13 AM
Assuming you're using "pedantic" to indicate an obsession with little details, I agree that Schiff sometimes falls into this category; however, I think there's far less of this effect in his WTC than in his other Bach/Decca recordings.

Well, how many other pianists have accompanied their Beethoven sonata cycles with musicological lectures?  Or publicly justify varying the recorded order of the Bach Partitas with this reasoning: "If we start with the G major Partita, the keys of the six works form a hexachord: G-a-B flat-c-D-e, with the major and minor modes evenly distributed among the ascending pitches and the sunlit, graceful G-major work forming an ingratiating and appropriate opening."  (From the liner notes of his ECM recording of the Partitas.)  Hmm, actually, it would be just like Bach to do that, actually.  Only thing missing is speculation about a missing Partita in F.  Of course, this doesn't prevent the man who actually wrote the liner notes for the release to justify the vulgate order of the Partitas with another Bachian numerological exercise.)  Other than Glenn Gould, how many pianists would be up for such an exercise?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on March 18, 2010, 10:47:07 AM
Assuming you're using "pedantic" to indicate an obsession with little details, I agree that Schiff sometimes falls into this category; however, I think there's far less of this effect in his WTC than in his other Bach/Decca recordings.

Really I find nothing "pedantic" about Schiff's Bach recordings.  Expressive yet graceful, if I were limited to a single characterization. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: kishnevi on March 18, 2010, 11:16:46 AM
Really I find nothing "pedantic" about Schiff's Bach recordings.  Expressive yet graceful, if I were limited to a single characterization.

To be clear, I think very highly of the actual recording of the Partitas--and also very highly of the Beethoven cycle.

I have in fact three recordings of the Partitas--Gould, Perahia and this one by Schiff.  I have a high opinion of all three, but it's the Schiff I like best--he seems to make the music dance better than the other two.

But his approach to the music can be at times justifiably be called pedantic.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on March 18, 2010, 06:06:09 PM
Well, how many other pianists have accompanied their Beethoven sonata cycles with musicological lectures?  Or publicly justify varying the recorded order of the Bach Partitas with this reasoning: "If we start with the G major Partita, the keys of the six works form a hexachord: G-a-B flat-c-D-e, with the major and minor modes evenly distributed among the ascending pitches and the sunlit, graceful G-major work forming an ingratiating and appropriate opening."  (From the liner notes of his ECM recording of the Partitas.)  Hmm, actually, it would be just like Bach to do that, actually.  Only thing missing is speculation about a missing Partita in F.  Of course, this doesn't prevent the man who actually wrote the liner notes for the release to justify the vulgate order of the Partitas with another Bachian numerological exercise.)  Other than Glenn Gould, how many pianists would be up for such an exercise?

Quote
Assuming you're using "pedantic" to indicate an obsession with little details, I agree that Schiff sometimes falls into this category;

Your correct in seeing this as part of my interpretation of the word pedantic. It's the "can't see the woods for the trees" effect.

I found his LvB pedantic as well. The only Bach of Schiff's I've heard is the WTC and that put me off any other of his Bach recordings.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on March 18, 2010, 07:00:41 PM
Really I find nothing "pedantic" about Schiff's Bach recordings.  Expressive yet graceful, if I were limited to a single characterization.
We sure seem to be agreeing frequently these days.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 18, 2010, 07:44:58 PM

Your correct in seeing this as part of my interpretation of the word pedantic. It's the "can't see the woods for the trees" effect.

I found his LvB pedantic as well. The only Bach of Schiff's I've heard is the WTC and that put me off any other of his Bach recordings.

Okay.  One recording where Schiff delivers the full sweep of Bach's music is his Goldbergs on ECM.  I bet you would like it.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on March 19, 2010, 01:41:45 AM
Okay.  One recording where Schiff delivers the full sweep of Bach's music is his Goldbergs on ECM.  I bet you would like it.

I probably would but all of my Schiff experiences have not been positive. I will check it out.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 20, 2010, 06:49:57 AM
Yet another (?) Tureck (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/NR_April10/232923.htm).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 20, 2010, 06:52:22 AM
Yet another (?) Tureck (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/NR_April10/232923.htm).

The DG set came out in 1953, FWIW.

On another note, I wasn't aware that the Beatles had started a Classical CD label.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on March 25, 2010, 02:33:24 AM
Well, I think I have found my ultimate version of the WTC and it won't really be a surprise.

I found a site that gave me a streaming file of all of BkI and another with all of BkII and this has just blown me away. This is heart on your sleeve Bach and it explores the depths of this wonderful music like no other version I've heard.

Yes, the Feinberg was great but Sviatoslav Richter speaks directly to me in a way that I never thought possible. OK, the sound is rather tubby but the range of both emotion and intellect that SR brings out of this music is just awe inspiring. All I have to do now is find a copy.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 25, 2010, 03:04:05 AM
Yes, the Feinberg was great but Sviatoslav Richter speaks directly to me in a way that I never thought possible. OK, the sound is rather tubby but the range of both emotion and intellect that SR brings out of this music is just awe inspiring. All I have to do now is find a copy.

Which one? The RCA, the live at Innsbruck or the one on Russian Revelation (April 1969)?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on March 26, 2010, 12:28:36 AM
George - this is the one I listened to.

(http://www.russiandvd.com/store/assets/product_images/imgs/front/31651.jpg)

If the Innsbruck is better I'd like to know. The RR only seems to have Bk I.

Please advise.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on March 26, 2010, 01:05:57 AM
George - this is the one I listened to.

(http://www.russiandvd.com/store/assets/product_images/imgs/front/31651.jpg)

Trovar lists that one as being the same as the one on RCA, but the RCA Book two is not available singly, so if you are unable to find the Olympia issue of book two, you'd need to buy books one and two together on RCA to get book two. I think books one and two were reissued on another label during the last few years, but I don't have more info on that, sorry. I think it was discussed in the Richter thread sometime last year. I recall that the sound was reportedly better than on previous issues of this material. BTW, I haven't compared the sound of the RCA and the Olympia, as I don't have the Olympia, only the RCA. I do have the remastered book one on RCA and the complete set issued earlier and I find the sound on the complete set to be a bit better.     

This is the RCA complete set that I own:

(http://jazzymas.com/oscommerce/images/bach.j.s.0035626094928.jpg)

Quote
If the Innsbruck is better I'd like to know. The RR only seems to have Bk I.

Yes, I believe RR is only available in Bk I. I haven't had a chance to compare it to the Innsbruck or the RCA/Olympia yet. I can say that the Innsbruck set is OOP and extremely rare.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: sTisTi on April 05, 2010, 09:09:58 AM
OK, so I've read 33 pages of WTC discussion, but no mention of Walcha? I've tried to find more information about this set as the Third Ear Guide to Classical Music is so enthusiastic about Walcha's WTC. They lamented that (back in 2003) his two recordings (EMI 1961 and Archiv 1974) were OOP and raved about the "intellectuality, supreme consistency and penetration into the world of the 48" and the reviewer considered it the best harpsichord WTC set ever, preferable to Gilbert, Moroney, Vernet, Leonhardt and others.

So now I discovered that EMI has indeed reissued a 5 CD box with Walcha's WTC, Goldberg Variations and 2 & 3 Part Inventions & Sinfonias:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51IXmnJFF0L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
http://www.amazon.com/Clavier-Tempere-Inventions-Variations-Goldberg/dp/B000V1Z0CQ/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1270483416&sr=1-6

I found samples only at Amazon.fr and the short (29 seconds) and heavily compressed files are difficult to evaluate regarding the sound quality. As for interpretation, Walcha takes many Preludes and Fugues considerably slower than my other harpsichord set (Van Asperen on Virgin), but the Third Ear commentary may be right, it definitely feels more "penetrating" than the at times slightly superficial van Asperen, which I like quite well otherwise.

What are your opinions on this set? Is the 3rd Ear reviewer right or are there now much better sets (on harpsichord) that also dig deep into the music?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on April 05, 2010, 09:16:31 AM
What are your opinions on this set? Is the 3rd Ear reviewer right or are there now much better sets (on harpsichord) that also dig deep into the music?

Haven't heard the Walcha, but the 3rd Ear guide has guided me to hundreds of great performances. I love that book!  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on April 05, 2010, 09:23:38 AM
I know Antoine Marchand recently purchased that set, persuaded by premont, who is a local Bach/Harpsichord enthusiast (pardon the understatement ;D).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on April 05, 2010, 09:28:36 AM
I know Antoine Marchand recently purchased that set, persuaded by premont, who is a local Bach/Harpsichord enthusiast (pardon the understatement ;D).

OK, so far it is just you. ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on April 05, 2010, 09:38:08 AM
OK, so I've read 33 pages of WTC discussion, but no mention of Walcha? I've tried to find more information about this set as the Third Ear Guide to Classical Music is so enthusiastic about Walcha's WTC. They lamented that (back in 2003) his two recordings (EMI 1961 and Archiv 1974) were OOP and raved about the "intellectuality, supreme consistency and penetration into the world of the 48" and the reviewer considered it the best harpsichord WTC set ever, preferable to Gilbert, Moroney, Vernet, Leonhardt and others.

What are your opinions on this set? Is the 3rd Ear reviewer right or are there now much better sets (on harpsichord) that also dig deep into the music?

I have written quite much about Walcha, among other this about his harpsichord recordings (from the thread:Bach on the harpsichord):

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: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 05, 2010, 10:30:55 AM
... who is a local Bach/Harpsichord enthusiast (pardon the understatement ;D).

I would prefer: "harpsichord connoisseur". It's more elegant and proper in this case.   :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on April 05, 2010, 10:33:39 AM
I would prefer: "harpsichord connoisseur". It's more elegant and proper in this case.   :)

There's no fun in saying that. ::)

;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 05, 2010, 11:14:46 AM
There's no fun in saying that. ::)

;)

This is our other harpsichord connoisseur, but unfortunately you can see him frequently commanding the pianophile troops:  :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: sTisTi on April 06, 2010, 07:52:24 AM
Haven't heard the Walcha, but the 3rd Ear guide has guided me to hundreds of great performances. I love that book!  :)
Me too, much more trustworthy than e.g. the Penguins, although I share the latters aversion to Glenn Gould ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: sTisTi on April 06, 2010, 07:56:36 AM
...
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.

Thanks a lot for your evaluation! Sounds mandatory to me as well ;)
However, I'm worried that I might not like the actual sound of the harpsichord as you described it. I wonder whether there are some samples available online with better quality than on Amazon.fr? :-\
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on April 06, 2010, 09:44:26 AM
Thanks a lot for your evaluation! Sounds mandatory to me as well ;)
However, I'm worried that I might not like the actual sound of the harpsichord as you described it. I wonder whether there are some samples available online with better quality than on Amazon.fr? :-\

Here are a few examples, which I uploaded some time ago. It is not the WTC or the Goldbergs, but the sound is characteristic of the instrument and his playing. My sources were LP releases, digitalized by myself.


Chromatic Fantasy (without Recitativo and Fugue):

http://www.mediafire.com/file/ebm0a1jd5hz/Chromatic fantasy.wav


English suite no.3,Sarabande:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/x2m0tmzqizg/English suite 3  Sarabande.wav


Partita no.6, Gigue:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/jny0d0t2hje/Partita no 6 Gigue.wav
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: sTisTi on April 09, 2010, 12:29:24 PM
Here are a few examples, which I uploaded some time ago. It is not the WTC or the Goldbergs, but the sound is characteristic of the instrument and his playing. My sources were LP releases, digitalized by myself.
Thank you!
First of all, congratulations for your good digitalization efforts - I doubt that the actual CD release will be much better considering it's a late 1950s/early 1960s recording 8)
As for the harpsichord sound, I actually like it better than some period harpsichords I've heard. No problem at all for me, so time to grab a copy of the 5 CD box while it's still in print...

I guess Walcha's 1974 Archiv recording never made it to CD?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on April 10, 2010, 04:40:17 AM
Thank you!
First of all, congratulations for your good digitalization efforts - I doubt that the actual CD release will be much better considering it's a late 1950s/early 1960s recording 8)
As for the harpsichord sound, I actually like it better than some period harpsichords I've heard. No problem at all for me, so time to grab a copy of the 5 CD box while it's still in print...

I guess Walcha's 1974 Archiv recording never made it to CD?

You are wellcome. :)


Walchas Archiv WTC recording was available at amazon.fr in a French DG CD release until maybe one or two years ago, but it is now OOP.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on April 10, 2010, 09:43:51 PM
I like Walcha's Ammer harpsichord a lot -- colouful and regal.

He is an outrageous performer. How can anyone have the chutzpah to play the F major prelude from Book 2 like that?

But he is very addictive, and, as been said, revealing. And I think the instrument is just beautiful.

Thanks to Premont he has become a firm favourite.

BTW, for those of you who use torrents, his complete Bach, including the suites and partitas, is easily available.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on April 10, 2010, 09:50:25 PM
I have written quite much about Walcha, among other this about his harpsichord recordings (from the thread:Bach on the harpsichord):


I forgot to mention then: a very striking and accurate description of Walcha's style. :) Sufficient to say that it's not my cup of tea. ::) 8)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: rubio on April 11, 2010, 12:54:50 AM
I forgot to mention then: a very striking and accurate description of Walcha's style. :) Sufficient to say that it's not my cup of tea. ::) 8)

Q

Who are your favourites in the WTC using harpsichord, Que?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on April 11, 2010, 01:16:03 AM
Who are your favourites in the WTC using harpsichord, Que?

Glen Wilson (Warner/ Teldec) and Ottavio Dantone (Arts).

See previous posts HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg257814/topicseen.html#msg257814) and HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg133655.html#msg133655).   :) And should Rousset ever do a WTC (and he will do so quite soon, I think), I would unhesitatingly get that as well.

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: rubio on April 11, 2010, 02:04:10 AM
Glen Wilson (Warner/ Teldec) and Ottavio Dantone (Arts).

See previous posts HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg257814/topicseen.html#msg257814) and HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.msg133655.html#msg133655).   :) And should Rousset ever do a WTC (and he will do so quite soon, I think), I would unhesitatingly get that as well.

Q

Thanks, I will try one of them :).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 11, 2010, 06:33:42 AM
WTC Bks. I & II w/ Roger Woodward - arrived earlier in the week from 'across the pond (MDT, just over $40 for 5 CDs) - Bk. I is packaged as 2 discs in a single-sized jewel box, while Bk. II consists of 3 discs also packaged in a single-size jewel box; both fit nicely into a well-constructed cardboard box - a nice 'save saver' -  :D

Woodward recorded these works in two periods (January & August, 2008) in Bavaria on a Hamburg Steinway D piano.  The booklets are extensive (German & English translations) with notes written by the pianist, and entitled In Search of a Performance Practice; an extensive review of the keyboard practices of the times, and Bach's own approaches toward composing, performance, and teaching on a wide variety of keyboards available to him at the time; sometimes too technical for me, but I'm sure instructive for those who are period keyboard performers.

I really enjoy the sound of this piano, of course in part related to Woodward's interpretations of these varied works and the recording engineering.  The timbre of the piano is pleasant and the sound near ambient quality.  Plus, Woodward plays with a finesse and lyricism that just does not 'tire on the ears' as has been true for me in other recordings that I've heard.

For other thoughts, the recording was selected for the Editor’s Choice for The Gramophone February, 2010 issue; in addition, there are plenty of outstanding reviews on Woodward's Website HERE (http://www.rogerwoodward.com/) - SO, is this now one of the top WTC choices on piano - well, it is GOOD!  I still own (and plan to keep) Jill Crossland.  I'll be quite curious to hear the opinions of others on Woodward's WTC (and other recordings - this is my first experience w/ this pianist).

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWTCIWoodward/831838665_nc6Rc-O.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWTCIIWoodward/831838675_owqng-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Verena on April 11, 2010, 06:54:24 AM
Also VERY promising, IMO: Zhu Xiao-Mei's upcoming WTC I, her WTC II has already been released:
http://www.mirare.fr/DisquesMirare/Zhu-Clavier-Livre1.html
Zhu Xiao-Mei is not very well-known, but there are quite a few people who consider her Bach Partitas to be among the very best, and possible THE best complete recording of these works on the piano - myself included.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on April 11, 2010, 07:05:20 AM
Haven't encountered you before, Verena.  Welcome aboard!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Verena on April 11, 2010, 07:34:27 AM
Quote
Haven't encountered you before, Verena.  Welcome aboard!

Thanks a lot, David!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on April 11, 2010, 11:25:43 AM
WTC Bks. I & II w/ Roger Woodward - arrived earlier in the week from 'across the pond (MDT, just over $40 for 5 CDs) - Bk. I is packaged as 2 discs in a single-sized jewel box, while Bk. II consists of 3 discs also packaged in a single-size jewel box; both fit nicely into a well-constructed cardboard box - a nice 'save saver' -  :D

Woodward recorded these works in two periods (January & August, 2008) in Bavaria on a Hamburg Steinway D piano.  The booklets are extensive (German & English translations) with notes written by the pianist, and entitled In Search of a Performance Practice; an extensive review of the keyboard practices of the times, and Bach's own approaches toward composing, performance, and teaching on a wide variety of keyboards available to him at the time; sometimes too technical for me, but I'm sure instructive for those who are period keyboard performers.

I really enjoy the sound of this piano, of course in part related to Woodward's interpretations of these varied works and the recording engineering.  The timbre of the piano is pleasant and the sound near ambient quality.  Plus, Woodward plays with a finesse and lyricism that just does not 'tire on the ears' as has been true for me in other recordings that I've heard.

For other thoughts, the recording was selected for the Editor’s Choice for The Gramophone February, 2010 issue; in addition, there are plenty of outstanding reviews on Woodward's Website HERE (http://www.rogerwoodward.com/) - SO, is this now one of the top WTC choices on piano - well, it is GOOD!  I still own (and plan to keep) Jill Crossland.  I'll be quite curious to hear the opinions of others on Woodward's WTC (and other recordings - this is my first experience w/ this pianist).

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWTCIWoodward/831838665_nc6Rc-O.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWTCIIWoodward/831838675_owqng-O.jpg)

I continue to love Woodward's set; I take to these slowish and thought-provoking performances like a duck to water.  Sets from Martins and Vieru are also in this category.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on April 11, 2010, 03:28:54 PM
I ordered the Belder set on Brilliant Classics - the price is right and I'm interested in hearing what all the fanfare is about. 

The only other Brilliant release I remember acquiring is the Barshai/Shostakovich Sym. cycle.  Nothing against the label, but their releases often have discs I already own from the original companies.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 11, 2010, 03:59:34 PM
I continue to love Woodward's set; I take to these slowish and thought-provoking performances like a duck to water.  Sets from Martins and Vieru are also in this category.

Don - thanks for the comments above - Woodward is indeed a joy for continuous listening!  :D

BTW - I compared Bk. I of Jill Crossland & Woodward this afternoon and enjoyed both - Crossland more mellow but both a melodic & lyric approach to this music; enjoy both - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: kishnevi on April 11, 2010, 04:11:33 PM
I ordered the Belder set on Brilliant Classics - the price is right and I'm interested in hearing what all the fanfare is about. 

The only other Brilliant release I remember acquiring is the Barshai/Shostakovich Sym. cycle.  Nothing against the label, but their releases often have discs I already own from the original companies.

They do release original recordings.  The artists generally seem to be Europeans whom I've never heard of and/or are young performers who have recently won one or another European competition--and at Brilliant's price level, they're certainly worth it.    The only bad recording of theirs I've come across is a live performance of a Vivaldi opera (Il Teuzzone) that would have been better left unperformed, not to mention unrecorded, by this particular lot of performers--weak voices, stilted singing, all amplified by apparently being recorded from somewhere backstage.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on April 11, 2010, 09:00:10 PM
I ordered the Belder set on Brilliant Classics - the price is right and I'm interested in hearing what all the fanfare is about

The only other Brilliant release I remember acquiring is the Barshai/Shostakovich Sym. cycle.  Nothing against the label, but their releases often have discs I already own from the original companies.

