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Wohltemperierte Klavierbo [Import]

Gustav Leonhardt Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Jan 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Germany
  • ASIN: B000026N7C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,785 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C major, BWV 846
2. Prelude and Fugue No. 2 in C minor, BWV 847
3. Prelude and Fugue No. 3 in C sharp major, BWV 848
4. Prelude and Fugue No. 4 in C sharp minor, BWV 849
5. Prelude and Fugue No. 5 in D major, BWV 850
6. Prelude and Fugue No. 6 in D minor, BWV 851
7. Prelude and Fugue No. 7 in E flat major, BWV 852
8. Prelude and Fugue No. 8 in E flat minor, BWV 853
9. Prelude and Fugue No. 9 in E major, BWV 854
10. Prelude and Fugue No. 10 in E minor, BWV 855
11. Prelude and Fugue No. 11 in F major, BWV 856
12. Prelude and Fugue No. 12 in F minor, BWV 857
13. Prelude and Fugue No. 13 in F sharp major, BWV 858
14. Prelude and Fugue No. 14 in F sharp minor, BWV 859
15. Prelude and Fugue No. 15 in G major, BWV 860
16. Prelude and Fugue No. 16 in G minor, BWV 861
17. Prelude and Fugue No. 17 in A flat major, BWV 862
18. Prelude and Fugue No. 18 in G sharp minor, BWV 863
19. Prelude and Fugue No. 19 in A major, BWV 864
20. Prelude and Fugue No. 20 in A minor, BWV 865
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 11 Sep 2009
Format:Audio CD
This is by far the best interpretation on harpsichord of Bach's "Well-tempered clavier". Gustav Leonhardt's playing is nothing but superb. Very well recorded between '62 and '72, the sound of this cd is much better than you expect from a late 80's digital remaster, resulting in a warm, dynamic and detailed sound.
I strongly recommend this cd as well as the second book (even better...), before it gets unavailable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Superb playing, but 3 Nov 2010
Format:Audio CD
The playing is superb, and Gustav Leonhardt's reputation is not for nothing but...
There is a rather uncompromising harshness in the instrument he plays and in its tuning temperament, both of which detract from some of the more emotional content of many of Bach's pieces and conveys sometimes a mechanistic feeling to the music. Listen for example to the particularly chromatic and emotionally intense Book 1, 24th Fugue.

For these reasons I have sympathy for some of the piano versions of these glorious works which, possibly, arguably, have scope for expressing the nuances in this music that surpasses the harpsichord, albeit anachronistically.

Having said this I am also still looking for a harpsichord version that has the best of these two worlds, and I suspect at the moment that the Kenneth Gilbert interpretation is it, for the above reasons ....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great performance of a great piece 21 Mar 2005
By Douglas Flummer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Gustav Leonhardt is one of the great keyboardists of the 20th century, and a great interpreter of Bach. The Well-Tempered Clavier may be one of the great keyboard works in the history of music. Put these two factors together and you have the potential for a great piece of work. His performance here is sublime. He likes to pay particular attention to voicings, textures and pacing, and it shows. Excellent attention to detail, revealed in a well-recorded performance. An excellent addition to anyone's collection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bach, true Bach 19 Sep 2009
By Rev. A. Trethowan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A great interpretation of J.S. Bach, a little dry, a litte cerebral, very accurate to the period in both style and technique, and great to listen to. This is music of the mind that sometimes touches the heart.

Tony Trethowan
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best version of this work 5 Sep 2008
By Uncle Freak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is the best version of The Well Tempered Clavier of every time and every instrument by Gustav Leonhardt, founder and greatest exponent of "on period" movement. Get the second book of this Bach work by the same performer and the same label, it's even much better...
5.0 out of 5 stars The best performance of an amazing work! 26 Jan 2012
By Alan J. Koziol - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I don't know what more could be said after reading the reviews already here (except for the two boneheads who criticized it). Gustav is always the best performer of any Bach piece he played on harpsichord. Period. This is NOT recorded too loud ("loudness wars" my eye). It is one of my softer CD's for sure. Gustav does play quite loud in the fortissimo passages, but that is good, quiet in pianissimo too, great dynamics. He also is playing the most precisely accurate interpretation by doing so. I have both part 1 and part 2 and HIGHLY recommend them!
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Ralph Kirkpatrick (in my opinion) 10 April 2011
By Mr. Carl G. Tuckwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have yet to hear an harpsichordist who can top the Harvard boy (Ralph Kirkpatrick). Of course, that is only my opinion, but that is what Amazon is asking for.

Nonetheless, there are a handful of tracks where I think Gustav rivals Ralph.

It's a shame that each Prelude & Fugue aren't on separate tracks (I mostly prefer only one or the other), but two pieces per track aren't that hard to separate.

It's quite amazing what Bach did - to compose such beautiful and/or profound miniatures for every key, and in the older, early-Baroque counterpoint-style of his predecessors (unlike the then "modern" late-Baroque style of Handel & Telemann who were prefiguring the soon-to-arrive boring Classical Period I-IV-V compositions.

If you have an ear for detail, and love Early Music, this is a good buy. It's a great shame that Deutsche Grammophon won't put Ralph Kirkpatrick's performance on CD (I still have their vinyl release). (Deutsche Grammophon have put Dr. Kirkpatrick's Clavier performance of this work on CD, but the Clavier is far inferior to the harpsichord in richness of sound.)

[It occurs to me that I've reviewed this before, but I'm not sure, and Amazon have asked me for a review just recently. Could it be a bug in their software?)
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