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6 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warm Bach on the Bosendorfer.
On first hearing, I felt that Gulda pulled some of the pieces about a bit. But repeated listening has brought growing appreciation. The interpretations are thoughtful, and the Bosendorfer has that warm sound. This is not 'clinical' Bach. These are very agreeable renditions. Fascinating to compare with the lyrical set by Nikolayeva (with lovely recorded sound) and the...
Published on 12 Jan. 2004 by David B

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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Err....let's leave the composing to Bach
This just isn't the WTC that I know and love and worship and play every day. I won't disagree for a minute that the pieces are played with great attention to detail, every suspension and theme entry is picked out with clarity. And tempo-wise, I agree with the pace of nearly every pair. What I disagree with is the interpretation of some of the pieces here.
The nature...
Published on 8 Jan. 2005 by count_mushnik


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warm Bach on the Bosendorfer., 12 Jan. 2004
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David B "Piano David" (GOUROCK, Renfrewshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier Bk I (Audio CD)
On first hearing, I felt that Gulda pulled some of the pieces about a bit. But repeated listening has brought growing appreciation. The interpretations are thoughtful, and the Bosendorfer has that warm sound. This is not 'clinical' Bach. These are very agreeable renditions. Fascinating to compare with the lyrical set by Nikolayeva (with lovely recorded sound) and the wayward (but often exciting Glenn Gould version.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Err....let's leave the composing to Bach, 8 Jan. 2005
This review is from: Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier Bk I (Audio CD)
This just isn't the WTC that I know and love and worship and play every day. I won't disagree for a minute that the pieces are played with great attention to detail, every suspension and theme entry is picked out with clarity. And tempo-wise, I agree with the pace of nearly every pair. What I disagree with is the interpretation of some of the pieces here.
The nature of the WTC (no expression marks except in the B minor pair) means that every person is going to play each prelude and fugue in a different way, and I absolutely accept that - but some of Gulda's playing goes too far for me. Take for example the C sharp minor fugue with its mysterious chromaticism. In my opinion this fugue starts pianissimo, builds in the middle, and ebbs away at the end. Instead, Gulda plays it a resounding fortissimo all the way through, destroying any subtlety.
Another aspect of this recording I dislike is the recording quality - listening to this disc sounds like an upright piano and microphone have been placed in a very tiny cork lined room. There is no resonance whatsoever, the sound is beyond dry. I'm not asking for echoing caves, but I'm not sure what happened to the acoustics here.
And my final gripe, which the title refers to, are the improvised inverted mordents which pepper this recording. I'm confident these aren't written by Bach (I have an urtext edition, and they aren't in there) so why Gulda thinks he has the right to add some in I don't know. Perhaps there is some convention among Baroque pianists about this, I'm no musicologist so I wouldn't know, but personally it drives me round the bend - especially when serene pieces like the C major prelude are ruined by a little inverted mordent on the last note.
So basically, if you don't want a recording of this timelessly immortal and perfect work that sounds like it's been recorded in someone's airing cupboard on an ancient upright piano commandeered by someone with an unhealthy obsession with trilly ornaments - stay away.
(Though, having said that, I have to hand it to him with the C sharp major pair - spot on! Wonderful playing.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best WTC (aside Tureck's), 7 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier Bk I (Audio CD)
Gulda's WTC is still the best on the market, aside R. Tureck's legendary versions. Just listen!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Competent workmanship well worth the price, 28 Feb. 2002
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This review is from: Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier Bk I (Audio CD)
These pieces were originally designed (as were many of Bach's) for keyboard practice. They are also listenable to in their own right. These two observations combined probably goes part way to explain why there are so many recordings of this popular work available. As for me, I find these are perfect background music for working or studying, but they also bear attentive listening, as there are subtleties throughout which can only be grasped when paying attention to what's going on.
This particular set is competently performed, with a fine grasp of the appropriate dynamics of each piece. This is all you really need here, as far as I'm concerned, and the price is well worth it. The packaging also meets with my approval - it's a single jewel case, rather than those unwieldy double ones which just take up extra space that should really be taken up by the companion volume to this one - the WTC II.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best interpretation of well-tempered ever, 21 April 2014
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This review is from: Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier Bk I (Audio CD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent recording., 6 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier Bk I (Audio CD)
An excellent recording bought to complete my Gulda set.
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Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier Bk I
Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier Bk I by Friedrich Gulda (Audio CD - 2009)
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