You've read some positive comments about it? :)

On Brilliant, they do original releases as well. Belder's recently started Soler series might interest you.

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidW on April 12, 2010, 05:11:53 AM
You've read some positive comments about it? :)

I'm just as surprised!  His unmusical playing with no sensitivity, nuance or style got positive comments from someone!? :o
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on April 12, 2010, 05:13:59 AM
You've read some positive comments about it? :)

Fanfare Magazine/Dubins was very positive, and ARG/Haskins praised Belder's performances.  Leaving them aside, I just listened to all the clips provided on JPC - sounds excellent to me.  So I have high expectations for the set when it arrives. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on April 12, 2010, 05:26:24 AM
I'm just as surprised!  His unmusical playing with no sensitivity, nuance or style got positive comments from someone!? :o

Yes, and you can add my name to those someones.  I sure don't find anything unmusical about Belder.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 12, 2010, 05:47:05 AM
IMO, Pieter-Jan Belder plays an excellent Bach. I have the best impression of his performances in these discs:

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Belder-K03-2%5BBCL%5D.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on April 12, 2010, 08:37:24 AM
I'm just as surprised!  His unmusical playing with no sensitivity, nuance or style got positive comments from someone!? :o

Yes, and you can add my name to those someones.  I sure don't find anything unmusical about Belder.

Fanfare Magazine/Dubins was very positive, and ARG/Haskins praised Belder's performances.  Leaving them aside, I just listened to all the clips provided on JPC - sounds excellent to me.  So I have high expectations for the set when it arrives. 

I was just informing after reviews, and am not surprised about the answer since my own impressions of listening to the samples on jpc were also quite positive.

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on April 12, 2010, 08:55:18 AM
I was just informing after reviews, and am not surprised about the answer since my own impressions of listening to the samples on jpc were also quite positive.

Q

Just two comments.  Although I was impressed with the Belder samples, I'm also aware that clips are not worthy alternatives to listening to an entire work on the audio equipment one loves.  Second, a disc can sound quite good in isoloation but less engrossing when immediately compared to a different version.

I remember when I first acquired the Beausejour set of Bk. 1; the set was very enjoyable.  Then I listened to the Vieru on Alpha, and the Beausejour paled in comparison. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on April 12, 2010, 10:07:18 AM
Just two comments.  Although I was impressed with the Belder samples, I'm also aware that clips are not worthy alternatives to listening to an entire work on the audio equipment one loves.  Second, a disc can sound quite good in isoloation but less engrossing when immediately compared to a different version.

I am aware of that as well - the taste of the pudding is in the eating. So, I'll be interested what you'll make of it - in Bach's harpsichord music our tastes do seem (occasionally  ;)) to align!  :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on April 12, 2010, 10:55:35 AM
Also VERY promising, IMO: Zhu Xiao-Mei's upcoming WTC I, her WTC II has already been released:
http://www.mirare.fr/DisquesMirare/Zhu-Clavier-Livre1.html
Zhu Xiao-Mei is not very well-known, but there are quite a few people who consider her Bach Partitas to be among the very best, and possible THE best complete recording of these works on the piano - myself included.

+1
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 12, 2010, 01:33:32 PM

On Brilliant, they do original releases as well. Belder's recently started Soler series might interest you.

David - agree w/ Q w/ the above; I bought into Belder's Soler recordings (2 vols. w/ 4 discs) - thoroughly enjoyed the experience - his playing was excellent and the harpsichords used pleasant to my ears.  Now I also own Belder's Vol. 1 (3 discs) of the Scarlatti works  but have not played that set in a while, so don't want to commit myself, although I'd love to obtain Scott Ross (at the right price!) - Dave  :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on April 12, 2010, 08:30:43 PM
David - agree w/ Q w/ the above; I bought into Belder's Soler recordings (2 vols. w/ 4 discs) - thoroughly enjoyed the experience - his playing was excellent and the harpsichords used pleasant to my ears.  Now I also own Belder's Vol. 1 (3 discs) of the Scarlatti works  but have not played that set in a while, so don't want to commit myself, although I'd love to obtain Scott Ross (at the right price!) - Dave  :D

I am personally not so keen on Belder's Scarlatti. Which is perhaps surprising because Scarlatti and Soler are somewhat "related" composers, but Belder has with Soler a musical chemistry that his Scarlatti lacks.

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on April 16, 2010, 07:58:55 AM
I've been listening the last few days to the Bernard Roberts 4-disc set.  Although Roberts doesn't come close to plumbing the depths of the music, I have to say that his performances are very elegant and thoroughly enjoyable.  Best of all, the recorded sound is the best I've heard for this repertoire on piano.

I should point out that Roberts is a different pianist in live recitals where he reveals an adventurous penchant not found in his Bach/Nimbus recordings.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on April 16, 2010, 12:23:52 PM
I've been listening the last few days to the Bernard Roberts 4-disc set.  Although Roberts doesn't come close to plumbing the depths of the music, I have to say that his performances are very elegant and thoroughly enjoyable.  Best of all, the recorded sound is the best I've heard for this repertoire on piano.

I should point out that Roberts is a different pianist in live recitals where he reveals an adventurous penchant not found in his Bach/Nimbus recordings.

Thanks, Don.

A quick aside - I would advise against Roberts's Beethoven, in case you haven't already bought it. The cheap price makes it attractive, but many, many better cycles can be had.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on April 16, 2010, 01:16:31 PM
Thanks, Don.

A quick aside - I would advise against Roberts's Beethoven, in case you haven't already bought it. The cheap price makes it attractive, but many, many better cycles can be had.

I bought a few of the Roberts/Beethoven discs quite a few years ago, and I agree that the performances are not among the top echelon.  However, they were my first Beethoven solo piano acquisitions so I have a little warm spot for Roberts.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on April 18, 2010, 10:16:45 AM
My copy of the Belder set arrived a couple of days ago; I've listened to both Books one time.  Although early in the evaluation process, I am very pleased with the performances.  I had read that the harpsichord used in Bk. 1 was inferior to the one in Bk. 2.  Although the latter was much richer in sound, I didn't have any problem with Bk. 1; rather thin but tangy (raising the bass is a good idea).

As for the performances themselves, Belder doesn't engage much in rhythmic hesitations, staggering of musical lines or other agogic expressions.  Also, he does not dig deeply into Bach's dark side.  However, I love his rhythmic patterns, his frequent use of different registrations in the repeats, and what I hear as a deep-seated joy and exuberance.  Revealing the detail of Bach's counterpoint isn't a big priority for Belder, but his "washes of sound" are exhilarating.

Considering the low cost, acquiring the set is a "no-brainer".  Belder costs much less than Jando or Beausejour on Naxos while easily beating them in quality. 8)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on May 12, 2010, 01:50:27 PM
A complete WTC I wasn't aware of comes from pianist Gianluca Luisi on the Centaur label.  The performances are slowish and often understated, without much of a trace of depth or maturity.  Probably best to take a pass.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on May 12, 2010, 01:55:11 PM
Acquired this one, which is no small feat.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lCenC-TwL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I have wanted it because it is one of the few sets that used clavichord (on part I).  It is out of print, for a long while there was one used copy on amazon for 100 bucks.  Then another popped in the $20 range, which I snapped up.  Now there are none again.  Well, I'll see if it was worth the trouble.
 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on May 12, 2010, 02:03:28 PM
Acquired this one, which is no small feat.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lCenC-TwL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I have wanted it because it is one of the few sets that used clavichord (on part I).  It is out of print, for a long while there was one used copy on amazon for 100 bucks.  Then another popped in the $20 range, which I snapped up.  Now there are none again.  Well, I'll see if it was worth the trouble.
 

It is rather sad that Hyperion dumped this set; I suppose that has something to do with Hewitt's piano sets.

Anyways, you do get that variety of instrumentation between Bks. 1 and 2.  My sole complaint is that Tilney sometimes comes across as superficial, but the $20 price tag makes the set worth owning.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on May 12, 2010, 02:28:52 PM
It is rather sad that Hyperion dumped this set; I suppose that has something to do with Hewitt's piano sets.

Anyways, you do get that variety of instrumentation between Bks. 1 and 2.  My sole complaint is that Tilney sometimes comes across as superficial, but the $20 price tag makes the set worth owning.

I suspect the reason for the premature deletion is simply poor sales.  In any case, my litmus test for the WTC is Bk I, Fugue in c-minor.  It is wonderful in this set.  I was hoping they would re-release it in their helios line, but for a bit over $20, why wait?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on May 12, 2010, 02:41:40 PM
I suspect the reason for the premature deletion is simply poor sales.  In any case, my litmus test for the WTC is Bk I, Fugue in c-minor.  It is wonderful in this set. 

With 96 fantastic pieces of music, I wouldn't have any idea which one to use as a litmus test.  You are a most interesting person.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on May 12, 2010, 02:45:18 PM
With 96 fantastic pieces of music, I wouldn't have any idea which one to use as a litmus test.  You are a most interesting person.

Listening to 96 samples is hopeless, and I just like that fugue.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on May 13, 2010, 01:08:31 AM
Having just acquired this

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PfjX2F3LL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I am in awe of these performances, especially Book I.  I also have the Feinberg and his Book II is a rival for the Richter but certainly doesn't surpass it.

Both pianists adopt a somewhat 'romantic' approach to the music but it is in no way facile. The Richter Moscow Book I also came into my possession recently and it confirms for me that Richter is one of the greatest Bach performers.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on May 13, 2010, 01:37:00 AM
Both pianists adopt a somewhat 'romantic' approach to the music but it is in no way facile. The Richter Moscow Book I also came into my possession recently and it confirms for me that Richter is one of the greatest Bach performers.

I love the Feinberg too, Holden. The Moscow performance you mention is the one on the Russian Revelation label, correct? I was lucky enough to come across that one late last year and hadn't check it out yet. It is playing now.  8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on May 13, 2010, 05:28:25 AM
Having just acquired this

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PfjX2F3LL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I am in awe of these performances, especially Book I.  I also have the Feinberg and his Book II is a rival for the Richter but certainly doesn't surpass it.

Both pianists adopt a somewhat 'romantic' approach to the music but it is in no way facile. The Richter Moscow Book I also came into my possession recently and it confirms for me that Richter is one of the greatest Bach performers.

I love Feinberg's WTC  but am not a big fan of Richter's WTC and don't really find them very similar. In the slower and mid tempo sections Feinberg has more clarity and forward momentum, more distinct melodic long line, Richter is slower amd more diffuse....a sort of meandering about feel for me. I get a more cohesive impression from Feinberg compared to Richter
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: sTisTi on May 13, 2010, 06:13:04 AM
Acquired this one, which is no small feat.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lCenC-TwL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I have wanted it because it is one of the few sets that used clavichord (on part I).  It is out of print, for a long while there was one used copy on amazon for 100 bucks.  Then another popped in the $20 range, which I snapped up.  Now there are none again.  Well, I'll see if it was worth the trouble.
 

For anyone interested, it is also available as a lossless download (FLAC format) directly from the Hyperion website for 23.99 GBP... :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Holden on May 14, 2010, 12:57:56 AM

I love Feinberg's WTC  but am not a big fan of Richter's WTC and don't really find them very similar. In the slower and mid tempo sections Feinberg has more clarity and forward momentum, more distinct melodic long line, Richter is slower amd more diffuse....a sort of meandering about feel for me. I get a more cohesive impression from Feinberg compared to Richter

No, they are not similar but neither of them follow what could be considered a classic/standard approach to playing the WTC like Tureck or Gould. Both pianists are aware of how the sonorities of the piano could be used to present the music. There is no attempt to impersonate the clavier or harpsichord. Both see the possibilities of the music.

What many forget is that the indications of the composer regarding tempo and expression are indistinct and a wide range of interpretations are possible. The music making of Feinberg and Richter appeals to me and in the long run this is all that matters.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on May 14, 2010, 01:31:23 AM
...what could be considered a classic/standard approach to playing the WTC like Tureck or Gould.

I do not really understand the meaning of "a classic/standard approach" to playing the WTC on piano. And even if I did, I would consider Tureck and Gould to be so far away from that standard as might be possible. Didn´t they both set their own standard (good or bad - if you want)? Standard approach -  well, I rather think of Jando.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on May 14, 2010, 05:31:01 AM
I do not really understand the meaning of "a classic/standard approach" to playing the WTC on piano. And even if I did, I would consider Tureck and Gould to be so far away from that standard as might be possible. Didn´t they both set their own standard (good or bad - if you want)? Standard approach -  well, I rather think of Jando.

Agreed.  I've never thought there was a standard approach to playing the WTC; also, Tureck and Gould are miles apart concerning their Bach interpretations.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on May 14, 2010, 05:33:48 AM
Agreed.  I've never thought there was a standard approach to playing the WTC; also, Tureck and Gould are miles apart concerning their Bach interpretations.

I interpreted it as meaning an approach which values clarity of voice leading over "romantic" aspects, such and expressiveness or dynamics.  Gould and Turek are in the same camp, from that point of view, I would say.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on May 14, 2010, 08:31:46 AM
I interpreted it as meaning an approach which values clarity of voice leading over "romantic" aspects, such and expressiveness or dynamics.  Gould and Turek are in the same camp, from that point of view, I would say.

I can't see why "clarity" would be the standard over all other considerations.

I think that the notion of a standard for Bach playing is nonsense.

Edit:  I should have mentioned that clarity of voice, especially for contrapuntal music, is always important, but it doesn't carry the day by itself.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on May 14, 2010, 10:20:28 AM
I can't see why "clarity" would be the standard over all other considerations.

I think that the notion of a standard for Bach playing is nonsense.

Edit:  I should have mentioned that clarity of voice, especially for contrapuntal music, is always important, but it doesn't carry the day by itself.

Well, for the WTC, standard to me means performance on a harpischord.  Performed on a piano you are listening to a transcription, of sorts.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on August 19, 2010, 09:37:09 AM
Just wanted to share this with the group.  Yesterday, I must have listened to the Fugue in F sharp minor of BK. 2 at least ten times in a row (Belder/Brilliant Classics).  It's such a fantastic piece of sublime intensity that sears its way into my soul; also, I find the mix of austerity and lyricism totally compelling.  Doesn't hurt that Belder's interpretation is about the most rewarding I've ever heard.

I remember that a board member stated a few weeks ago that he found Belder's set unmusical.  I still can't get a decent handle on that remark.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on August 19, 2010, 10:20:28 AM
Does Belder play the piano or hapsichord, Don?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on August 19, 2010, 10:25:00 AM
Does Belder play the piano or hapsichord, Don?

The set is probably dirt cheap since it is released by BC IIRC.  But then in classical music, price is not always the determining factor for performance ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2010, 10:38:58 AM
Does Belder play the piano or hapsichord, Don?

Harpsichord.  I managed to listen to the 30 second except on amazon.  It was the wrong 30 seconds.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on August 19, 2010, 10:50:25 AM
Harpsichord.  I managed to listen to the 30 second except on amazon.  It was the wrong 30 seconds.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on August 19, 2010, 11:36:07 AM
Harpsichord.  I managed to listen to the 30 second except on amazon.  It was the wrong 30 seconds.

FWIW, Amazon has clips for every prelude and fugue.

Which clip did you listen to?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on August 19, 2010, 11:38:15 AM
But then in classical music, price is not always the determining factor for performance ...

Make that "infrequently" and I'd agree with you.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 19, 2010, 11:41:10 AM
FWIW, Amazon has clips for every prelude and fugue.

Which clip did you listen to?

Bk I, Fugue in c-minor.  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2010, 11:43:14 AM
FWIW, Amazon has clips for every prelude and fugue.

Which clip did you listen to?

Sorry, I listened to the one you suggested, but the 30 seconds was inadequate to get any impression of the performance.  It sounded like the initial exposition.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 19, 2010, 11:46:31 AM
Sorry, I listened to the one you suggested, but the 30 seconds was inadequate to get any impression of the performance.  It sounded like the initial exposition.

You betrayed yourself, Scarpia!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2010, 11:50:28 AM
You betrayed yourself, Scarpia!

But A. M., I've already listened to the sample for Bk. 1 c-minor, it didn't pass my test, which is why I don't have it already.  But I was curious what Bulldog was talking about so I ventured an alternate test.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 19, 2010, 11:54:47 AM
But A. M., I've already listened to the sample for Bk. 1 c-minor, it didn't pass my test, which is why I don't have it already.  But I was curious what Bulldog was talking about so I ventured an alternate test.

Just to be sure, I understand now.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on August 19, 2010, 12:39:57 PM
Sorry, I listened to the one you suggested, but the 30 seconds was inadequate to get any impression of the performance.  It sounded like the initial exposition.

Okay.  I went to Amazon and also listened to the 30 seconds of the Fugue in F sharp minor.  I agree - you can't tell anything from that sample.  That's why such short samples can be a waste of time.  The piece has a natural progression and inevitability that's thrown under the bus by the sample.

I could say that if you listened to the entire fugue, you would likely love it.  However, you've got me totally stumped concerning your tastes.  All I know is that you are very particular, so it's best that I keep that in mind.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2010, 12:50:12 PM
Okay.  I went to Amazon and also listened to the 30 seconds of the Fugue in F sharp minor.  I agree - you can't tell anything from that sample.  That's why such short samples can be a waste of time.  The piece has a natural progression and inevitability that's thrown under the bus by the sample.

I could say that if you listened to the entire fugue, you would likely love it.  However, you've got me totally stumped concerning your tastes.  All I know is that you are very particular, so it's best that I keep that in mind.

I'm tempted to get it.  However this observation gives me pause.  Of the WTC, I have about 6 versions on piano, of which I have actually listened to 4.  I have about 6 versions on harpsichord, of which I have listened to 1.   So my appetite for harpsichord performance exceeds my ability to digest it. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on August 19, 2010, 01:23:42 PM
I'm tempted to get it.  However this observation gives me pause.  Of the WTC, I have about 6 versions on piano, of which I have actually listened to 4.  I have about 6 versions on harpsichord, of which I have listened to 1.   So my appetite for harpsichord performance exceeds my ability to digest it.

If I had six harpsichord versions and had only listened to one, I sure wouldn't acquire more of them.  I'd either get back to the other five or scratch the whole project.  The WTC is a necessity of life for me; clearly you can continue living the good life without it.

Out of curiosity, are there some works or composers you find a necessity pretty much on a daily basis.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2010, 01:29:57 PM
If I had six harpsichord versions and had only listened to one, I sure wouldn't acquire more of them.  I'd either get back to the other five or scratch the whole project.  The WTC is a necessity of life for me; clearly you can continue living the good life without it.

Out of curiosity, are there some works or composers you find a necessity pretty much on a daily basis.

If I had to pick one composer it would Brahms.  There is something of every style in Brahms. 

If there is music I would like to hear on a daily basis it would be Bach.  I like to listen to a selection of Bach each time I seriously listen to music.  I have never tried to listen to a substantial part of the WTC at a sitting.  It is usually a pair of preludes and fugues, maybe four.  But with all of the wonderful instrumental music Bach has written I don't cycle around to the WTC that often.   Unfortunately I don't have s much time to listen to music as I would like.  I feel fortunate if I can find time to listen to some music every day.

For the WTC, on piano I enjoy my Schiff and Hewitt most often.  Recently I've been making my way through Ashkenazy, which is not spectacular.  I've got Crosswind and Woodward on deck, and Guilda which I owned once upon a time, sold, and now have again.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on August 19, 2010, 02:26:20 PM

For the WTC, on piano I enjoy my Schiff and Hewitt most often.  Recently I've been making my way through Ashkenazy, which is not spectacular.  I've got Crosswind and Woodward on deck, and Guilda which I owned once upon a time, sold, and now have again.

Crosswind is a nice name, but Jill prefers Crossland. ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2010, 02:27:27 PM
Crosswind is a nice name, but Jill prefers Crossland. ;D

Now who's particular?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on August 19, 2010, 02:31:30 PM
Now who's particular?

I laughed at that one. 8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on August 19, 2010, 08:26:41 PM
Listened to the Fugue in F-sharp minor from Book II, Ashkenazy's recording (the one I've been working through recently).  A beautiful work.  Ashkenazy's performance isn't particularly revelatory, but he maintains admirable clarity of the voices throughout.  His fingers are still working well, even if he doesn't have a particular way with Bach.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on August 19, 2010, 09:36:30 PM
Listened to the Fugue in F-sharp minor from Book II, Ashkenazy's recording (the one I've been working through recently).  A beautiful work.  Ashkenazy's performance isn't particularly revelatory, but he maintains admirable clarity of the voices throughout. 

I did the same and agree that Ashkenazy plays it well, but his sound is a little too bloated for me.  Crossland also plays it excellently in sound I find more agreeable.  Both versions are more mellow than Belder; some of that is due to instrumentation.  All else being equal, the harpsichord does Bach's austerity more convincingly than the piano.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on August 19, 2010, 10:44:52 PM
Just wanted to share this with the group.  Yesterday, I must have listened to the Fugue in F sharp minor of BK. 2 at least ten times in a row (Belder/Brilliant Classics).  It's such a fantastic piece of sublime intensity that sears its way into my soul; also, I find the mix of austerity and lyricism totally compelling.  Doesn't hurt that Belder's interpretation is about the most rewarding I've ever heard.

I found Belder sounding rather promising on the basis of on line samples (yes! ;D).

Don, thanks for the "heads up" I will put Belder on the need-to-investigate-list! :) Though I'm happy with Glen Wilson and Ottavio Dantone, and am eagerly anticipating a possible WTC by Rousset, I do not have yet a recording by a member of he Dutch School... I found the Old Master (Leonhardt) and Van Asperen not quite there - too conservative.

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 20, 2010, 07:33:13 PM
I found Belder sounding rather promising on the basis of on line samples (yes! ;D).

Don, thanks for the "heads up" I will put Belder on the need-to-investigate-list! :) Though I'm happy with Glen Wilson and Ottavio Dantone, and am eagerly anticipating a possible WTC by Rousset, I do not have yet a recording by a member of he Dutch School... I found the Old Master (Leonhardt) and Van Asperen not quite there - too conservative.

Q

The Old Master? I really hate that nickname, dear Q. It's so condescending to talk about the greatest harpsichordist alive, both historical and artistically.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on August 20, 2010, 10:31:26 PM
The Old Master? I really hate that nickname, dear Q. It's so condescending to talk about the greatest harpsichordist alive, both historical and artistically.

It must have different ring to it in your ears than mine, Antoine. I regret that it lead to a presumption of a lack of respect on my part.

I mean it in reverence and respect to his (historical and artistic) stature in the musical world, certainly not as condescending. The term is in the Dutch context associated with legendary painters like Rembrandt, Vermeer, Rubens etc. "Old Master" is not to be taken literally, though he is 82, but referring to the fact that he is kind of the arch-father of the harpsichord world and the HIP-movement, who taught many major harpsichord players of today. It is hard to make comparisons in greatness, but he indeed was and still is very influential as the (co-)founder of a new musical tradition.

Anyway, I think I'll play a recording by Leonhardt this morning! 8)

Instead on dwelling on these unpleasantries...

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on August 21, 2010, 03:44:47 AM
Crosswind is a nice name, but Jill prefers Crossland. ;D
Better than Breakwind....
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on August 21, 2010, 08:02:27 AM
Better than Breakwind....

That's a good one. ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 21, 2010, 08:06:54 AM
It must have different ring to it in your ears than mine, Antoine. I regret that it lead to a presumption of a lack of respect on my part.

I mean it in reverence and respect to his (historical and artistic) stature in the musical world, certainly not as condescending. The term is in the Dutch context associated with legendary painters like Rembrandt, Vermeer, Rubens etc. "Old Master" is not to be taken literally, though he is 82, but referring to the fact that he is kind of the arch-father of the harpsichord world and the HIP-movement, who taught many major harpsichord players of today. It is hard to make comparisons in greatness, but he indeed was and still is very influential as the (co-)founder of a new musical tradition.

Anyway, I think I'll play a recording by Leonhardt this morning! 8)

Instead on dwelling on these unpleasantries...

Q

I am sorry if my comment was unpleasant, Q. But “Old Master” sounds to me in the same way that “Papa” Haydn, for instance. Although maybe it's just a preconception of mine.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on August 21, 2010, 08:16:51 AM
I am sorry if my comment was unpleasant, Q. But “Old Master” sounds to me in the same way that “Papa” Haydn, for instance. Although maybe it's just a preconception of mine.

I consider those terms very positive. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on August 21, 2010, 08:49:17 AM
I found Belder sounding rather promising on the basis of on line samples (yes! ;D).


Q

I will buy the set outright, it is dirt cheap anyway and at worst, it will be an inexpensive mistake.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DarkAngel on August 21, 2010, 09:23:08 AM
I will buy the set outright, it is dirt cheap anyway and at worst, it will be an inexpensive mistake.

Never hurts to have cheap price.......
Belder is not one of my favorite harpsichord performers but I suspect his straight forward style is more suited to Bach WTC than it was to Scarlatti sonatas where I have heard much of his work.
 
I actually sold off all his Scarlatti sonata Cds after getting Scott Ross complete boxset and owning multiple Cds by Hantai, Sempe, Staier for instance.....all display a more dramatic imaginative performance style.
 
Hantai interesting can be equally fine playing playing dramatic flambouyant Scarlatti sonatas or Bach and so are a few others.........I am slightly tempted to get the Belder boxset, but not in any hurry.
 
I would be interested in getting comments from Que since I know he is big Scott Ross Scarlatti fan and we both strongly favor Glen Wilson's harpsicord WTC
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Marc on August 21, 2010, 09:30:55 AM
I am sorry if my comment was unpleasant, Q. But “Old Master” sounds to me in the same way that “Papa” Haydn, for instance. Although maybe it's just a preconception of mine.
I consider those terms very positive.
Me, too.
(As did a certain W.A. Mozart.)

In my case, it might be strictly personal ;):
my papa is a nice person, and he's an old master in errr .... gardening.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 21, 2010, 09:44:16 AM
I consider those terms very positive.

Me, too.
(As did a certain W.A. Mozart.)

They seem very positive, indeed; but can be easily used as a "condescending" -I never said pejorative- term.

I think this article on the Wiki illustrates well my point:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papa_Haydn

   


Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Marc on August 21, 2010, 10:58:40 AM
They seem very positive, indeed; but can be easily used as a "condescending" -I never said pejorative- term.

I think this article on the Wiki illustrates well my point:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papa_Haydn
Mmm .... maybe this explains why I'm such a retro and HIP dude ;): only (huhu) interested in the authentic approach ....
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on August 21, 2010, 11:49:25 AM

Never hurts to have cheap price.......
Belder is not one of my favorite harpsichord performers but I suspect his straight forward style is more suited to Bach WTC than it was to Scarlatti sonatas where I have heard much of his work.
 
I actually sold off all his Scarlatti sonata Cds after getting Scott Ross complete boxset and owning multiple Cds by Hantai, Sempe, Staier for instance.....all display a more dramatic imaginative performance style.

FWIW  :) I also tried and dumped a set of Belder's Scarlatti sonatas - rather "wooden", effortfull and on the dry side.

I do like Belder's Soler sonatas, however, very much so. Sometimes a performer and a composer make a happy connection, sometimes not. :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 21, 2010, 01:19:38 PM
... am eagerly anticipating a possible WTC by Rousset...

If Rousset follows the path traced by him in his Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann, that set will be the fastest and furious among all harpsichord versions in existence.

FWIW  :) I also tried and dumped a set of Belder's Scarlatti sonatas - rather "wooden", effortfull and on the dry side.

I've heard about the half of his Scarlatti integral and my opinion is totally different to yours. I like Belder's stern approach, playing that music as it were great, substantial music  and not merely virtuosistic games (like in Hantaï) or simple folk Spanish tunes. Additionally, the recorded sound and variety of instruments are just superb. BTW, I also own and enjoy Scott Ross here, but the balance is slowly changing towards Belder and I can imagine to me enjoying his discs for several years.

I do like Belder's Soler sonatas, however, very much so. Sometimes a performer and a composer make a happy connection, sometimes not. :)

I totally agree; Belder plays a fantastic Soler and recently was released the third volume of that series.  :)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on August 23, 2010, 09:43:12 AM
But you have to carry them around; I like to travel light.  Boy, that sure sounds lame.  I need to come up with a better reason.  Here it is - if Bach didn't need a cell phone, I don't need one either.  That sucks too.  Oh well, I'll just have to go with being contrary; it's in my nature.

I was reading previous postings on this thread and noticed the above posting and another one where I stated my goal was to be the last remaining adult in the U.S. without a cell phone.

As it happens, I asked for a cellphone for Father's Day and that's just what I got.  Haven't used it for much so far.
Being contrary was getting to be a drag, especially when I'm doing some shopping and need to get some info. from my wife.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Brahmsian on August 23, 2010, 09:46:52 AM
I was reading previous postings on this thread and noticed the above posting and another one where I stated my goal was to be the last remaining adult in the U.S. without a cell phone.

As it happens, I asked for a cellphone for Father's Day and that's just what I got.  Haven't used it for much so far.
Being contrary was getting to be a drag, especially when I'm doing some shopping and need to get some info. from my wife.

That's OK Don, I'm happy to take over this goal.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: kishnevi on August 23, 2010, 03:31:50 PM
That's OK Don, I'm happy to take over this goal.

Not so fast.  You're in competition with me.

My own view of cell phones is this: if it's that important that someone needs to get a hold of me that quickly, then it's almost certainly something I don't want to know about.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: MN Dave on October 04, 2010, 06:02:59 AM
I have a few recordings of this and enjoy them all. I think Bach shines through no matter the interpretation. This music does something quite pleasant to my mind; it's as if I have an addiction to his solo instrumental works and nothing else will satisfy.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on October 04, 2010, 06:10:28 AM
I was reading previous postings on this thread and noticed the above posting and another one where I stated my goal was to be the last remaining adult in the U.S. without a cell phone.

As it happens, I asked for a cellphone for Father's Day and that's just what I got.  Haven't used it for much so far.
Being contrary was getting to be a drag, especially when I'm doing some shopping and need to get some info. from my wife.

The secret is not to tell anyone your cell number.  The other secret is not to call anyone's cell phone with your cell phone.  Then your cell number gets automatically stored in their phone.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on October 25, 2010, 04:07:37 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NXCKE1PHL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Have been enjoying the Kirkpatrick/Archiv WTC set on clavicord from 1960s, the unique sound quality had me doing some basic research to see exactly how clavicord produces sound. Clavicord uses metal wires that are struck from above and sound can vary by amount of force used to strike key and length of time key is depressed, thereby giving it some expressive features missing from harpsicord play. The volume level is low however making it primarily a solo use instrument (or small intimate chamber group).

Has a delicate intricate sound that can reveal many musical harmonies, I liked it more than I thought I would, but only as a supplement to piano & harpsicord. The lack of volume projection can be offset with close miking for solo work, but still sounds a bit anemic overall compared to piano & harpsicord, dramatic contrasts are minimized

Anyone else like these or have any other clavicord versions to recommend?

I am enjoying  this a lot  for the colours and the intimacy and the relative objectivity of the style.

To what extent is this played on an authentic instrument -- a reconstruction of something which really existed in Bach's time?

Or is it that degree of refinement and evolution  here is so far in excess of anything Bach would have known that it really is a travesty?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on October 25, 2010, 06:15:01 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NXCKE1PHL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)Anyone else like these or have any other clavicord versions to recommend?

In this set book I is performed on clavichord.  It is OOP and impossible to find used, but Hyperion still sells it as a lossless download.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lCenC-TwL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on October 25, 2010, 04:32:05 PM
I am enjoying  this a lot  for the colours and the intimacy and the relative objectivity of the style.

To what extent is this played on an authentic instrument -- a reconstruction of something which really existed in Bach's time?

Or is it that degree of refinement and evolution  here is so far in excess of anything Bach would have known that it really is a travesty?

I have the WTC I & II by Kirkpatrick as well.  He did have some pretty unique performance style.  A long time professor of music at Yale and he was the American Gustav Leonhardt ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on October 26, 2010, 02:47:56 PM
Just wanted to share my story of two complete WTC's from Richard Egarr and Pieter-Jan Belder.

I listened repeatedly to Belder's Bk. 1 for a couple of weeks.  Although not emotionally rich, Belder was very rewarding for the youthful energy he supplied and the different registrations he used in the repeats.  As for his harpsichord, it did sound rather thin but with a nice tangy quality.  Then, I switched to Egarr's Bk. 1 and was amazed at how much more rich and nuanced he played than Belder; I was already aware that Egarr is not one of the more nuanced keyboardists on the block.

Okay, I then started in with Belder's Bk. 2.  What a difference from Bk. 1!  Now Belder is an artist who wants to savor Bach's music.  On top of that, the harpsichord used in Bk. 2 has a much richer sound/more alive.  I really love his Bk. 2.  On to Egarr's Bk. 2 where his nuances only match those in his Bk. 1.  Belder easily surpasses Egarr here.

Overall, I think that Belder had a plan for his interpretations - to go from youthful declarations in Bk. 1 to a mature and highly involved set of performances in Bk. 2, a progression that Egarr does not recognize as he plays both Books in the same manner.

What's your opinion on the differences/similarities between these two sets?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Henk on November 20, 2010, 05:24:37 AM
I'm not a fan of van Asperen's recording (Virgin). It's sounds as a definitive, timeless interpretation (as mentioned by another member in this thread), but I find it rather dull.

Henk
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on November 20, 2010, 06:00:16 AM
It's sounds as a definitive, timeless interpretation (as mentioned by another member in this thread), but I find it rather dull.

Henk

Definitive and dull? :-\
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Henk on November 20, 2010, 06:04:10 AM
Definitive and dull? :-\

I think van Asperen tried to record a definitive version and in certain ways it is, I can hear it, but this is not the way you should perform I think. It doesn't work and with such a performance the music gets dull. It's too much interpretated with no personal feel / touch to it. Van Asperen as an artist and performer isn't present and therefor fails imo.

Henk
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on November 20, 2010, 07:03:02 AM
I'm not a fan of van Asperen's recording (Virgin). It's sounds as a definitive, timeless interpretation (as mentioned by another member in this thread), but I find it rather dull.

Henk

I have that set and find it to be decent.  It is by no means a definitive performance.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on November 20, 2010, 09:04:53 AM
I listened repeatedly to Belder's Bk. 1 for a couple of weeks.  Although not emotionally rich, Belder was very rewarding for the youthful energy he supplied and the different registrations he used in the repeats.  As for his harpsichord, it did sound rather thin but with a nice tangy quality.  Then, I switched to Egarr's Bk. 1 and was amazed at how much more rich and nuanced he played than Belder; I was already aware that Egarr is not one of the more nuanced keyboardists on the block.

I'm confused.  You say the switch to Egarr revealed a more rich and nuanced interpretation, but in the next sentence you say Egarr is generally not nuanced, as though your previous statement is a confirmation of this.  I'm missing your meaning.  If I try to take it literally, you are saying Egarr is not nuanced, but Belder is so uber-not nuanced he makes Egarr sound nuanced by comparison?   I must be missing something.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on November 20, 2010, 09:59:31 AM
I'm confused.  You say the switch to Egarr revealed a more rich and nuanced interpretation, but in the next sentence you say Egarr is generally not nuanced, as though your previous statement is a confirmation of this.  I'm missing your meaning.  If I try to take it literally, you are saying Egarr is not nuanced, but Belder is so uber-not nuanced he makes Egarr sound nuanced by comparison?   I must be missing something.

Okay, I'll try to clear this up.  Egarr's Bk. 1 is much more nuanced than Belder's Bk. 1.  However, in the universe of recordings, Egarr is not highly nuanced.  He only appears highly nuanced in comparision to Belder.

In Book 2, Belder is the more nuanced interpreter.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 20, 2010, 10:15:52 AM
In Book 2, Belder is the more nuanced interpreter.

... (only) in comparison to Egarr or generally speaking?  ;D

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on November 20, 2010, 10:34:12 AM
Okay, I'll try to clear this up.  Egarr's Bk. 1 is much more nuanced than Belder's Bk. 1.  However, in the universe of recordings, Egarr is not highly nuanced.  He only appears highly nuanced in comparision to Belder.

In Book 2, Belder is the more nuanced interpreter.

Pardon me, but I'm a quantitative person.  You're saying the average performer has nuance coefficient 0.5, Egarr is generally at 0.4, but since Belder has nuance coefficient 0.1, Egarr is very nuanced by comparison.   ;D

That's what I thought, although I thought maybe you were saying that, though Egarr is generally not so nuance, he outdid himself in this particular recording.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on November 20, 2010, 10:45:47 AM
You are confused person, Scarpia! :P :D (Oh, sorry; you have confusion co-efficient (C_c) of 1.0923 +/- 0.0004, 0<=C_c<=1.)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on November 20, 2010, 10:47:31 AM
Pardon me, but I'm a quantitative person.  You're saying the average performer has nuance coefficient 0.5, Egarr is generally at 0.4, but since Belder has nuance coefficient 0.1, Egarr is very nuanced by comparison.   ;D

That's what I thought, although I thought maybe you were saying that, though Egarr is generally not so nuance, he outdid himself in this particular recording.

That's pretty much on target.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on November 20, 2010, 10:49:29 AM
You are confused person, Scarpia! :P :D (Oh, sorry; you have confusion co-efficient (C_c) of 1.0923 +/- 0.0004, 0<=C_c<=1.)

How is that coefficient calculated anyway?   ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on November 20, 2010, 10:49:39 AM
... (only) in comparison to Egarr or generally speaking?  ;D

Not only in comparison to Egarr, but also in comparison to his own Bk. 1; that's the comparison that really impresses me.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on November 20, 2010, 10:51:12 AM
How is that coefficient calculated anyway?   ;D

Sounds like we need a mathematics thread.  Does Henk agree?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Henk on December 12, 2010, 05:30:54 AM
Listen online to Daniel Ben Pienaar's WTC:

http://www.magnatune.com/artists/pienaar
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: PaulSC on December 16, 2010, 12:45:45 AM
Well, I've just stumbled onto a marvelous recording of WTC I that seems never to have been mentioned here at GMG (and likewise never reviewed at the online sites I browse). The performer is Russian pianist Alexander Korolev. I admit I spotted his recording while searching for Evgeni Koroliov's renditions of WTC I+II. No relation, of course -- I'm still in pursuit of the latter, which I'll probably end up getting on CD from a mail-order source. Meanwhile I'm delighted with my accidental discovery of Korolev.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51EnKk5U24L._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

I know next to nothing about this pianist. His solo discography seems slim -- there's some Romantic-era  repertoire up on YouTube, but I haven't clicked Play. There's an Alexander Korolev who plays the trumpet part of Shostakovitch Op. 35 alongside pianist Vladimir Krainev on a disc I spotted -- that's probably just a coincidence of names, right?

Anyway, Korolev's WTC I is probably the most animated/energetic treatment of this music that I've heard -- on a par with Hantaï, and similar in spirit though of course very different in sound. But Korolev's playing is nuanced, his generally fast tempos are immaculately controlled, and slower pieces like the E flat minor Prelude and the B flat minor fugue have plenty of poetry in them. While Korolev plays deep into the keys like a good Russian, he never "pounds" out subject statements. Pieces with a dance character, like the C-sharp major Prelude, really shine. I love how he plays the walking bass of the B minor Prelude legato on the first pass and staccato on the second, to cite one of many appealing interpretive touches.

Sonically the record is good, I wouldn't say great, and I should add that I've been listening to it only in mp3 format. A quibble: some low notes in the Bb major Prelude are badly out of tune. (The worst of the lot can be heard during the 30-second preview (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036B535W/ref=dm_dp_trk41) at Amazon.) If you can forgive this isolated fault, and if the high-energy conception of the music isn't entirely contrary to your tastes, I recommend a closer look at the set. Amazon seems to be selling it only as mp3 downloads.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: PaulSC on December 16, 2010, 12:53:10 AM
(The Korolev YouTubes turn out to be mostly of the home-movie variety. Some fine piano performances, but nothing that belongs on a commercial recording.)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on December 18, 2010, 07:43:06 PM
Yes, I have three, though for 1969 only Book One was released.

1. '70, '72, '73 - Salzburg Studio (RCA)
2. '73 - Live at Insbruck (Victor)
3. '69 - Live (Revelation)

What about this CD set, George?
* Sviatoslav Richter - Collection Box (10cd, Japan)
* Recorded in August - September 1972, February 1973 in Salzburg
* JAPAN. STEREO 20bit K2 Mastering DIGITAL K2 Cutting 2003
This is the best sounding Recordings of Sviatoslav Richter's Well-Tempered Clavier in the market?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 18, 2010, 08:15:38 PM
What about this CD set, George?
* Sviatoslav Richter - Collection Box (10cd, Japan)
* Recorded in August - September 1972, February 1973 in Salzburg
* JAPAN. STEREO 20bit K2 Mastering DIGITAL K2 Cutting 2003
This is the best sounding Recordings of Sviatoslav Richter's Well-Tempered Clavier in the market?

I can't say, as I don't have that one, sorry.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on December 20, 2010, 05:27:31 PM
I can't say, as I don't have that one, sorry.

What about Inventions & Sinfonias, George? Whose recording you preferred?
I only own Schiff & Gould ... i think their both good.

Oh yes! I wonder why there is no Schiff's WTC recording within USA ... it's a pity.
Regarding to Well-Tempered, I only have Gould (CD), Landowska (LP), Schiff (CD), & Tureck(CD).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on December 20, 2010, 05:41:30 PM
Oh yes! I wonder why there is no Schiff's WTC recording within USA ... it's a pity.

You meant WTC by Schiff is unavailable in the US?  Of course, it is ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on December 20, 2010, 07:05:56 PM
You meant WTC by Schiff is unavailable in the US?  Of course, it is ...
Yup! Why? Schiff' is my first WTC
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 22, 2010, 08:15:50 AM
Thank you for mentioning these, Don. When I was browsing available performances of the Inv/Sinf earlier this year, I skipped right over the Aeolus disc based on its unpromising title/cover. My mistake; van Asperen always deserves consideration, and the performances do seem wonderful based on previews at Amazon. (Besides, "never judge a book by its cover", right?)

Sonically I wish the room weren't so live -- these "lessons" seem to be taking place in the school gymnasium -- but I got used to that within two or three tracks. So many musically persuasive details in these interpretations; for instance, I love the choice of the lute stop for the A minor Invention -- so different from the usual approach to this one.

btw do you have any thoughts on the Korolev WTC 1 I mentioned upthread a bit?

Glad you like the van Asperen.

I listened to an hour of the Korolev WTC I on RussianDVD - very rewarding.  I knew it would be exceptional when I heard his Prelude in C major which is highly nuanced and reads like a fine story.  Thanks for bringing up this wonderful  set.  And don't forget about the Koroliov; that's also a winner.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: PaulSC on December 26, 2010, 03:04:00 PM
Just last night I was listening to the 3rd disc of Watchorn's WTC II set - very illuminating.  I don't recall ever hearing a harpsichord tone so alluring as Watchorn's; always interesting and gorgeous.  Also, the use of the Lehman tuning system clearly enhances the effect.
There are so many compelling harpsichord versions -- Gilbert, Leonhardt, Glen Wilson, Hantaï, Dantone, Verlet, the list goes on! -- that I'm finding I choose my favorites in large part based on the inherent sound of the instrument. Of course there has to be an inspired performer seated at the keyboard too. So two that have risen to the top for me are Watchorn and Suzuki. (But I would never want to be without Gilbert, and I'll soon have Wilson out from the library for a fresh listen.)

I'm finding that Watchorn fares especially well in the pieces that are also suitable for organ performance (e.g. Bk II D maj). His sustained tone, fuller registration choices, and unhurried tempos all contribute, and the pedal rank gives a depth to some of the bass-register statements and pedal-points that no other harpsichord recording matches (e.g. the firmly grounded conclusions of Bk I C maj and Bk II E maj prelude, and the grand bass statement at the end of the Bk I C min fugue). Those aren't Watchorn's only virtues: I also love his momentum and varied articulations in the Bk II E min fugue, for instance -- in fact this p/f might be the first pair I'd play for someone new to Watchorn's set. This cycle isn't perfect, and some of the weaker moments come early. The Bk I C# maj prelude feels rushed in a few spots, and  the D maj prelude in Bk I and G maj fugue in Bk II suffer from moments of uneven fingerwork.

As for Suzuki, I've been listening to his recent traversal of Bk II, and I've fallen in love with the lean, wiry sound of his instrument (evidently a signature of instrument maker Willem Kroesbergen's work). This more delicate timbre reinforces the transparency and flow of Suzuki's playing. While he never matches the majesty and grandeur of Watchorn's most compelling performances, I can listen straight through Suzuki's more intimate cycle and not feel anything is missing. For what it's worth I've not yet given much attention to Suzuki's earlier recording of Bk I. There's a surplus of recordings of this first book, since several great artists, including Fellner and Hantaï have not (yet?) covered Bk II...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on December 26, 2010, 07:52:45 PM
Well, I have a gift card for Amazon and I believe it is almost time to act on a set of WTC's...both books, of course.  So, I will take some time and read through these 39 pages that you folks kindly contributed to.  I will do some sampling and then make my choice. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on December 26, 2010, 07:57:33 PM
I wouldn't want to try to convince anyone that my opinion of Gould's WTC is the one that others should hold or adopt, particularly for a body of music that is compelling in so many different types of interpretation.  There are folks who find Gould not very musical, but I'm not one of them.  If you don't like how Gould plays the Prelude in C major, perhaps you won't care much for his other performances of the set.

I gather you're not a fan of the fortepiano; that's fine.  As for Tureck's DG complete set, yes the price is quite high, but this set is probably the most compelling classical music performance I have ever heard.  So as far as I'm concerned, the cost means nothing.  And don't forget her other sets on BBC Legends.  Of course, if you don't take well to Tureck (and plenty don't), you'll feel like a big-time loser.

These are hard times, and WTC acquisition decisions are difficult.  If you offer up some of your basic musical preferences, I could possibly provide you with decent insights.  Some potential considerations:

1.  Any problem with historical recordings with sub-par sound; that's Tureck's DG situation.
2.  In the sound spectrum from very dry to wet, what's your preference?
3.  Prefer rounded or sharp contours.
4.  Prefer exuberant or reflective interpreations.
5.  Do you want Bach's dark side prominently displayed?
6.  How about Bach heard as "Papa Bach"?
7.  Is detail important to you or are you more concerned with musical sweep?
8.  Harpsichord okay?
9.  Lean or full textures.
10.Etc.

I own many dozens of WTC sets, and it's clear to me that no one artist can give you everything that's great about Bach's music.

Don (and others),

I enjoy the Gould Goldbergs.....I am looking probably for "detail" first.  Does he have this and does Richter?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on December 26, 2010, 08:34:01 PM
Skip Gould and Richter after sampling.  I did like the Gulda and the Crossland sets so far.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on December 26, 2010, 08:49:59 PM
These three are definitely in the final round, and Gulda got dropped.

Tureck (DG)
Fellner
Crossland

Can anyone find me a sample of Tureck's BBC works?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on December 26, 2010, 09:53:12 PM
These three are definitely in the final round, and Gulda got dropped.

Tureck (DG)
Fellner
Crossland

Can anyone find me a sample of Tureck's BBC works?

No, but I can strongly suggest you grab the DG Tureck. It's excellent.  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 26, 2010, 10:05:04 PM
These three are definitely in the final round, and Gulda got dropped.

Tureck (DG)
Fellner
Crossland

Can anyone find me a sample of Tureck's BBC works?

JPC has samples of the first disc of her WTC 2.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on December 26, 2010, 10:11:49 PM
Thanks George and Don.  I believe I would be kicking myself if I passed on the DG set, though the BBC was nice as well, but the Book II samples were hard too judge.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on December 26, 2010, 11:27:50 PM
JPC has samples of the first disc of her WTC 2.

What is the difference between Tureck's Well-Tempered DGG & the one issued by New Style?
http://www.amazon.com/J-S-Bach-Well-Tempered-Clavier/dp/B000AC5EG8/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1293434776&sr=1-7
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on December 26, 2010, 11:51:35 PM
What is the difference between Tureck's Well-Tempered DGG & the one issued by New Style?
http://www.amazon.com/J-S-Bach-Well-Tempered-Clavier/dp/B000AC5EG8/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1293434776&sr=1-7

Beats me.  The cover image of Tureck is circa 1990; that would make this recording much more recent than both the DGG and BBC.  Then again, the image could have no tie-in to the recording date.

Why don't you buy it and let us know what's going on?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: PaulSC on December 27, 2010, 01:14:11 AM
Beats me.  The cover image of Tureck is circa 1990; that would make this recording much more recent than both the DGG and BBC.  Then again, the image could have no tie-in to the recording date.

Why don't you buy it and let us know what's going on?
According to the product description, the New Style was "recorded in 1952-53." IIRC that's the same period when the DG was recorded, so I suspect they're the same performances. I own neither and can't comment on sound quality -- wouldn't it be nice if te New Style release were an improvement in that respect?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on December 27, 2010, 01:52:02 AM
Beats me.  The cover image of Tureck is circa 1990; that would make this recording much more recent than both the DGG and BBC.  Then again, the image could have no tie-in to the recording date.

Why don't you buy it and let us know what's going on?

I have it ... my sister give me! Tomorrow I will scan it and mailed it to you.
Please give your e-mail.

December 30, 2010
Sorry ... the file is to big. Please dwnload it from below URL:
http://rapidshare.com/files/439598628/Rosalyn_Tureck.rar
Sorry.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 12, 2011, 03:01:33 PM
I've been playing Dantone's WTC II on Arts for a few days now.  Have to say it isn't as enjoyable as I remember from a year or two ago.  The sound has a hard edge to it and not much bloom.  Overall, I don't find the set in the top echelon, although it certainly will retain a space in my music library.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on January 12, 2011, 06:30:06 PM
WTC I owned:
* Piano version ... Schiff (Decca), Gould (Sony), Turreck (New Style)
* Harpsichord version ... Landowska (RCA) both LP & CD

What is your recommendation? Harpsichord version w/ good sound quality.
Cos Landowska's is a good in performance ... but poor in sound.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 13, 2011, 08:38:33 AM
WTC I owned:
* Piano version ... Schiff (Decca), Gould (Sony), Turreck (New Style)
* Harpsichord version ... Landowska (RCA) both LP & CD

What is your recommendation? Harpsichord version w/ good sound quality.
Cos Landowska's is a good in performance ... but poor in sound.

Leaving availability issues aside, I'd go for Glen Wilson, Davitt Moroney, Kenneth Gilbert, or Gustav Leonhardt.  Perhaps the best in terms of both performance and sound is Peter Watchorn on Musica Omnia.

I almost forgot about Belder's complete WTC on Brilliant Classics - highly worthy and interesting performances at a very low cost.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on January 13, 2011, 06:22:09 PM
Did you mean:
* Glen Wilson ... which found in Teldec's Bach 2000 ???
* Davitt Moroney ... on Harmonia Mundi ???
* Kenneth Gilbert ... on Arkhiv ???
* Gustav Leonhardt ... on Deutche Harmonia Mundi ???
* Pieter-Jan Belder ... on Brilliant Classics ???
* Peter Watchorn ... on Musica Omnia ???
Please guide me ... thank you.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on January 13, 2011, 11:53:05 PM
I've been playing Dantone's WTC II on Arts for a few days now.  Have to say it isn't as enjoyable as I remember from a year or two ago.  The sound has a hard edge to it and not much bloom.  Overall, I don't find the set in the top echelon, although it certainly will retain a space in my music library.

Interesting!  :) The Dantone sets were sofar my top choices together with Wilson. But I haven't listened to them for quite a while. Time to revisit. :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 14, 2011, 12:00:41 AM
Did you mean:
* Glen Wilson ... which found in Teldec's Bach 2000 ???
* Davitt Moroney ... on Harmonia Mundi ???
* Kenneth Gilbert ... on Arkhiv ???
* Gustav Leonhardt ... on Deutche Harmonia Mundi ???
* Pieter-Jan Belder ... on Brilliant Classics ???
* Peter Watchorn ... on Musica Omnia ???
Please guide me ... thank you.

On target. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on January 14, 2011, 05:32:15 PM
How Wilson's WTC compared to Dantone?
Please inform ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: PaulSC on January 14, 2011, 05:44:15 PM
dWilson/dt = (1/3)Dantone^2 - Dantone/8 +0.47
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on January 14, 2011, 07:00:32 PM
dWilson/dt = (1/3)Dantone^2 - Dantone/8 +0.47

Oh my God ... would you mind for doing a favor by telling me the meaning of the above statement, please?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 14, 2011, 07:20:53 PM
Oh my God ... would you mind for doing a favor by telling me the meaning of the above statement, please?

Czgirb - this is just a fun response from Paul, i.e. a joke - often in many of these performance comparisons, there is no clear choice if you're looking for a perfect recording - may depend on your own ears & preferences & might be influenced on your choice of instruments, e.g. harpsichord vs. fortepiano vs. piano - so often you'll need to listen to examples or even purchase several different recordings and make up your own mind -  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on January 14, 2011, 07:28:55 PM
Thank you so much SonicMan ... but please be notified ... in here, in Indonesia ... it's hard to obtained a Classic Music recordings ... so I must write to my friend, whose live in other countries for helping me to make a purchase of it.
Most WTC that I had is Piano. Harpsichord ... only Landowska (Good in Performance but Poor in Sound)
That's why I need someone to recommend one.
Thank you.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: PaulSC on January 14, 2011, 08:45:01 PM
czgirb, apologies if it wasn't clear I was making a joke. (And thanks to SonicMan for helping to sort it out.)

I haven't heard Dantone's WTC, and I don't own the Wilson recording but had it out from the library once several years ago. Don's (Bulldog's) recent comments make it clear he prefers Wilson, and he gave you a longer list of recommendations earlier in this thread. If you have limited resources for previewing and purchasing online, you may have to just take a "leap into the unknown" -- any of the sets Don recommends are worth owning.

Two more resources:

First, there are lengthy reviews and comparisons by Don and others at http://www.bach-cantatas.com/IndexNonVocal2.htm

Second (and less important, I'm sure), here are my own favorite harpsichord versions, with a few generalizing comments.


(I've seen other packaging for the above)





Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on January 16, 2011, 05:41:01 PM
I wish it was Watchorn ... as Bulldog's recommend it has the best sound ... but find NONE.

Currently, it was Glen Wilson (#108 & #109) and Ottavio Dantone on the way here ... thank you.
Regarding to the Kenneth Gilbert, since I prefer to take the LP ... it's cover is BEAUTIFUL ... so I choose to keep on hunting.
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 17, 2011, 07:19:40 AM
Czgird - sounds like you're happy w/ your piano versions of these works; the ones that I own (and Don, a.k.a. Bulldog is always of great help in these Bach keyboard recommendations!):

HarpsichordGlen Wilson & Peter Watchorn, the latter's pedal harpsichord is wonderful to hear!

Piano: Jill Crossland & Roger Woodward - Turek is on my wish list (she is so HIGHLY rated in this forum!).

Clavichord: Jaroslav Tuma - I just love that instrument and performer!  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on January 17, 2011, 10:20:19 AM


[Turek is on my wish list (she is so HIGHLY rated in this forum!).


Is that right? Do people really think so highly of her recorded WTC?  I have the DG one. It doesn't seem anything like as nice as  her best work -- which I would say is the Goldbergs and Partitas on Great Pianists. But maybe I have the wrong recording or maybe I'm missing something.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 17, 2011, 02:55:29 PM
Is that right? Do people really think so highly of her recorded WTC?  I have the DG one. It doesn't seem anything like as nice as  her best work -- which I would say is the Goldbergs and Partitas on Great Pianists. But maybe I have the wrong recording or maybe I'm missing something.

Well, maybe I'm wrong in my impression? And possibly the reason why I've not yet purchased her set?  Will be interested to see the responses of our many Bach keyboard experts here - thanks for the comments -  :D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on January 17, 2011, 03:01:01 PM
Well, maybe I'm wrong in my impression?

I don't think so. Don rates it at the top, I took his suggestion and loved it. Stuart had the same results. I know that there were others, but I forget who they were.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on January 17, 2011, 05:11:20 PM
Like me ... I have:
Piano: Gould (Sony), Schiff (Decca), and Tureck (NewStyle)
Harpsichord: Landowska (RCA) both LPs/CDs, Wilson (Teldec) and Dantone (Arts) ... on the way here.
And I love them both.
I confirm Wilson & Dantone, since I read Don's review and owning a same perception with him ... though not 100%.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 17, 2011, 10:52:59 PM
I like WTC played and recorded on the organ so long as the reverb time is not overlong.

Robert Levin's recording is a good example.  He even got away with a rather brisk tempo without the sound all turning into mush.


Prelude and Fugue in E major, from Book II

http://www.youtube.com/v/-ssePALi9lo

ps. All my examples were recorded and play in HD for a more decent sound/image quality. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on January 17, 2011, 11:10:45 PM
I like WTC played and recorded on the organ so long as the reverb time is not overlong.

Robert Levin's recording is a good example.  He could even get away with a rather brisk tempo here.


Prelude and Fugue in E major, from Book II

ps. All my examples were recorded and play in HD for a more decent sound/image quality. 


Nice, thanks. :) Is this from the Haenssler set?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 17, 2011, 11:17:58 PM

Is this from the Haenssler set?



Yes it is - I am surprised how infrequently Levin's recording is mentioned though.  Most accounts with mixed instrumentation don't seem to be very popular. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on January 18, 2011, 12:06:30 AM
I like Koroliov's WTC.

His articulation is interesting  and effective. He shows that a Steinway, played well, can be warm and round. He  makes each prelude and fugue sweet and simple.


He sounds completely at ease with the complex polyphony. Each voice is articulated independently, and in a way which makes it intelligible -- that's quite an achievement on a modern piano. The more rapid fugues are extremely clear. The work sounds limpid But at the same time his tone is warm and the style is not totally detached -- the phrasing is long and the articulation almost legato. That combination - limpid independent voices, and each voice played lyrically -- is, I think, pretty unique.

If you look at him on youtube, he seems totally physically relaxed and supple even when he plays some very difficult fast music.

At the emotional level he uses dynamics -- really stunning crescendos -- to produce some very moving climaxes.

I like his AoF too.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on January 18, 2011, 12:09:56 AM
I don't think so. Don rates it at the top, I took his suggestion and loved it. Stuart had the same results. I know that there were others, but I forget who they were.

