Author Topic: Gulda WTC  (Read 1213 times)

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Offline Holden

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Gulda WTC
« on: May 27, 2012, 02:31:58 PM »
Spotify has just landed in Australia and compared to illicit version I was listening to via a VPN the sound is much improved for the free version. So I was browsing LvB sonatas and typed in Gulda. Scrolling down the list of recordings I saw the complete WTC and just thought I'd sample. P&F 1 was quite good but when the C minor Prelude came up I really sat up and took notice. None of the breakneck pace of Richter and Feinberg but played seemingly without pedal and at a pace to bring out all the contrapuntal elements - even thought this is not a fugue. Further sampling seems to indicate a very personal view of this masterwork that I am not averse to.

As I said before, Gulda eschews the sustain pedal wherever he can. Is he trying to create a clavier sound (harpsichord) on the piano. One benefit of this approach is amazing clarity of texture, especially in the fugues.

Does anyone have this set who can comment further?


Offline Todd

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Re: Gulda WTC
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2012, 03:04:16 PM »
Does anyone have this set who can comment further?

I don't know if Gulda was trying to emulate a different instrument's sound, but his light pedaling, clarity, and customary rhythmic vitality make for a great listen.  It’s been a long while since last I listened to it.  Only Edwin Ficher’s is better to my ears, and for totally different reasons – and his command is nowhere near Gulda’s.  I may have to revisit this soon, now that I think about it.
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Re: Gulda WTC
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2012, 06:23:38 PM »
I have it as a pair of Philips[Decca/London/whatever label they're using now for these things] Duos.  I have not listened to it enough to make a valid comparison, but my basic reaction was positive--and to put that into context,  I've come to have a decided preference for the WTC (but not all Bach keyboard works) to be played on the harpsichord.    I've got three other WTCs on piano:  Ashkenazy, Gould, and Hewitt, and at the moment I would say I prefer Gulda to at least the first two.

Offline Sammy

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Re: Gulda WTC
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2012, 08:59:40 PM »
I agree with all that's been said about Gulda's version and would only add that there's a "determination" to the interpretations that I find totally compelling.

Offline jwinter

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Re: Gulda WTC
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 03:06:06 PM »
Gulda's has long been my favorite WTC, for just the reasons of texture and clarity that you cite.  I love the transparency of Bach on the harpsichord, but I prefer the piano's tone generally -- Gulda is like the best of both worlds.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice