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Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier, Book 2 [CD]

Friedrich Gulda Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier, Book 2 + Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier Bk I
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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Aug 2009)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B0000041D0
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,976 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Prelude
2. Fugue
3. Prelude
4. Fugue
5. Prelude
6. Fugue
7. Prelude
8. Fugue
9. Prelude
10. Fugue
See all 26 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Prelude
2. Fugue
3. Prelude
4. Fugue
5. Prelude
6. Fugue
7. Prelude
8. Fugue
9. Prelude
10. Fugue
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Description

PHI 4465482; PHILIPS; Classica da camera Cembalo

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best interpretation of well-tempered ever 21 April 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Gulda forces you to listen to every tone. He demands you to listen. When other versions let your thoughts wander and you can daydream away, Gulda insist you are here in the moment. This is my favorite meditation-music.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best WTC (aside Tureck's) 7 Sep 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Gulda's WTC is still the best on the market, aside R. Tureck's legendary versions. Just listen!
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5 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another competent and workmanlike performance 28 Feb 2002
Format:Audio CD
Like its companion, WTC I, this is a competently executed rendition of the complete set of the second keyboard studies that Bach wrote for keyboard. Together with the first book, this makes a convenient and reasonably priced collection of some of Bach's more accessible works. Recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best WTC 29 Dec 2002
By Max Berglund - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
In my opinion the best recording of the WTC. Gulda gives very personal readings while remaining true to the score. Some people may find the preludes a bit rough and loud, but Gulda only plays that way when it suits the music. He also presents some of the best versions yet heard, like the preludes in C major, E major and F minor. The fugues, on the other hand, are unbeliavable: crystal clear and razor sharp. Gulda's choice of rather slow tempos comes to wonderful effect in fugues like the C minor, D sharp minor and F sharp minor (which, played by Gulda, is one of my favorite pieces of music all categories). I fully agree with the reviewer before - with the WTC you should get to know quite a few versions in order to find what's most to your liking. As for me, I've listened a lot to Gould's, Jandó's and Richter's recordings apart from this one. They all have great qualities, but If I was forced to choose only one which to listen to in the future (horrible thought) Gulda's is the one.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating and Inspiring Too 9 Dec 2004
By BLee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Gulda is so impressive in his interpretations. There are perhaps a piece or two where he perhaps went too far: the opening prelude in C is rather fast rather at the expense of lyricism. Likewise, the prelude in F is too fast to delight the general audience.

But Gulda's sense of momentum is so remarkable ( Martha, his former pupil, must have got it from him.) This momentum-- an important factor of the sense of urgency-- call be seen in Fugue in C, Fugue in C Sharp Minor, Fugue in G Minor, and Prelude in B, in fact almost all pieces.Moreover, despite some occasional harsh hotes, Gulda was very lyrical and poetic on the whole.

In conclusion, they are rather illuminating, and the price is good too. the recorded sound is also slightly better than Richter's set.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reference 9 Mar 2013
By D. J. Leedham - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The sonics alone are worth the price. The sound quality is superb, from mic. placement and (una chorda) tuning. Technical attention to detail worthy of Bach himself! It is a great regret that I did not find this and his Book 1 much sooner. There are many excellent recordings these days and all well worth the time to really listen to. I found Gulda the way I have found all the other version of WTC 1&2 - by hearing the artist play something else that really impressed me. So that I felt I could trust him or her to help towards answering the questions I have for this music. With Gulda it was his Beethoven piano and cello, with the truly great Fournier. Landowska's Italian Concert gave me goose bumps. So she was the first WTC I ever heard. Bachaus and Richter first taught me Beethoven sonatas, so I got Richters's WTC. And, so, two questions always form the background to my listening to WTC. First about what Bach was finding as he constructed them and second, what Beethoven was hearing and learning as he played them, as a young man earning his bread.

Schiff has much to say about this last question as it reflects in Beethoven's late piano sonatas and quartets. It is there in his latest recording of WTC. And I love Hewitt's Goldberg variations. There's something about her understanding of the space between the notes that reminds me of Herman Walcha's playing. For me, still the greatest Bach Organist. So the very latest recordings of WTC still offer me more insight into my two principle questions.

So why bother with Gulda?

Pure musical intelligence.

The sheer musical intelligence in Gulda's performance rewards repeated listening. It just doesn't get stale. Other performances I've heard are highly studied and carefully, even brilliantly, crafted. Worthy of a hair raising live performance. But repeated hearing of recorded perfection can become stale. Not so with wonderful Gulda.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative but uneven Bach 17 Jan 2013
By klavierspiel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Friedrich Gulda's readings of the Bach WTC are considered among the top available on the piano of this monumental work, so it was a gap in my listening repertory that I hadn't encountered them before. After listening to his rendition of the second volume, I'm not altogether sold. Gulda is obviously deeply committed both musically and emotionally to the Preludes and Fugues, and his interpretations can be revelatory. I can single out the G-sharp minor Prelude and Fugue No. 18, where the Prelude is performed more slowly than in many readings, gaining a surprising weight; conversely, the staccato, extremely fast rendering of the Fugue is entrancingly airy and charming, as well as being an astonishing technical feat. Gulda's mastery of voicing and clarity of textures are wondrous to the ear. So what's not to like? I can't get past his apparent desire to wring more profundity out of some of the slower, more serious pieces than they can comfortably bear; the very first Prelude is a case in point, where banged out downbeats and clangorous tone are inadequate substitutes for the grand line this piece ought to have. The F major Prelude is an extreme misfire; Gulda seems to be trying for a carillon-like joyousness, but the piece sounds merely noisy and overpedaled, while the succeeding Fugue plods instead of dances. The wide dynamic range of the recording emphasizes the lack of truly liquid, sensuous tone. In short, Gulda's interpretation has undoubted authority, even if you can't always agree with what is being presented.
1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sound Quality is distracting 21 Sep 2008
By William Gibbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've owned and listened to this CD (2 disc set) for the last several months.

The main thing, that I hear, is the lacking Sound Quality (SQ) of the disc mastering, which is why I'm giving it only 3 stars.

The performance itself is rather good. But I keep getting distracted by the lacking SQ. :(

I was puzzled that the December 2004 review said "...the recorded sound is also slightly better than Richter's set." To my ear, the Richter set (of which I only own Book 1 ) has decent SQ, and I'm able to listen to the performance.

Anyway and for what it is worth, I did not personally rate either the December 2004 review nor the 2 other owner reviews.
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