Well I don't see it, at least on DG. Is that the one you all like so much?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on January 18, 2011, 04:23:08 AM
Well I don't see it, at least on DG. Is that the one you all like so much?

yes.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 18, 2011, 05:24:15 AM
Another performance of BWV 878, this time on a Silbermann fortepiano.  The original poster thought it was performed by Robert Levin, which is probably incorrect information.  If I were to venture a guess, this would be from Daniel Chorzempa's set for Philips (OOP) which also has a mixed instrumentarium consisting of chamber organs, harpsichords, clavichords and a fortepiano.

http://www.youtube.com/v/NKhkCkNVUVE

 
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal/Chorzempa-K01[Philips].jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 18, 2011, 09:47:30 AM
Jan Michiels plays would be a latterday version of BWV 869 on an 1875 Steinway grand piano.

http://www.youtube.com/v/G6x7uGgiFaY

b-minor p&f from edition 1908 by Bela Bartok.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61xNZfK76aL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 18, 2011, 10:52:01 AM
Bernard Legace plays the b minor p&f from Book I on an organ of modern make.

http://www.youtube.com/v/cmf2hoSRtuQ

This sounds like sloooow mooootion in comparison to the pianoforte version by Michiels above.  ;)
Not surprisingly, his book II spreads over three CDs.   Can't say this is my ideal way of listening to Bach. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on January 18, 2011, 01:41:27 PM
The concept of a WTC on organ appeals to me. Anyone familiar with this recording? :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517TVBIlK-L.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on January 18, 2011, 02:42:53 PM
Anyone familiar with this recording? :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517TVBIlK-L.jpg)

Yes, but have not listened to it for a long time. I remember it as stylish as to the details if rather strict.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 18, 2011, 03:43:31 PM
Yes, but have not listened to it for a long time. I remember it as stylish as to the details if rather strict.

An example that one can actually listen to would be most ideal. ;) (hint hint)

MP3 links are available for the separate books on amazon fr but only 30s long.  :(
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 18, 2011, 10:55:57 PM
Is that right? Do people really think so highly of her recorded WTC?  I have the DG one. It doesn't seem anything like as nice as  her best work -- which I would say is the Goldbergs and Partitas on Great Pianists. But maybe I have the wrong recording or maybe I'm missing something.

I'd take Tureck's WTC on DGG over her Goldbergs and Partitas.  You might be missing something or perhaps your taste sucks.  On the other hand, you and I are in total agreement about Koroliov's complete WTC, so your taste must be mighty fine.  Clever Hans, a fellow member here, also loves the Koroliov set and is actually the man who turned me on to Koroliov.

The important point here is not to get bogged down in just a small number of versions.  There are many wonderful sets on both piano and harpsichord; get all of them.

Someone brought up the Levin sets on Hanssler.  I very much appreciate the variety of instruments he employs, and his Fugue in B flat minor from Bk. 2 is alone worth the price of admission.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on January 18, 2011, 11:04:49 PM
Another performance of BWV 878, this time on a Silbermann fortepiano.  The original poster thought it was performed by Robert Levin, which is probably incorrect information.  If I were to venture a guess, this would be from Daniel Chorzempa's set for Philips (OOP) which also has a mixed instrumentarium consisting of chamber organs, harpsichords, clavichords and a fortepiano.
 
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal/Chorzempa-K01[Philips].jpg)

At times it sounds like a (moog?) synthesizer. I'll let it pass because it's Bach. 0:)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 19, 2011, 01:16:44 AM
At times it sounds like a (moog?) synthesizer. I'll let it pass because it's Bach. 0:)

What sounds good sounds good.  I love the sound of most Silbermann fortepianos I have heard on record.  :D 


Robert Levin also uses a fortepiano in his recording for pieces which he deems to be 'in character' for the instrument, which Frederick the Prussian King obviously loved, too.  I shall post a fp entry from the Levin set later, which in general has a less deadpan kind of sound pickup.

ps. Last time I checked, Daniel Chorzempa has been a Director of the Neue Bach Gesellschaft, Leipzig.  An actual Bach priest!  ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 19, 2011, 11:46:39 AM

I shall post a fp entry from the Levin set later, which in general has a less deadpan kind of sound pickup.



Robert Levin plays BWV 886 (A-flat Major) p&f on a replica G. Silbermann fortepiano

http://www.youtube.com/v/8Hd8AWkHxWk
 
:)

(http://www.jazzstore.com/media/products/00/0024/00242806/cache_robert-levin-bach-the-well-tempered-clavier-book-2_w200.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on January 19, 2011, 11:57:09 AM
Robert Levin plays BWV 886 (A-flat Major) p&f on a G. Silbermann fortepiano
 
 :)

Just in time! I was about to turn the computer off and hit the hay. :) Thanks for posting this. Initial reaction: I find this sound comparatively better.



P.S.: What's with the penguins? ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 19, 2011, 12:05:48 PM
Just in time! I was about to turn the computer off and hit the hay. :) Thanks for posting this. Initial reaction: I find this sound comparatively better.



P.S.: What's with the penguins? ;D

Well yes I agree Levin made the wise choice of playing a replica instead of an original.  Chorzempa, as I remember (don't have the set with me at the moment) plays a rare original Silbermann fp for his recording.

The penguins?  They are on an oversized postcard my partner sent me from New Zealand the other day.  For some reason the descending left-hand figuration in the Bach prelude reminds me of the bumbling lot. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on January 19, 2011, 12:15:24 PM
Well yes I agree Levin made the wise choice of playing a replica instead of an original.  Chorzempa, as I remember (don't have the set with me at the moment) plays a rare original Silbermann fp for his recording.

Given similar recording conditions, would an original sound so different from a replica, if we can even call it that?

Quote
For some reason the descending left-hand figuration in the Bach prelude reminds me of the bumbling lot. :)

??? ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 19, 2011, 12:28:39 PM
Given similar recording conditions, would an original sound so different from a replica, if we can even call it that?
Good replicas (this one by Thomas and Barbara Wolf, Washington DC) usually aim to imitate the original in as new condition, something originals obviously can't do unless extensively restored.... Chorzempa's original is a museum item, so in its case the restoration may have been kept to a minimum.  Also it seems to me that Levin's recording was more closely miked than the other, with somewhat 'warmer' acoustics.  Not easily comparable, I think.

Quote
??? ;D

Levin is one of the few musicians that I have heard that do Bach with plenty of humour. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on January 19, 2011, 05:38:36 PM
Well yes I agree Levin made the wise choice of playing a replica instead of an original.  Chorzempa, as I remember (don't have the set with me at the moment) plays a rare original Silbermann fp for his recording.

The penguins?  They are on an oversized postcard my partner sent me from New Zealand the other day.  For some reason the descending left-hand figuration in the Bach prelude reminds me of the bumbling lot. :)

I saw the Chorzempa set listed on Amazon UK by a MarketPlace vendor a few months ago.  But the vendor would not ship to the US ...    >:(
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 19, 2011, 09:59:03 PM
I saw the Chorzempa set listed on Amazon UK by a MarketPlace vendor a few months ago.  But the vendor would not ship to the US ...    >:(

Not to worry - it will pop up sometime in the future where you least suspect it.  I bought my WTC1 recording by Scott Ross a long time ago at a closedown sale when Tower Records went out of business in my country, Book I only because there was no Book II in the shop.  Guess what, I saw Book II a couple of months ago on ebay, and the seller shipped to the entire world!   :) 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 20, 2011, 01:25:16 AM
Guess what, I saw Book II a couple of months ago on ebay, and the seller shipped to the entire world!   :)

http://www.youtube.com/v/pWDZtckgkGU

 :)

The harpsichord sound gets rough in the more heavily textured fugue, but one simply shouldn't ask perfection from a recording  hastily done in 1980.  Scott Ross' 'objective' style of playing still appeals, though.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on January 20, 2011, 08:02:40 PM
Have yourself to take a tour and seen this:
* BWV 871a Comparison ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-JK0Rk_UGY
* BWV 854b Comparison ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVa_mzn90F0
* BWV 850a Comparison ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1G5ikwyhK0
* BWV 848 Comparison ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaWLWffUSsQ
It's a good reference.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 21, 2011, 07:17:55 AM
Have yourself to take a tour and seen this:
* BWV 871a Comparison ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-JK0Rk_UGY
* BWV 854b Comparison ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVa_mzn90F0
* BWV 850a Comparison ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1G5ikwyhK0
* BWV 848 Comparison ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaWLWffUSsQ
It's a good reference.

Thanks for the tour.  Concerning the four versions of the BWV 871 Prelude, Gould easily tops the field.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on January 21, 2011, 06:22:26 PM
Thanks for the tour.  Concerning the four versions of the BWV 871 Prelude, Gould easily tops the field.
Maybe ... but I still prefer Rosalyn Tureck's
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on January 24, 2011, 09:53:23 PM
A nice way of presenting this music: with the composer's mss autograph!
(viewable in HD) The OP used Léon Berben's recording of the score.

BWV846 C major
http://www.youtube.com/v/_sktXHDv0Pk

BWV847 c minor
http://www.youtube.com/v/lzQT1tTLUME

People who like the OP's work please go to the page and show your appreciation.
The autograph (and tons of other Bach manuscript scores) can be viewed at bachdigital.de.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on January 25, 2011, 12:13:58 AM
@ Bulldog
Yesterday ... my WTC packages has come ... and I start listening Wilson's first.
Thank you for the recommendation ... now I have WTC in Harpsichord.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on January 25, 2011, 07:38:13 AM
@ Bulldog
Yesterday ... my WTC packages has come ... and I start listening Wilson's first.
Thank you for the recommendation ... now I have WTC in Harpsichord.

I'm glad you're enjoying it. 8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on January 25, 2011, 07:48:29 AM
Yesterday ... my WTC packages has come ... and I start listening Wilson's first.

Where did you get hold of the Wilson? Well, I own it since long- but I just wondered.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on January 25, 2011, 07:54:09 PM
Where did you get hold of the Wilson? Well, I own it since long- but I just wondered.

I don't know ... my friends who study aboard help me to buy it
I don't care if it 2nd or not ... the most important is ... it is Glen Wilson (Teldec's Bach 2000 cd-108 & cd-109)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: czgirb on January 31, 2011, 05:54:39 PM
Yesterday ... my friend, used LP seller, call me to informed that he found used Gilbert's WTC set (Arkhiv) and ask me whether I still need it. And I answered ... absolutely, YES ... Thank you. So, it means I will have an Gilbert's WTC with it's beautiful cover.  ;D ;D ;D
Thank you, Bulldog for recommend this records to me.

Forgot to report:
Yesterday I tried Dantone's WTC ... the sound is much more better than Wilson's.
And I find it's a WTC's album, which worth to be owning too.
Thank you for the person who recommend this records ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Sadko on February 02, 2011, 05:13:07 PM
Being a WTC fan myself this thread caught my attention. When I had been reading through it half way, I thought, which recordings have I got, that have not been mentioned yet?

One of them was the set of Walter Gieseking on DG, with books I and II:



When I had it newly I didn't like it at all, a bad sound quality with strong distortions, and superfast playing, that appeared like empty acrobatics to me, so I quickly put it away annoyedly.

Now I began playing it while going on reading this thread, but I found my attention so much drawn to it that I couldn't go on reading, so I put it off again, reserving it for the next day and my full concentrated attention.

Today I listened to the first of the three CDs, and - what a revelation! Yes, the tempi often are breathtaking, but anything but "empty acrobatics"! A touch so light that sometimes the key seems to fail to produce a sound, but not at all powerless, soft, or blurred. His sound is crisp like a harpsichord, but with the clarity of the piano, which makes even dense complex patterns transparent. He is not for the "equilibrium", he likes to push things to the limits, but he seems always in control. And equally as a listener I felt completely in the grasp of this, no wandering off of the thoughts into dreams, which I experience with some WTC interpretations. Nevertheless all this to me seems to come out of a deep  organic feeling for the compositions, there are no "loose ends", everything seems to make sense effortlessly.

Judging from this first CD I would say: In a collection of the top Welltempered Claviers this set must have a place.

And thanks to the contributors of this thread for letting me discover a neglected treasure of my collection.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 02, 2011, 08:45:04 PM
Being a WTC fan myself this thread caught my attention. When I had been reading through it half way, I thought, which recordings have I got, that have not been mentioned yet?

One of them was the set of Walter Gieseking on DG, with books I and II:



When I had it newly I didn't like it at all, a bad sound quality with strong distortions, and superfast playing, that appeared like empty acrobatics to me, so I quickly put it away annoyedly.

Now I began playing it while going on reading this thread, but I found my attention so much drawn to it that I couldn't go on reading, so I put it off again, reserving it for the next day and my full concentrated attention.

Today I listened to the first of the three CDs, and - what a revelation! Yes, the tempi often are breathtaking, but anything but "empty acrobatics"! A touch so light that sometimes the key seems to fail to produce a sound, but not at all powerless, soft, or blurred. His sound is crisp like a harpsichord, but with the clarity of the piano, which makes even dense complex patterns transparent. He is not for the "equilibrium", he likes to push things to the limits, but he seems always in control. And equally as a listener I felt completely in the grasp of this, no wandering off of the thoughts into dreams, which I experience with some WTC interpretations. Nevertheless all this to me seems to come out of a deep  organic feeling for the compositions, there are no "loose ends", everything seems to make sense effortlessly.

I've been close to acquiring the Gieseking, but it just never happened.  I will order it right after writing this post; its availability on Newton Classics at a low price makes this an easy choice.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 03, 2011, 12:46:05 AM
Have yourself to take a tour and seen this:
* BWV 871a Comparison ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-JK0Rk_UGY
* BWV 854b Comparison ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVa_mzn90F0
* BWV 850a Comparison ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1G5ikwyhK0
* BWV 848 Comparison ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaWLWffUSsQ
It's a good reference.
Sorry - a little late to the party. I love these sorts of things!

871a - No 'winner'
Gould - quite nice. Not too pingy. Perhaps a little too straight. Slows down at the end, which disappointed me. But a nice version.
Hewitt - Also good. Less pingy and smoother than Gould. I think I preferred Gould's speed, but this is enrapturing. I feel I hear more here though.
Richter - More or less a speed demon throughout, defintiely more dynamic this way. Too many details are lost, but exciting.
Tureck - This is precisely the type of Bach I dislike in terms of pingyness. I do like that she is bit more dynamic throughout and doesn't play it mono-chromatically. This part is exacctly what I like in Bach. So interesting mix from her.

854b- No Winner.
Fischer - Nicely dynamic. Loses some details though. And a bit too much stress on a few notes here and there that distract.
Gould - A bit more dynamic than the previous. ok!
Hewitt - Great flow. I really feel the arc of this short piece better here. Softer touch - could see this not being to everyone's taste.
Richter -Pingy due to sound quality, but again a speed demon. Exciting, but I feel mostly the top line.
Schiff - Better mix of dynamics, flow and detial. But he pings the notes sometimes, which is all the more jarring, because it is in a few spots in particular, not everywhere.
Tureck - Oi! Too clipped. I couldn't live with this.

850a - Winner:  Tureck (amazing - because I hated her 854b)
Fischer - Like gentle rain in some ways. Nice. But left hand was uneven in tempo a bit in the middle. (shame about the sound, but not his fault)
Gould - Nice. Perhaps a bit too peckish on the bottom/left hand at times (a softer touch at times would have been welcome). Nice ending though - good touch.
Richter - Fast again. Some detail lost, and a bit monochromatic. But still holds the interest with the excitement and thrill he generates. Holds the line well, perhaps because he does go fast.
Schiff - Every note is heard. A couple bobbles in tempo early, but minor. Not dynamic enough until the middle. Pretty ending.
Tureck - Stable tempo. Ping is muted and so this is more listenable for me. Nicely dynamic (loved how she quieter at 5.50 or so). This would hold my interest in repeated listening.

848 - Richter (mostly for the prelude, which shines in my opinion)
Gould - Nice start. good balance and detail. Fugue is very good. This is wonderful. A little more dynamics would have been nice, but still very good. Holds tempo like a brick wall here - excellent.
Richter - One feels the drive and energy (and as a result, the line) much better here in the prelude. The fugue is also quite nicely done. Totally different from Gould, but like this too. I think I prefer his warmer (and a bit more dynamic) approach. 
Schiff - Too slow. Something is off in the prelude - can't quite put my finger on it (unless the tempo is it). I just find this uninteresting (too pretty perhaps?).  A bit clipped on occassion.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 03, 2011, 08:08:45 AM
Sorry - a little late to the party. I love these sorts of things!

854b- No Winner.
Fischer - Nicely dynamic. Loses some details though. And a bit too much stress on a few notes here and there that distract.
Gould - A bit more dynamic than the previous. ok!
Hewitt - Great flow. I really feel the arc of this short piece better here. Softer touch - could see this not being to everyone's taste.
Richter -Pingy due to sound quality, but again a speed demon. Exciting, but I feel mostly the top line.
Schiff - Better mix of dynamics, flow and detial. But he pings the notes sometimes, which is all the more jarring, because it is in a few spots in particular, not everywhere.
Tureck - Oi! Too clipped. I couldn't live with this.

I hear it differently. 

Winners:  The speedy Gould and Richter with all the technical command needed.  Tureck's rather slow but her clarity and detached playing wins the day.

Losers:  Fischer and Hewitt.  Fischer can't handle the speed and messes up frequently.  Hewitt's just too "pretty" for my tastes.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 03, 2011, 08:49:58 AM
I hear it differently. 

Winners:  The speedy Gould and Richter with all the technical command needed.  Tureck's rather slow but her clarity and detached playing wins the day.

Losers:  Fischer and Hewitt.  Fischer can't handle the speed and messes up frequently.  Hewitt's just too "pretty" for my tastes.
Actually, our comments are pretty similar in that I think we are hearing much the same things. What we like or dislike in the playing is where we really diverge. You like the Tureck for the same reason I dislike it. On Hewitt, we both agree it is pretty (but disagree on whether that is good or bad), though I really liked that hers was a bit different. I also wouldn't disagree with your comments on Gould and Richter, where I thought their technical command just fine too.  If forced to choose a favorite among these, those would probably be the two I would choose from. But none of them were ideal for me (just quite good).

It's interesting how we can hear exactly the same things and come to a different conclusion on them.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: PaulSC on February 03, 2011, 10:09:28 AM
I'll play! (And if I don't get too busy with other things today I'll post another set of performances of the same fugue in case anyone wants to comment...)
854b- 
Fischer - doesn't seem fully in control, groups of 16th notes get "mashed together" esp. in the LH
Gould - I generally like this for its transparency and vitality. But I HATE the long, drawn-out final ritardando. (And that's how it almost always goes with Gould for me: so much promise but he nearly always injects some unwelcome mannerism to spoil it all.)
Hewitt - I liked this more than I expected to. The "prettiness" here doesn't render the music spineless, and she doesn't rush as I find her doing in other recordings.
Richter - I appreciate the excitement, but the tempo is a bit unsteady and the ending seems to arrive unprepared.
Schiff - As usual I find Schiff a bit "fussy" with articulation and motivic structure. But it's not a major problem here (or in his WTC overall).
Tureck - My favorite of the bunch, in spite of the poor sound quality. Clear, graceful, and unmannered -- although I do realize the persistent staccato articulation will strike some listeners as a mannerism after all!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 03, 2011, 10:18:46 AM
Actually, our comments are pretty similar in that I think we are hearing much the same things. What we like or dislike in the playing is where we really diverge. You like the Tureck for the same reason I dislike it. On Hewitt, we both agree it is pretty (but disagree on whether that is good or bad), though I really liked that hers was a bit different. I also wouldn't disagree with your comments on Gould and Richter, where I thought their technical command just fine too.  If forced to choose a favorite among these, those would probably be the two I would choose from. But none of them were ideal for me (just quite good).

It's interesting how we can hear exactly the same things and come to a different conclusion on them.

That's for sure.  By the way, the best BWV 854 Fugue I've ever heard comes from Schepkin on his Ongaku set; the exuberance leaps out of the speakers.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: PaulSC on February 03, 2011, 10:27:47 AM
(And if I don't get too busy with other things today I'll post another set of performances of the same fugue in case anyone wants to comment...)
I'm going to do this. Does anyone prefer if the performers are identified or unidentified (to be revealed later)?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 03, 2011, 10:42:57 AM
I'm going to do this. Does anyone prefer if the performers are identified or unidentified (to be revealed later)?

I would consider identification to be best; I don't play games.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 03, 2011, 11:20:25 AM
That's for sure.  By the way, the best BWV 854 Fugue I've ever heard comes from Schepkin on his Ongaku set; the exuberance leaps out of the speakers.
I have his Partitas (was that one of your recs?).  I got it from the Partita thread and love him in those.  I have also acquired the WTC with Richter on RCA, but I have only listened to parts of it. I've liked what I heard on that too.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 03, 2011, 11:29:57 AM
I have his Partitas (was that one of your recs?).  I got it from the Partita thread and love him in those.  I have also acquired the WTC with Richter on RCA, but I have only listened to parts of it. I've liked what I heard on that too.

