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J S Bach - The Well-Tempered Clavier [Box set]

Vladimir Feltsman , Johann Sebastian Bach , none Audio CD

Price: 19.15 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

Disc: 1
1. Book 1. Prelude & Fugue Nos. 1-12
Disc: 2
1. Book 1. Prelude & Fugue Nos. 13-24
Disc: 3
1. Book 2. Prelude Nos. 1-12
Disc: 4
1. Book 2. Prelude Nos. 13-24

Product Description

Livre I, BWV 846 - 869 + Livre II, BWV 870 - 893 / Vladimir Feltsman, piano

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great WTC from a great Bach player 9 Mar 2010
By jsa - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Goodness knows, there are a lot of highly regarded sets of The Well-Tempered Clavier to choose from; however, if you're looking for just one set my vote goes to this outstanding survey by Vladimir Feltsman. My points of reference for the WTC are Fischer and Richter, who take different approaches from each other and from Feltsman as well. Feltsman doesn't ruminate the way Richter often does, nor does he take off in manic spurts of speed the way Fisher sometimes does. Instead he focuses on structure while always finding the music in the notes. It's a joy to hear the pianist moving things forward, but never rushing, finding and expressing poetry and at the same time always mindful of the dance-like elements in the scores.

The two books of the WTC add up to a lot of notes, and even though I rarely listen to more than one book of preludes at a sitting this can still lead to listener fatigue after a while, something that I was especially susceptible to when playing Richter's recording. This is never the case with Feltsman. (By the way, there are four hours and forty of minutes of music spread over four discs in this set. While most sets of the WTC are issued on four discs, Ashkenazy's recent set on Decca has been compressed onto three discs, which in my view is a negative for listeners who would prefer not to have the books split unevenly between discs.)

Recorded in 1992 (Book 1) and 1995 (Book 2), and originally released by MusicMasters, this newly reissued set from Nimbus also benefits from high production standards. The set was produced and engineered by Max Wilcox, who produced nearly sixty of Artur Rubinstein's recordings for RCA, and it's no surprise that the musical results as well as the sound are superb.

Very highly recommended!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best! 14 Sep 2012
By A customer - Published on Amazon.com
This collection is by far one of the best recordings of the WTC available today. I have listened to many recordings including those of Glenn Gould, Angela Hewitt, Andras Schiff, and Till Felner, and have to say this is my favorite. Till Felner's recording of the first book comes in at a close second and might even have tied for first if he had recorded both books of the WTC instead of just book one.
At times, Feltsman employs a deatched touch that results in a quasi-Gouldian tone. However, unlike Gould, Feltsman varies his articulation (I love Gould's spikey, rhythm-driven approach, but it is not always appropriate). Schiff and Hewitt are too "proper" for my taste. While they are creative in their phrasing, they are not as creative in their articulation. Schiff has a beautiful legato, but EVERY prelude and Fugue is legato. Felner suffers from the same over-romantic touch. If you are looking for an interpretation as varied in style and ingenuity as the pieces themselves, this is the set for you! It can be tiresome to listen to so much polyphonic music in one sitting, but Feltsman's diverse approach gives each prelude and fugue a distinctive character eliminating the fatigue experienced whilst listening to other performances. I second the other reviewer's remarks about sound quality, Feltsman's recording engineers did a superb job.
3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shippped fast, very happy 9 May 2010
By Rivergirl - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I gave this as a gift and the recipient has been extremely happy with it, she loves this pianist. He plays very clearly and expressively (she tells me), and this recording is excellent. And I am happy it arrived (to me) very quickly, even with Super Saver shipping.
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