Yeah, I do recommend Schepkin's Partitas but consider his WTC the best Bach I've heard from him.  As for his Goldberg Variations, I was very disappointed with his fussy mannerisms including a highly unattractive regimen of trills.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: PaulSC on February 03, 2011, 02:08:53 PM
Making these videos was a big headache. I guess it was a learning experience but there must be easier ways. Anyway, happy listening!

 http://www.youtube.com/v/MXuQG2WiQ5w

 http://www.youtube.com/v/DdwwaF7aAQw
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 03, 2011, 09:27:45 PM
Making these videos was a big headache. I guess it was a learning experience but there must be easier ways. Anyway, happy listening!

 http://www.youtube.com/v/MXuQG2WiQ5w

 http://www.youtube.com/v/DdwwaF7aAQw

I hope your head is much better now, and I appreciate the harpsichord versions provided.  When I'm listening to Bach on harpsichord for a few weeks, it takes me some time to adjust to Bach on piano.  After listening to the piano for many days, going back to the harpsichord is like coming home.

Concerning the four pianists, I'd have to go with Fellner and Koroliov - plenty of energy and it doesn't stop.  Korolev wasn't to my liking; I found the performance awkward.

For the four harpsichord versions, I favored the Hantai for basically the same reasons as favoring Fellner and Koroliov.  Although quite slower than the norm, I enjoyed Gilbert and Watchorn with their fine attention to detail.  Suzuki was fine.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 04, 2011, 12:39:37 AM
Making these videos was a big headache. I guess it was a learning experience but there must be easier ways. Anyway, happy listening!

Well, I enjoy them, so know they are being listened to with happiness! Here were my thoughts:

854 Fugue - Piano: Winner: Fellner
Fellner: Unfamiliar with this pianist (new for me). Oh - very nice touch indeed. I liked this a lot. Maybe could have been more dynamics, but overall good.
Korolev: Fast. And an uneveness in tempo. The piece felt disjointed.   
Koroliov: Brighter sound. More muscular than Fellner. Not bad.
Mustonen: Too staccato and clipped for my tastes. A bit more dynamic though, which I would have liked more of from the others. But clipped playing overwhelms.

Harpsichord is harder for me to judge, because I am not a fan of the sound. Of these, I liked Suzuki best, perhaps in part due to a warmer sounding instrument. I did not like Gilbert at all, who I found slow and not as consistant on tempo. The others were ok.

Really appreciate your putting this together Paul!!!!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: PaulSC on February 04, 2011, 01:10:23 PM
Thanks for listening and commenting, Don and Neal!

I shouldn't have been so grumbly about making the videos, but it was my first time using iMovie, and Apple somehow thinks it's clever to ship all their consumer-level software without proper manuals. I think I was struggling because I thought of the task as "adding a few simple visuals to a primary audio track," whereas iMovie is set up for adding simple audio cues to a primary video track.

Anyway, it was very interesting to read your reactions. For the record, I find it very easy to enjoy three of these piano WTCs (Fellner, Korolev, and Koroliov -- although Korolev is not at his best in this fugue) and  -- even moreso -- three of these hpscd WTCs (Hantaï, Suzuki, Watchorn). I especially love the instruments played by Suzuki (sinuous and less steely, a bit like a classical guitar or a lute hpscd) and Watchorn (a pedal hpscd with an augmented bass register and a big, cinematic sound that suits his unhurried interpretations).

The remaining interpretations are perfect when I'm in certain moods. Gilbert's is the most hands-off of the bunch and is what I go to when I don't want a performer imposing an idiosyncratic point of view on the music. It rewards the same kind of attention I'd give the music when playing it myself or just reading the score. Mustonen is obviously the opposite, a highly "interventionist" reading that I admit I find compelling, especially when I listen to bigger chunks instead of a single fugue. As most folks here probably know, Mustonen recorded WTC I across two records interleaved with the Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues. Not something I reach for everyday.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on February 04, 2011, 02:48:09 PM
As most folks here probably know, Mustonen recorded WTC I across two records interleaved with the Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues. Not something I reach for everyday.

He did for WTC2 as well, on the Ondine label.  After owning the WTC1 for years, I finally decided I that I don't need to follow it up.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: PaulSC on February 04, 2011, 03:07:47 PM
He did for WTC2 as well, on the Ondine label.  After owning the WTC1 for years, I finally decided I that I don't need to follow it up.

The two Mustonen WTC recordings I own, on RCA and Ondine, add up to WTC I only. The reason they span 2+1 CDs (in spite of generally fast tempo choices) is that the complete Shostakovich Op. 87 is mixed in.





If he truly recorded WTC II as well, I'd love to hear it. (I might be the only one, however!)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: FideLeo on February 04, 2011, 11:26:52 PM
The two Mustonen WTC recordings I own, on RCA and Ondine, add up to WTC I only. The reason they span 2+1 CDs (in spite of generally fast tempo choices) is that the complete Shostakovich Op. 87 is mixed in.



Sorry!  I guess I didn't care for the recording itself enough to recall its contents correctly.  For me, there are simply far too many composers in that performance.  :P


Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on February 09, 2011, 07:21:16 PM
Being a WTC fan myself this thread caught my attention. When I had been reading through it half way, I thought, which recordings have I got, that have not been mentioned yet?

One of them was the set of Walter Gieseking on DG, with books I and II:



My goodness, that is fast. Far too fast for me.  :-\
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 09, 2011, 07:46:19 PM
My goodness, that is fast. Far too fast for me.  :-\

Looks like I will pass on this set.  I do not like speed demon for WTC ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 09, 2011, 07:48:58 PM
My goodness, that is fast. Far too fast for me.  :-\

My problem with Gieseking's WTC isn't the tempos but the god-awful sound.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on February 09, 2011, 07:52:11 PM
My problem with Gieseking's WTC isn't the tempos but the god-awful sound.

Like all too many historical piano recordings on major labels (they love to go heavy on the noise reduction, I find) the piano sounds like it's underwater.  :-\
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 09, 2011, 07:56:27 PM
Like all too many historical piano recordings on major labels (they love to go heavy on the noise reduction, I find) the piano sounds like it's underwater.  :-\

Well, Gieseking's WTC sound isn't recessed, but it stinks in every other way.  I also have the feeling at this point that Gieseking's interpretations do not transcend the sound limitations (only listened twice so far).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on February 09, 2011, 08:01:21 PM
Well, Gieseking's WTC sound isn't recessed, but it stinks in every other way.  I also have the feeling at this point that Gieseking's interpretations do not transcend the sound limitations (only listened twice so far).

I have only heard the DG samples over at amazon, but they sure aren't encouraging me to want to hear more.

Plus, I am happy with Fienberg, Richter (live and studio), Edwin Fischer, Tureck (DG) and Gould. In fact, I'd like to get to know these sets even better, especially Feinberg and Tureck, and buying more means more time away from what I already have. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on February 10, 2011, 05:49:53 PM
I have only heard the DG samples over at amazon, but they sure aren't encouraging me to want to hear more.

Plus, I am happy with Fienberg, Richter (live and studio), Edwin Fischer, Tureck (DG) and Gould. In fact, I'd like to get to know these sets even better, especially Feinberg and Tureck, and buying more means more time away from what I already have.

George, I also have every version you listed above.  Thanks so much for the heads up on the Feinberg version, which is probably OOP by now ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Lethevich on February 12, 2011, 02:13:20 AM
Which recordings do you guys find to be the slowest/most Romantic/indulgent performances of the cycle (single book recordings are fine too)?

These tend to be considered quite negative interpretive traits, but I'd like to seek some out to establish for myself a frame of reference to compare with the usual recommendations.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on February 12, 2011, 03:27:10 AM
Which recordings do you guys find to be the slowest/most Romantic/indulgent performances of the cycle (single book recordings are fine too)?

These tend to be considered quite negative interpretive traits, but I'd like to seek some out to establish for myself a frame of reference to compare with the usual recommendations.

Feinberg comes to mind.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on February 12, 2011, 09:06:21 AM
Which recordings do you guys find to be the slowest/most Romantic/indulgent performances of the cycle (single book recordings are fine too)?

These tend to be considered quite negative interpretive traits, but I'd like to seek some out to establish for myself a frame of reference to compare with the usual recommendations.

Barenboim is a possibility, I would imagine.


Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 12, 2011, 11:04:55 AM
Which recordings do you guys find to be the slowest/most Romantic/indulgent performances of the cycle (single book recordings are fine too)?

These tend to be considered quite negative interpretive traits, but I'd like to seek some out to establish for myself a frame of reference to compare with the usual recommendations.

Leaving out the indulgent quality, Andrei Vieru on Alpha meets your test.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Lethevich on February 12, 2011, 11:06:51 AM
Sounds great, thanks! I have some researching to do :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 12, 2011, 11:09:30 AM
Just keep in mind that Feinberg/Vieru are super performances while Barenboim's is a dud.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Lethevich on February 12, 2011, 11:58:32 PM
Feinberg is really, really impressive. I expected worse sound quality, so was pleasantly surprised. The most immediate thing I get from it against more neutral performances is a certain poignancy. He doesn't really mutilate the music, but judiciously tweaks everything to make it into a kind of tone-picture, constantly creeping or developing and not necessarily in ways I would expect - I suppose that is the main feature of interventionist interpretations, what seems a natural choice to one will be a surprise to another. His book 1 is just super, book 2 is on the way.

Is there a certain mastering of these recordings that is preferred, or is it the usual case of "grab what you can find" with this russian stuff?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on February 13, 2011, 06:05:18 AM
Feinberg is really, really impressive. I expected worse sound quality, so was pleasantly surprised. The most immediate thing I get from it against more neutral performances is a certain poignancy. He doesn't really mutilate the music, but judiciously tweaks everything to make it into a kind of tone-picture, constantly creeping or developing and not necessarily in ways I would expect - I suppose that is the main feature of interventionist interpretations, what seems a natural choice to one will be a surprise to another. His book 1 is just super, book 2 is on the way.

Is there a certain mastering of these recordings that is preferred, or is it the usual case of "grab what you can find" with this russian stuff?

This is the one that I have (and the seller I bought mine from) http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=35887&genreid=

(http://www.russiandvd.com/store/assets/product_images/imgs/front/35887.jpg)

I have compared it to this one and preferred the sound of the former:

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/july06/Bach_Feinberg_CR065.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: seasons on February 13, 2011, 11:03:36 PM
Leonhardt~  ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on February 14, 2011, 08:23:26 AM
Which recordings do you guys find to be the slowest/most Romantic/indulgent performances of the cycle (single book recordings are fine too)?

These tend to be considered quite negative interpretive traits, but I'd like to seek some out to establish for myself a frame of reference to compare with the usual recommendations.

Sokolov
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on February 14, 2011, 11:11:27 AM
Just keep in mind that Feinberg/Vieru are super performances while Barenboim's is a dud.

Sarge!  Do you have my back here?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Sadko on February 14, 2011, 12:56:44 PM
It seems my quite high praise of the Gieseking isn't shared by anyone (?).

After writing it I read some other reviews on the Internet, and I found some of my observations, and many critical aspects. I even got a bit of bad conscience of not having mentioned these more, but looking back I can still stand with the excitement it gave me to listen to him. I didn't go on with the next CDs yet, I'm curious how I'll like these.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on February 14, 2011, 01:04:07 PM
It seems my quite high praise of the Gieseking isn't shared by anyone (?).

After writing it I read some other reviews on the Internet, and I found some of my observations, and many critical aspects. I even got a bit of bad conscience of not having mentioned these more, but looking back I can still stand with the excitement it gave me to listen to him. I didn't go on with the next CDs yet, I'm curious how I'll like these.

I have trouble imagining these old releases being of interest, except to someone with a specific interest in the history of classical music performance.  But if you are primarily interested in hearing Bach's music, why listen to old recordings of such poor audio quality?  Anyway, to each his own, but honestly if you gave the set to me I would not be able to summon the enthusiasm to open the box.   :P  But that's just me.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Lethevich on February 14, 2011, 01:06:34 PM
I have trouble imagining these old releases being of interest, except to someone with a specific interest in the history of classical music performance.  But if you are primarily interested in hearing Bach's music, why listen to old recordings of such poor audio quality?  Anyway, to each his own, but honestly if you gave the set to me I would not be able to summon the enthusiasm to open the box.   :P  But that's just me.

In the case of the Feinberg, because nobody would have the guts to perform it like that nowadays - it'd be all "super clarity" and "following the composer's intentions" :-\
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on February 14, 2011, 01:09:51 PM
In the case of the Feinberg, because nobody would have the guts to perform it like that nowadays - it'd be all "super clarity" and "following the composer's intentions" :-\

That I can see.  I have a recording of Mozart PC 27 with Schnabel introducing bizarre tempo variations.  From the 30's, I think.  Good for novelty, but I don't think I could bear to listen to it all the way through.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Sadko on February 14, 2011, 01:40:46 PM
I have trouble imagining these old releases being of interest, except to someone with a specific interest in the history of classical music performance.  But if you are primarily interested in hearing Bach's music, why listen to old recordings of such poor audio quality?  Anyway, to each his own, but honestly if you gave the set to me I would not be able to summon the enthusiasm to open the box.   :P  But that's just me.

I'm as much interested in Bach as in the performer's views on him. To me the "voice" of a musician is equally important for the joy I get from a performance as the work itself. I certainly wouldn't want to have Gieseking to get to know the WTC, but I like to join him on his exploration in this field. As to datedness of the sound: The more interesting I find an interpretation, the more tolerant I get.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on February 14, 2011, 01:55:18 PM
I'm as much interested in Bach as in the performer's views on him. To me the "voice" of a musician is equally important for the joy I get from a performance as the work itself. I certainly wouldn't want to have Gieseking to get to know the WTC, but I like to join him on his exploration in this field. As to datedness of the sound: The more interesting I find an interpretation, the more tolerant I get.

I'm not getting a feel for what's unique about it.  It's very fast, very light touch, transparent, isn't that fairly typical of what pianists are doing today (and in front of DSD sound recorders)?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 14, 2011, 02:13:50 PM
I'm as much interested in Bach as in the performer's views on him. To me the "voice" of a musician is equally important for the joy I get from a performance as the work itself. I certainly wouldn't want to have Gieseking to get to know the WTC, but I like to join him on his exploration in this field. As to datedness of the sound: The more interesting I find an interpretation, the more tolerant I get.

Exactly, and you know you've found gold when the performance transcends poor sound.  Too bad that Scarpia isn't on board.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scarpia on February 22, 2011, 10:30:24 AM
Exactly, and you know you've found gold when the performance transcends poor sound.  Too bad that Scarpia isn't on board.

It's always a trade-off.  My rule is not simply to listen to the recording with the best audio quality.  Performance is the most important factor, but in deciding what recordings I am interested in, audio quality is not negligible.  And new recordings don't always sound better than older recordings.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidW on June 26, 2011, 05:36:35 AM
44 pages of posts is simply too much to read for answers... so let me ask plainly... what are your favorite recordings of the WTC Book 1 and the WTC Book 2 performed on harpsichord?  I'm looking for replacements for Berben. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 26, 2011, 06:08:31 AM
44 pages of posts is simply too much to read for answers... so let me ask plainly... what are your favorite recordings of the WTC Book 1 and the WTC Book 2 performed on harpsichord?  I'm looking for replacements for Berben. :)

Well, I'll be interested in hearing Don's & our other experts' updated opinions on this topic.  For me at the moment, I have 5 sets of these works (2 on piano; 2 on harpsichord; & 1 on clavichord, the latter shown below and a fun listen) - my harpsichord sets are:

Glen Wilson & Peter Watchorn -  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWTCTuma/949289393_zRK8V-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 26, 2011, 06:11:06 AM
44 pages of posts is simply too much to read for answers... so let me ask plainly... what are your favorite recordings of the WTC Book 1 and the WTC Book 2 performed on harpsichord?  I'm looking for replacements for Berben. :)

If it's considered some degree of unanimity as an important factor: Glen Wilson and Gustav Leonhardt.

If we consider recent recordings, I would say Watchorn (Premont don't agree on this recommendation, but, f.i., Don, yes) and other people would say Dantone (our Q, f.i.).

Considering your usual taste, I would also mention Blandine Verlet, an unorthodox superstition of mine.

That said: it exists a lot of excellent versions in the market and we will probably write other 5,000 pages on this issue.   :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Que on June 26, 2011, 06:14:29 AM
44 pages of posts is simply too much to read for answers... so let me ask plainly... what are your favorite recordings of the WTC Book 1 and the WTC Book 2 performed on harpsichord?  I'm looking for replacements for Berben. :)

I urge to do it anyway! ;D

Still, I'll re-mention my favourites on harpsichord: Glen Wilson (Warner/Teldec, OP  :-\) and Ottavio Dantone (Arts).

I haven't heard Tůma (Arta) or Watchorn (Musica Omnia), which are interesting for being played on clavichord and pedal-harpsichord respectively.

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: George on June 26, 2011, 06:31:37 AM
 Ah, I figured Que would see the Batsignal in the sky. ;D

I've only heard Moroney. I enjoyed it as much as I can enjoy a harpsichord. ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on June 26, 2011, 09:04:24 AM
Ah, I figured Que would see the Batsignal in the sky. ;D

I've only heard Moroney. I enjoyed it as much as I can enjoy a harpsichord. ;)


;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on June 26, 2011, 11:03:08 AM
Pleasurable performance here from The Helios Guitar Quartet.

http://www.heliosguitarquartet.com/recordings/files/page5_10.mp3
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on June 26, 2011, 11:45:49 AM
Well, I'll be interested in hearing Don's & our other experts' updated opinions on this topic.

Sorry, I don't have any update to offer.  However, I am very interested in Bk. 1 performed by Rebecca Pechefsky on the Quill Classics label.  Has anyone heard this set?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 26, 2011, 12:05:42 PM
Sorry, I don't have any update to offer.  However, I am very interested in Bk. 1 performed by Rebecca Pechefsky on the Quill Classics label.  Has anyone heard this set?

Her Bk. 1 looks attractive, but I don't know it. It's so unknown that I am not sure if even Premont has a copy.  ;D

BTW, Don: I am a bit tired of your Bachian inactivity of these last months, so c'mon!  :D

BTW 2: Another interesting and enigmatic WTC (both books, although the Bk. 2 is apparently OOP) is performed by Barbara Klinkhammer. Of course, it's painfully hard to get:

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-1/hnum/7345332

I got her Bk. 1 from Germany, but it will probably be here in one month or even more (via USA).

BTW 3: Have you listened to the Bk. 2 performed by Katherine Roberts Perl available on Magnatune?

http://magnatune.com/artists/albums/kperl-clavier3/

 :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidW on June 26, 2011, 01:16:49 PM
I've ordered Leonhardt for Book 1, Wilson for Book 2 and also not WTC related, the Verlet philips duo of the Partitas. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on June 26, 2011, 01:44:59 PM
BTW 2: Another interesting and enigmatic WTC (both books, although the Bk. 2 is apparently OOP) is performed by Barbara Klinkhammer. Of course, it's painfully hard to get:

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-1/hnum/7345332

I got her Bk. 1 from Germany, but it will probably be here in one month or even more (via USA).

BTW 3: Have you listened to the Bk. 2 performed by Katherine Roberts Perl available on Magnatune?

http://magnatune.com/artists/albums/kperl-clavier3/

 :)

I had never heard of the Klinkhammer sets, but the samples sound very good.  I am familiar with the Perl and find it thoroughly excellent; there are some tempos that are a little on the slow side, but that's no problem from my end.

As far as my lack of Bachian activity on the board, that's just because I wasn't using my computer at all for a few weeks.  That will be happening some over the summer as well.  Next week it's Nevada, next month Colorado and August in Boston.  Then it's back to Albuquerque which has the best weather in the U.S.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 26, 2011, 02:28:01 PM
As far as my lack of Bachian activity on the board, that's just because I wasn't using my computer at all for a few weeks.  That will be happening some over the summer as well.  Next week it's Nevada, next month Colorado and August in Boston.  Then it's back to Albuquerque which has the best weather in the U.S.

Glad to know you're fine, Don. I was just a bit puzzled by your scarce activity on the board these days.  :)



Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on June 28, 2011, 04:37:10 AM
Her Bk. 1 looks attractive, but I don't know it. It's so unknown that I am not sure if even Premont has a copy.  ;D

You are right.  I am becoming increasingly frustrated by all those recordings, which are difficult to get hold of, and also by the cost of non-EU purchases (lots of tax and custom fee added). And downloading and mp3 is generally not my business .

Quote from: toñito
BTW 2: Another interesting and enigmatic WTC (both books, although the Bk. 2 is apparently OOP) is performed by Barbara Klinkhammer. Of course, it's painfully hard to get:

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-1/hnum/7345332

I got her Bk. 1 from Germany, but it will probably be here in one month or even more (via USA).

Well, I have listened to this a couple of times:

Bach: WTC Book I
Barbara Klinkhammer, harpsichord (recorded 2003)
Instrument by Rainer Schütze, Heidelberg 1980
agenda Verlag, Edition Gregorius

A somewhat understated interpretation IMO lacking sufficient characterisation of the affects in the individual P & F´s giving a rather monochrome impression when listening to more P & F´s. Also Klinkhammer sounds like a pianist coming to the harpsichord rather soon inasmuch her playing contains some pianistic habits among which is a strange and all to short - almost Gouldian - staccato, which she (in an IMO unmusical way) uses throughout in some pieces (e.g. Prelude F-sharp major). But the most annoying thing about her playing is her inconsistent articulation. The way one (from the beginning of a piece) chooses to articulate a fugue subject or a given thematic "cell" should be maintained throughout the piece in question. But Klinkhammer articulates for no obvious reason differently and sometimes in an almost casual way, giving the impression of insufficient preparation (mental or practical -  or both).  I have played these pieces myself (far from perfect), and I have a special interest in the articulation of Bachs works, so maybe I am more sensible to this problem than the average listener, but all in all Klinkhammer´s recording is painfully incompetitive in this crowded field. Her Schütze harpsichord does not sound really period but rather like a mixture of a Mietke copy and a non-period small generic Neupert from the 1960es. The recorded sound is reasonably present and miking is not too close. Book II is in bachorder, but if it turns out to be unavailable, I can live with that.


Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on June 28, 2011, 04:44:15 AM
1 on clavichord, the latter shown below and a fun listen

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachWTCTuma/949289393_zRK8V-O.jpg)

As I think Tuma´s playing is a rather serious matter, I am a bit puzzled by you use of the words "fun listen".
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on June 28, 2011, 04:50:06 AM
If it's considered some degree of unanimity as an important factor: Glen Wilson and Gustav Leonhardt.

No unanimity on my part.

Quote from: toñito
If we consider recent recordings, I would say Watchorn (Premont doesn't agree on this recommendation.... )

Only as regards book I.
Book II is another matter.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 28, 2011, 08:00:00 AM
As I think Tuma´s playing is a rather serious matter, I am a bit puzzled by you use of the words "fun listen".

Well, only in the context of not being on piano or harpsichord -  ;) 8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 28, 2011, 03:51:39 PM
You are right.  I am becoming increasingly frustrated by all those recordings, which are difficult to get hold of, and also by the cost of non-EU purchases (lots of tax and custom fee added). And downloading and mp3 is generally not my business.

That's an usual feeling in the modern world, especially if you're a completist. I mean two decades ago, I imagine you would have killed to get all the oppotunities that you have today in order to purchase discs in different parts of the worlds and from different sellers, large and small. But now we want everything immediately, with inmediacy and velocity of Internet...

Taxes are another animal, not psycological, but political. 

Well, I have listened to this a couple of times:

Bach: WTC Book I
Barbara Klinkhammer, harpsichord (recorded 2003)
Instrument by Rainer Schütze, Heidelberg 1980
agenda Verlag, Edition Gregorius

It's a shame; the samples on JPC sounded promising. I ordered the volume two, so I will form my own opinion in the next weeks o months.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 28, 2011, 04:04:53 PM
No unanimity on my part.

Well, I was talking about a statistic fact: these two sets are usually well considered and even highly praised. Anyway, do you consider these sets should be avoided? Because the question was about a "first (or second) set" to replace Berben.

Only as regards book I.
Book II is another matter.

I thought you hadn't purchased the Bk. 2 because of your unfavorable opinion of his Bk. 1.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on June 28, 2011, 10:31:51 PM
That's an usual feeling in the modern world, especially if you're a completist. I mean two decades ago, I imagine you would have killed to get all the oppotunities that you have today in order to purchase discs in different parts of the worlds and from different sellers, large and small. But now we want everything immediately, with inmediacy and velocity of Internet...

Yes, as the options increase in number, we feel prompted to make use of them. A natural reaction, I think.

Quote from: toñito
It's a shame; the samples on JPC sounded promising. I ordered the volume two, so I will form my own opinion in the next weeks o months.

This also shows the danger of blind completism. One sometimes purchases discs which one in retrospective never would dream of purchasing. Every time this happens I become a tad more cautious.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on June 28, 2011, 10:48:23 PM
Well, I was talking about a statistic fact: these two sets are usually well considered and even highly praised. Anyway, do you consider these sets should be avoided? Because the question was about a "first (or second) set" to replace Berben.

No, I do not think Watchorn´s book I should be avoided - and certainly not by a completist. But it is too leaden and special to deserve the rank of a first choice. From the top of my head I think I prefer about 20 of the recordings of book I, I own, to Watchorn´s, among which are even Ahlgrimm´s. Book II is another matter. It stands his approach much better, the music being more "weighty" in its scope and texture.

I thought you hadn't purchased the Bk. 2 because of your unfavorable opinion of his Bk. 1.

Well, like you I own a number of exellent CDs from Watchorns hands (and now feet), so the completist in me ordered Book II. And I intend to order the rest of his Bach cycle too,  I look very much forward f.x. to his AoF and Partitas.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 29, 2011, 02:24:48 AM
Your replies are crystal clear, Premont, but this question was about Wilson and Leonhardt:

Well, I was talking about a statistic fact: these two sets are usually well considered and even highly praised. Anyway, do you consider these sets should be avoided? Because the question was about a "first (or second) set" to replace Berben.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on June 29, 2011, 03:40:31 AM
Your replies are crystal clear, Premont, but this question was about Wilson and Leonhardt:

Sorry I got you wrong, because I did not read the former posts before answering, and perhaps also because I did not in my wildest fantasies suppose, that you meant to ask me if I think Wilson and Leonhardt should be avoided.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 29, 2011, 08:48:45 AM
Sorry I got you wrong, because I did not read the former posts before answering, and perhaps also because I did not in my wildest fantasies suppose, that you meant to ask me if I think Wilson and Leonhardt should be avoided.

Yes, it was exactly my reaction when I did read: "No unanimity on my part" on your Reply #893.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 29, 2011, 07:25:54 PM
No, I do not think Watchorn´s book I should be avoided - and certainly not by a completist. But it is too leaden and special to deserve the rank of a first choice...

BTW, I emphatically disagree about this, but I prefer to listen to again this Bk. 1 before posting any more detailed comment. I have not listened to Watchorn's WTC for some months, but I recall his Bk. 1 as deeply musical, with a wide range of affetti superbly expressed, well recorded on a beautiful instrument and with a very pleasant use of Lehman's tuning. 
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on July 01, 2011, 06:03:54 AM
Yes, it was exactly my reaction when I did read: "No unanimity on my part" on your Reply #893.

My fault. :-[ I misinterpreted the word unanimity, thinking it meant un-animity (disagreement) instead of un(a)-animity (agreement).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on July 01, 2011, 06:05:30 AM
... I prefer to listen to again this Bk. 1 before posting any more detailed comment...

So do I.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on July 12, 2011, 12:15:46 PM
For 5 bones, could not resist getting this set:

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/Richter011-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: mc ukrneal on July 12, 2011, 12:17:30 PM
For 5 bones, could not resist getting this set:

I just hope they weren't yours! The bones I mean!  ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bogey on July 12, 2011, 12:19:52 PM
I just hope they weren't yours! The bones I mean!  ;D

May just be worth the real ones....I'll let you know. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: jwinter on July 20, 2011, 11:20:38 AM
A bit late I realize, but I'm currently listening to Gieseking's WTC, Book 1.  I was catching up on this thread and saw it mentioned, and then remembered that I had found a copy at my library last year and ripped it to MP3 along with a bunch of other stuff. 

Overall this is better than I was expecting -- after one spin it's not breaking in among my favorites by any stretch, but I'm glad I've finally given it a listen.  It has lousy sound quality (most likely due to excessive noise reduction, as I think George mentioned), and his speeds are a bit fast for me at times, although not universally so (I'm hearing BWV 849 now, and it's rather leisurely). 
 
 



By the by, there also seems to be another Gieseking WTC out now, recorded for Saar Radio according to Amazon...

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on July 22, 2011, 01:20:24 PM
A bit late I realize, but I'm currently listening to Gieseking's WTC, Book 1.  I was catching up on this thread and saw it mentioned, and then remembered that I had found a copy at my library last year and ripped it to MP3 along with a bunch of other stuff. 

Overall this is better than I was expecting --

Unfortunately, I was very disappointed in the Gieseking set.  Yes, the sound is poor, but I think Gieseking does nothing to rise above it.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on July 22, 2011, 07:56:12 PM
For 5 bones, could not resist getting this set:

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/Richter011-1.jpg)

Part of the problem there, for me, is that it's quite closely miked and for me that almost kills the music making -- it makes her instrument sound too powerful. All her later harpsichord recordings are like this and for me they are awful to listen to. The Playel she used was a quiet instrument and I guess her producers thought that the public demanded something more in your face. Interpretively the WTC is very interesting and she has a tremendous rhythmic facility. But if you want to hear her at her best you need to go to earlier recordings -- the first A minor English suite (not the second), the Rameau E minor suite. for example.

Still  she is a genius and I'm glad to have her WTC


By the by, there also seems to be another Gieseking WTC out now, recorded for Saar Radio according to Amazon...


I think they are the same performance. Gieseking was on a performance treadmill after the war and some of his records show this.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on November 22, 2011, 10:41:46 AM
I acquired this set about 2 weeks ago.  I'm finding it very rewarding although I'm not sold yet on how she plays Bach's "dark" pieces.


Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on February 07, 2012, 07:17:06 AM
Beyond Robert Levin's are there recordings of the pairs from the WTK -- one, two, many or the whole lot -- played on an organ?


EDIT: All right, I see that Lagacé and one Frederic Desenclos are mentioned already in this thread. If there are others, please let me know. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 07, 2012, 07:44:33 AM
Beyond Robert Levin's are there recordings of the pairs from the WTK -- one, two, many or the whole lot -- played on an organ?

Yes, the whole shebang here:



Extra info and samples: http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-1-2/hnum/7556747

The complete WTC also was recorded by Bernard Lagacé on Analekta (1965 Rudolph von Beckerath organ at the Église Immaculée-Conception, Montreal), as invividual CDs and as a part of his integral recording of Bach's organ works.

Daniel Chorzempa also recorded the two books using different instruments (harpsichord, organ, clavichord & fortepiano), as Levin, but his complete set is sadly OOP.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on February 07, 2012, 10:02:35 AM
Yes, the whole shebang here:



Extra info and samples: http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-1-2/hnum/7556747

The complete WTC also was recorded by Bernard Lagacé on Analekta (1965 Rudolph von Beckerath organ at the Église Immaculée-Conception, Montreal), as invividual CDs and as a part of his integral recording of Bach's organ works.

Daniel Chorzempa also recorded the two books using different instruments (harpsichord, organ, clavichord & fortepiano), as Levin, but his complete set is sadly OOP.

 :)

There is another (or third) version af WTC book II by Christoph Bossert:

Johann Sebastian Bach: Das wohltemperierte Clavier, 2. Teil
24 Präludien und Fugen BWV 870–893
Christoph Bossert, Orgel. Aufgenommen 1998 an der Ehrlich-Orgel der Evangelischen Stadtkirche zu Bad Wimpfen (Deutschland). Ars Musici 1257-2. 3 CD.


It is about five years since I last listened to it. Compared to Desenclos I remember Bossert as being a bit unimaginative, - or maybe I did not listen enough to his interpretation  ;).

http://www.amazon.de/Das-Wohltemperierte-Clavier-Christoph-Bossert/dp/B000023ZTA/ref=sr_1_256?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1328638575&sr=1-256
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on February 07, 2012, 10:07:53 AM
Thanks, gentlemen.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Geo Dude on February 07, 2012, 11:18:50 AM
Now that Schornsheim's WTC has been out for a bit, I'm curious to know what the general consensus on the recording is.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 07, 2012, 11:57:28 AM
There is another (or third) version af WTC book II by Christoph Bossert:

Johann Sebastian Bach: Das wohltemperierte Clavier, 2. Teil
24 Präludien und Fugen BWV 870–893
Christoph Bossert, Orgel. Aufgenommen 1998 an der Ehrlich-Orgel der Evangelischen Stadtkirche zu Bad Wimpfen (Deutschland). Ars Musici 1257-2. 3 CD.


It is about five years since I last listened to it. Compared to Desenclos I remember Bossert as being a bit unimaginative, - or maybe I did not listen enough to his interpretation ;).

http://www.amazon.de/Das-Wohltemperierte-Clavier-Christoph-Bossert/dp/B000023ZTA/ref=sr_1_256?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1328638575&sr=1-256

Yes, who knows, maybe he was interesting, but you weren't interested. ;D

Just for the record: Joseph Payne also plays some multi-instrumental proto-WTC in his recording of the Clavier-Büchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. But there just one of the eleven Praeludium is played on organ, the others on harpsichord and clavichord.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Leo K. on February 07, 2012, 01:42:02 PM
(http://www.fishfinemusic.com.au/product_images/q/662/HMU90743334__82298_std.jpg)

I'm continually returning to Egarr's account of WTC book 2. It's making me love Book 2, whereas before I only respected it. I've never heard any Bach like Egarr's book 1 and 2. Incredible.

 8)

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on February 07, 2012, 02:07:42 PM
Yes, who knows, maybe he was interesting, but you weren't interested. ;D

Wonder if I get the time to listen to it again. There is too much else waiting for me to listen to.

Quote from: Antoine Marchand

Just for the record: Joseph Payne also plays some multi-instrumental proto-WTC in his recording of the Clavier-Büchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. But there just one of the eleven Praeludium is played on organ, the others on harpsichord and clavichord.

One more: I used to own a recording (on LP) by Anthony Newman of book II, where he used organ, harpsichord and clavichord. However I parted with it, as I could not stand his superficial style in the long run.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on February 07, 2012, 02:12:05 PM
(http://www.fishfinemusic.com.au/product_images/q/662/HMU90743334__82298_std.jpg)

I'm continually returning to Egarr's account of WTC book 2. It's making me love Book 2, whereas before I only respected it. I've never heard any Bach like Egarr's book 1 and 2. Incredible.

 8)

Egarr´s recording of Book I turned me off his Bach, and I have not acquired his Book II. I find his Book I sleepy and underarticulated.  Is his Book II that different?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Leo K. on February 07, 2012, 03:29:01 PM
Egarr´s recording of Book I turned me off his Bach, and I have not acquired his Book II. I find his Book I sleepy and underarticulated.  Is his Book II that different?

His Book 2 is in the same style, so you probably wouldn't want it.  Egarr's "cantabile heaven" is all over it. In my opinion it fits book 2 rather well, perhaps better than book 1. Perhaps.

 8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 07, 2012, 10:03:56 PM
His Book 2 is in the same style, so you probably wouldn't want it.  Egarr's "cantabile heaven" is all over it. In my opinion it fits book 2 rather well, perhaps better than book 1. Perhaps.

 8)

While "cantabile heaven" is a nice place to visit now and then, it gets a little tiring when his interpretations lack some drama, incisiveness and excitement.

For about a year now, I've been playing the WTC's from Egarr, Dantone and Ashkenazy non-stop in my vehicle (my favored versions don't leave the house).  Each of the three has its pros and cons.  I really hate that the Dantone only has one track for each prelude/fugue combination; it's a major pain to simply listen to a particular fugue.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Geo Dude on February 08, 2012, 03:54:54 AM
I found Watchorn's WTC 1 (my first experience with the WTC 1) a bit heavy, but his WTC 2 is amazing.  I'll need to do some re-listening, of course, but I'm looking forward to seeing how Dantone's WTC 1 compares.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Leo K. on February 08, 2012, 06:00:26 AM
I found Watchorn's WTC 1 (my first experience with the WTC 1) a bit heavy, but his WTC 2 is amazing.  I'll need to do some re-listening, of course, but I'm looking forward to seeing how Dantone's WTC 1 compares.

I also find Watchorn's WTC 1 a little heavy, but I keep hearing how amazing his WTC 2 is, that may be my next purchase, the samples do sound good too.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Geo Dude on February 08, 2012, 07:05:58 AM
I also find Watchorn's WTC 1 a little heavy, but I keep hearing how amazing his WTC 2 is, that may be my next purchase, the samples do sound good too.

It seems we may have similar tastes, then.  In any case, I've only listened to one disc of the WTC 2 thus far, but it has been jaw-dropping.  I will also say that my concern with dragging tempos and ponderousness which resulted from the fact that it's a three disc set has been proven false.  He hits the fast lane when he feels it's necessary.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 08, 2012, 11:12:39 AM
I just read a Fanfare review of Bach's WTC performed by harpsichordist Edith Picht-Axenfeld.  The reviewer is Christopher Brodersen, and the following comment struck me as pretty stupid:

"I'm always a bit puzzled why harpsichordists should choose to record this music, since (a) there are already a gazillion versions in the catalog, and (b) Bach probably never intended his pedagogical monument for public performance in the first place."

Seems reasonable to me that harpsichordists love to record the WTC because it's the greatest solo harpsichord music ever composed.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 08, 2012, 11:18:30 AM
You're right, Don: Broderson's remark is indefensibly stupid.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Geo Dude on February 08, 2012, 11:31:58 AM
Upon reading that comment I immediately have to wonder if the reviewer feels that pianists shouldn't bother recording it, either.  After all, there are far more piano recordings out there than harpsichord recordings.  Forgive me if I presume too much here, but something about that statement causes me to read it as 'I don't like harpsichord recordings.'
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on February 08, 2012, 11:47:03 AM
Upon reading that comment I immediately have to wonder if the reviewer feels that pianists shouldn't bother recording it, either.  After all, there are far more piano recordings out there than harpsichord recordings.  Forgive me if I presume too much here, but something about that statement causes me to read it as 'I don't like harpsichord recordings.'

I was thinking the same thing.  However, I read a few more Bach harpsichord reviews by Brodersen where that type of bias doesn't seem to exist.

So, I end up just feeling that he made a stupid comment that he'd probably like to take back (like the many that Mitt Romney has made).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 08, 2012, 11:53:35 AM
(like the many that Mitt Romney has made).

And will continue to make . . . .
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: milk on February 08, 2012, 08:18:43 PM
Upon reading that comment I immediately have to wonder if the reviewer feels that pianists shouldn't bother recording it, either.  After all, there are far more piano recordings out there than harpsichord recordings.  Forgive me if I presume too much here, but something about that statement causes me to read it as 'I don't like harpsichord recordings.'
Maybe Brodersen only cares about middle-class harpsichordists.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: kishnevi on February 08, 2012, 09:08:29 PM
Please be fair to Romney.  AFAIK, he's never said anything so superlatively stupid  as Brodersen's comment.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on February 09, 2012, 01:01:36 AM
I just read a Fanfare review of Bach's WTC performed by harpsichordist Edith Picht-Axenfeld.  The reviewer is Christopher Brodersen, and the following comment struck me as pretty stupid:

"I'm always a bit puzzled why harpsichordists should choose to record this music, since (a) there are already a gazillion versions in the catalog, and (b) Bach probably never intended his pedagogical monument for public performance in the first place."

Seems reasonable to me that harpsichordists love to record the WTC because it's the greatest solo harpsichord music ever composed.

Why did he choose to (or not opt out of trying) to review it is beyond me! Even if Bach did not intend this to be performed in the typical sense of the word, doesn't the fact that he [Mr. Broderson] is reviewing a performance lend some credence to the 'musicality' of the work? And if he denies this, then on what basis does he generally review the work??  ???

[All right... I know, I know, this is all obvious, but I just had to get it out.  0:)]


P.S.: Please don't bring politics in here. Otherwise, I will tell on those who do to Uncle Que.  $:)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: PaulSC on February 19, 2012, 10:45:01 AM
I just read a Fanfare review of Bach's WTC performed by harpsichordist Edith Picht-Axenfeld.  The reviewer is Christopher Brodersen, and the following comment struck me as pretty stupid:

"I'm always a bit puzzled why harpsichordists should choose to record this music, since (a) there are already a gazillion versions in the catalog, and (b) Bach probably never intended his pedagogical monument for public performance in the first place."

Seems reasonable to me that harpsichordists love to record the WTC because it's the greatest solo harpsichord music ever composed.

Not to beat a dead horse, but is it really true that “there are already a gazillion versions in the catalog”? Maybe there are more than I realize, but I can't think of more than maybe a dozen WTC recordings on harpsichord that are still in production.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Geo Dude on February 19, 2012, 11:39:03 AM
Not to beat a dead horse, but is it really true that “there are already a gazillion versions in the catalog”? Maybe there are more than I realize, but I can't think of more than maybe a dozen WTC recordings on harpsichord that are still in production.

I'm guessing that the reviewer was speaking of a gazillion piano recordings.  That's the only semi-logical way one can interpret it, and it's still ridiculous.  Sure, there are many recordings of the WTC on a different instrument, so why would harpsichordists bother with it? ::)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Geo Dude on February 26, 2012, 02:25:58 PM
Sorry, I don't have any update to offer.  However, I am very interested in Bk. 1 performed by Rebecca Pechefsky on the Quill Classics label.  Has anyone heard this set?

I listened to the first disc of this set earlier today.  Based on that preliminary listen, I would say it's very...relaxed.  Too much for my tastes.  Tempos are moderate to a fault.  The best way I can think of to put it is that it sounds like Egarr on depressants.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Leo K. on March 05, 2012, 04:47:27 PM
Has anyone heard Martin Stadtfeld? And what to they think?

(http://i.prs.to/t_200/sony88697423712.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on March 06, 2012, 05:47:24 PM
Leonhardt's on ProArte.

(http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iWXCAnShR4w/Tss7488A57I/AAAAAAAACqM/zSyRwRJtnMA/s800/DSC03465.JPG)

Did Leonhardt actually record for Pro-Arte or is this some re-issue?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier-Leonhardt/ProArte
Post by: Coopmv on March 06, 2012, 06:26:16 PM
The back of the informative 12-page note-insert that came with the set states it was recorded June 1969, and that it is copyrighted by Deutsche-Harmonia Mundi, and licensed under agreement with them.

This issue is from 1981.

So the now defunct Pro-Arte was like BC.  I have Leonhardt's Goldberg Variations on Pro-Arte as well ...
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scion7 on March 06, 2012, 06:32:04 PM
And I must have not been paying attention because my stupid first post is in the WRONG TOPIC - should have been under the Art of Fugue thread.

Crimeny!

removed and posted where it belongs
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 06, 2012, 09:39:20 PM
Has anyone heard Martin Stadtfeld? And what to they think?

(http://i.prs.to/t_200/sony88697423712.jpg)

So far, I like the set.  Stadtfeld displays plenty of exuberance when needed as well as a very dark character in the slow and remorseful pieces.  Nothing eccentric goes on, although the very quick last prelude/fugue set did surprise me, especially the "power-up" fugue performance.

Just two negatives from my end.  I would have liked stronger accenting in the fast pieces; some of the "runs" are not well detailed.  As usual with me, I found the sound rather wet; the Prelude in C major was dripping with moisture.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on March 06, 2012, 10:02:44 PM
As usual with me, I found the sound rather wet; the Prelude in C major was dripping with moisture.

There are wet piano recordings too?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 06, 2012, 10:25:55 PM
There are wet piano recordings too?

Sure, any instrument/voice is potentially in the "wet zone".
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Leo K. on March 07, 2012, 08:33:09 AM
So far, I like the set.  Stadtfeld displays plenty of exuberance when needed as well as a very dark character in the slow and remorseful pieces.  Nothing eccentric goes on, although the very quick last prelude/fugue set did surprise me, especially the "power-up" fugue performance.

Just two negatives from my end.  I would have liked stronger accenting in the fast pieces; some of the "runs" are not well detailed.  As usual with me, I found the sound rather wet; the Prelude in C major was dripping with moisture.

Much thanks! I will go ahead and get this recording.

 8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Feijenoord on March 07, 2012, 03:59:58 PM
I recently tried (for maybe the fourth or fifth time) to listen to Leonhardt on the WTC. Again, I had to stop and suffered from a terrible headache afterwards. I still don't understand why would one play, and even less listen, to such a barbaric instrument as the harpsichord. The piano is so much more poetic, technically superior, had he known it certainly Bach would never have played the harpsichord again ! I love the WTC by great pianist Andras Schiff, it must be my favourite (I never really liked Gould). You don't know anything about Bach if you don't know this interpretation.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Antoine Marchand on March 07, 2012, 04:44:19 PM
We hadn't had one of these for some time. I had even forgotten how they look. Anyway, this one is particularly unrefined.  :(
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 07, 2012, 05:35:11 PM
We hadn't had one of these for some time. I had even forgotten how they look. Anyway, this one is particularly unrefined.  :(

Didn't there used to be a nest of them around here somewhere? ::)

Actually, Bach did have a go at a piano. He wasn't impressed. Nor am I, actually. He might have written his music differently for a different instrument, but one can hardly call that an improvement. If Robin Hood had a machine gun, he would have never used the bow and arrow again...   >:D

8)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidW on March 07, 2012, 05:40:21 PM
I think that Leonhardt is awesome in the WTC and Art of the Fugue, but that's just me. :)

I understand that the sound of the harpsichord is not for everyone, I prefer the piano also, but I think that Leonhardt's artistry really shines.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 07, 2012, 06:52:51 PM
I recently tried (for maybe the fourth or fifth time) to listen to Leonhardt on the WTC. Again, I had to stop and suffered from a terrible headache afterwards. I still don't understand why would one play, and even less listen, to such a barbaric instrument as the harpsichord. The piano is so much more poetic, technically superior, had he known it certainly Bach would never have played the harpsichord again ! I love the WTC by great pianist Andras Schiff, it must be my favourite (I never really liked Gould). You don't know anything about Bach if you don't know this interpretation.

You must be new in these parts.  Try not to be so highly opinionated and unreasonable.

I do have sympathy for your low pain threshold, but you need to understand that many Bach enthusiasts have no problem listening to a harpsichord for hours on end.  Put another way, your personal preferences do not define how Bach should be played; mine do (kidding).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on March 07, 2012, 08:19:01 PM
You must be new in these parts.  Try not to be so highly opinionated and unreasonable.

I do have sympathy for your low pain threshold, but you need to understand that many Bach enthusiasts have no problem listening to a harpsichord for hours on end.  Put another way, your personal preferences do not define how Bach should be played; mine do (kidding).

Well, the sound of that Leonhardt WTC release is a little "hot" and piercing, particularly Book II. Not so bad on speakers though.
That's a good rule of thumb for any harpsichord recordings or mono recordings especially, no? They always sound better on speakers than headphones.

Incidentally, there's a Japanese DSD remaster that's noticeably better.
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B001IZ5B2I/
also apparently in non hybrid sacd form in this box set, which is the same price. But only the Goldberg Variations are also similarly remastered, it would appear.
http://www.amazon.co.jp/バッハ-鍵盤作品集成-レオンハルト-グスタフ/dp/B001TGU7BQ/


Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 07, 2012, 08:31:06 PM
Well, the sound of that Leonhardt WTC release is a little "hot" and piercing, particularly Book II. Not so bad on speakers though.
That's a good rule of thumb for any harpsichord recordings or mono recordings especially, no? They always sound better on speakers than headphones.

These are personal things.  Can't say I prefer harpsichord or mono recordings on speakers.  For me, the speaker preference is with orchestral music.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Bulldog on March 07, 2012, 08:35:47 PM
If Robin Hood had a machine gun, he would have never used the bow and arrow again...   >:D

8)

I laugh every time I read this sentence. ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Clever Hans on March 07, 2012, 09:02:40 PM
These are personal things.  Can't say I prefer harpsichord or mono recordings on speakers.  For me, the speaker preference is with orchestral music.

I don't think it's as simple as personal preference.

Granted there is the intellectual intimacy of headphones, which may be preferred.

But not in terms of a recording sounding more "natural", i.e. with greater depth and acoustic presence. I think one can say there is a fundamental physical difference with speakers. Orchestras have very limited resonance on headphones, even if parts could potentially be more clearly heard.

Old mono recordings, like Schnabel's, sound small on headphones but take on new life when they have an actual room in which to breathe.
I find this also applies to harpsichord harmonics.

And rock and roll, forget about it, no contest.

Besides what kind of nerd enjoys a drink and reposes with headphones on?  ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Scion7 on March 08, 2012, 01:33:13 AM
Don't understand how the harpsichord can give you a headache - unless you had the volume up to high.
"Barbaric" instrument?  Wha?

The only barbaric instrument I know is a "turntable" - when some idiot thought that moving a record back/forth with his hand - resulting in the obvious noise - constituted music a la hip-hop.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on May 10, 2012, 08:49:50 AM
The border between organ- and harpsichord/clavichord music was not fixed that clear in these days. Many pieces fall in the grey zone e.g. the manualiter pieces of CÜ III, the manualiter toccatas, the concerto transcriptions manualiter, the WTC to mention a few, which just being keyboard music work well on both instruments. So there was no need for transcription.

Can you recommend an organ recording of WTC?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on May 10, 2012, 09:19:32 AM
Can you recommend an organ recording of WTC?

I'm not premont, but I asked the same question some time ago, and his reply is included there for your convenience. :)

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,768.msg599453.html#msg599453
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on May 10, 2012, 09:23:49 AM
I'm not premont, but I asked the same question some time ago, and his reply is included there for your convenience. :)

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,768.msg599453.html#msg599453

Cool. Desenclos is on Spotify so it's easy to try out.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on May 10, 2012, 10:28:33 AM
Can you recommend an organ recording of WTC?

I know three and a half complete recordings on organ of Book I and II:

Louis Thiery (Arion).
A symphatic somewhat pure sounding version with nice part playing in the fugues.

Bernard Lagacé (Analecta).
A fair and relative non interventionalist version on a rather unsensational organ.

Frédéric Desenclos (Triton).
A somewhat strict version, spiritually it reminds me of Walcha´s WTC, but it is more informed.

Christoph Bossert (Ars Musici - only Book II).
More non interventionalist than Lagacé and not that exiting.

Which one I prefer?

1) Desenclos
2) Thiery
3) Lagacé
4) Bossert



Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: milk on May 11, 2012, 07:04:27 AM
I know three and a half complete recordings on organ of Book I and II:

Louis Thiery (Arion).
A symphatic somewhat pure sounding version with nice part playing in the fugues.

Bernard Lagacé (Analecta).
A fair and relative non interventionalist version on a rather unsensational organ.

Frédéric Desenclos (Triton).
A somewhat strict version, spiritually it reminds me of Walcha´s WTC, but it is more informed.

Christoph Bossert (Ars Musici - only Book II).
More non interventionalist than Lagacé and not that exiting.

Which one I prefer?

1) Desenclos
2) Thiery
3) Lagacé
4) Bossert
Interesting. I was just sampling the Frédéric Desenclos (after reading your post). I'm wondering, how drawn are you to this music played on organ?
Does it all work well this way? Does it add to your enjoyment of the WTC? I love Levin's limited use of organ on his recording (but I also love the variety of instruments therein).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: (: premont :) on May 11, 2012, 07:26:37 AM
Interesting. I was just sampling the Frédéric Desenclos (after reading your post). I'm wondering, how drawn are you to this music played on organ?
Does it all work well this way? Does it add to your enjoyment of the WTC? I love Levin's limited use of organ on his recording (but I also love the variety of instruments therein).

I think it generally works well on organ, but some of the P&F´s work better than others (e.g. a-minor form Book I, E-major and  B flat-minor from Book II). All in all though I prefer the work played on harpsichord. Being fed up with the work on harpsichord I may however be biased. In Bach´s time it was natural to play keyboard works like this on the keyboard instrument one had at hand. Levin and Chorzempa play only some of the P&F´s on organ - obviously the ones they think are suited for organ. If you want, I can make a small survey of their recordings as to which instrument they use in which pieces.

Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on May 11, 2012, 07:04:00 PM
What happened to Don? I see he quit the site recently.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Sammy on May 11, 2012, 07:52:17 PM
What happened to Don? I see he quit the site recently.

I'm still here; just changed my name.  Being in the Witness Protection Program has its disadvantages. ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: DavidRoss on May 12, 2012, 03:47:57 AM
I'm still here; just changed my name.  Being in the Witness Protection Program has its disadvantages. ;D
Yeah, but...all the pizza you can eat?!
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on May 12, 2012, 08:36:29 AM
A couple of random WTC things.

1. I've been dipping into Walcha's second record on DG over the past few days. In fact it doesn't seem that different to the first one -- or have I missed something? I know he uses a restored harpsichord for DG, but the Ammer doesn't sound too bad. On the contrary. And I know he takes more repeats for DG, but he often just uses a stop to mark the repeat. The basic conception of the music seems the same to me, though I do slightly prefer the DG, but I couldn't say why.

Anyway the DG one seems out of print. I'll put it on symphonyshare if anyone signals an interest.


2. The WTC that has given me the most pleasure recently -- maybe the most pleasure ever -- is Rubsam's selection on Naxos. What a shame he doesn't play more! It's made me hungry for a clavichord version, with a nice instrument, but played more flexibly than Kirkpatrick's (which I like in fact.) I.e. I want a clavichord version played with rubato Rubsam style. Suggestions appreciated.

Maybe Bach preferred clavichord to harpsichord for for the expression of his most refined thoughts.  It seems strange that there aren't more clavichord recordings from HIP musicians. Or maybe I've missed them.


Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on May 12, 2012, 08:59:38 AM
It seems strange that there aren't more clavichord recordings from HIP musicians.

It could be due to the notorious issue of the volume of the instrument as heard through an audio system (as opposed to playing it or sitting next to someone who is in a household room).
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on May 12, 2012, 09:14:05 AM
It could be due to the notorious issue of the volume of the instrument as heard through an audio system (as opposed to playing it or sitting next to someone who is in a household room).

That's interesting -- you mean most people play it too loud through their hi-fis?

If I remember right Kirkpatrick issued a warning on his CD to keep the volume down -- and that certainly seems to improve the listening experience for me.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on May 12, 2012, 09:22:08 AM
That's interesting -- you mean most people play it too loud through their hi-fis?

If I remember right Kirkpatrick issued a warning on his CD to keep the volume down -- and that certainly seems to improve the listening experience for me.

Hi- or low-fi, speaking from personal experience, the instrument as heard through speakers at a "normal" volume is hard to hear and appreciate. And I've read others complain of the same problem. But given how much CPE (don't know about JS) loved his instrument, I imagine that it sounds better in person.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Coopmv on May 12, 2012, 09:28:16 AM
That's interesting -- you mean most people play it too loud through their hi-fis?

If I remember right Kirkpatrick issued a warning on his CD to keep the volume down -- and that certainly seems to improve the listening experience for me.

Is this supposed to be the difference between hi-fi vs, mid-fi and lo-fi and that is real hi-fi should have excellent resolution that you can hear the details of your music at low volume?
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on May 12, 2012, 09:34:44 AM
Hi- or low-fi, speaking from personal experience, the instrument as heard through speakers at a "normal" volume is hard to hear and appreciate. And I've read others complain of the same problem. But given how much CPE (don't know about JS) loved his instrument, I imagine that it sounds better in person.

The idea that JSB liked the clavichord  comes from Forkel who says he learnt it from interviews with JSB's sons. I think there's a suggestion that JSB actively disliked the harpsichord (too soulless) and the piano (crude)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Opus106 on May 12, 2012, 09:37:09 AM
The idea that JSB liked the clavichord  comes from Forkel.

Thanks. He could well have; I do not intend to argue against the notion. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Sammy on May 12, 2012, 10:41:02 AM
Is this supposed to be the difference between hi-fi vs, mid-fi and lo-fi and that is real hi-fi should have excellent resolution that you can hear the details of your music at low volume?

I doubt it.  It's simply that the clavichord is a very intimate instrument and playing a recording at a high volume level will distort the pleasures of listening to the instrument and blow its intimate nature out of the water.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Sammy on May 12, 2012, 10:48:54 AM
The idea that JSB liked the clavichord  comes from Forkel who says he learnt it from interviews with JSB's sons. I think there's a suggestion that JSB actively disliked the harpsichord (too soulless) and the piano (crude)

Do you subscribe to the premise that the harpsichord lacks soul?  From the dozens of years I've listened to harpsichord recordings, the only deficiency of soul comes from the performer.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: milk on May 12, 2012, 05:58:34 PM
I think it generally works well on organ, but some of the P&F´s work better than others (e.g. a-minor form Book I, E-major and  B flat-minor from Book II). All in all though I prefer the work played on harpsichord. Being fed up with the work on harpsichord I may however be biased. In Bach´s time it was natural to play keyboard works like this on the keyboard instrument one had at hand. Levin and Chorzempa play only some of the P&F´s on organ - obviously the ones they think are suited for organ. If you want, I can make a small survey of their recordings as to which instrument they use in which pieces.
Thanks for the response. I have the Levin but not the Chorzempa. I'm a little confused because it's hard to find information about the Chorzempa recording. So, he plays harpsichord on some of the P&F's? I'm not sure I fully understand your post. Why are you fed up with the work on harpsichord? I'm trying to temper my need to collect everything (except piano recordings - which I haven't listened to in years). Maybe I should be satisfied with what I have, unless people feel like other organ recordings of the WTC are revelatory. I feel like I have all the essential recordings of the WTC but somehow still want more. I was disappointed by Christine Schornsheim. I liked some of the samples of the Frédéric Desenclos. I guess I'm trying to decide if I really need it in my life.   
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Mandryka on May 14, 2012, 10:39:55 AM
The Charles Sanford Terry translation of Forkel's monograph says that JSB thought that the harpsichord is "susceptible of great variety of tone" and that he also thought that it is "lacking in soul."

It would be interesting (to me) to know what concept the word "soul" translates, and indeed the word "tone." I can't read German well enough to find out myself.

Forkel goes on to say that he thought the Clavichord "the best instrument." There's a footnote to say that this may not be accurate,  since he had no clavichords when he died.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Sadko on May 14, 2012, 02:12:30 PM
The Charles Sanford Terry translation of Forkel's monograph says that JSB thought that the harpsichord is "susceptible of great variety of tone" and that he also thought that it is "lacking in soul."

It would be interesting (to me) to know what concept the word "soul" translates, and indeed the word "tone." I can't read German well enough to find out myself.

Forkel goes on to say that he thought the Clavichord "the best instrument." There's a footnote to say that this may not be accurate,  since he had no clavichords when he died.

If you have the German text I can have a look at it.
Title: Re: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier
Post by: Man