4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2009
This is one of the great piano recordings. Along with book 1, Gould uses the music to create an astonishing sense of styles. He apparently recorded the pieces in many different ways before choosing what was committed to disc. Not definitive, then, but Gould was not that sort of pianist. But I defy you not to be drawn in by the wizardry!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2012
I have listened to Gould for the better part of ten years. I own almost all his recordings (dozens and dozens) and regard him as the musician-artist who has inspired me most deeply on a spiritual level and helped me pull through and continues to help me overcome many an emotional crisis.
Now for this double CD. Much as I know and love Book 1, Gould's Book 2 of the WTC benefits from better sound quality, perhaps as it was recorded later. Not only that but I prefer Book 2 of the WTC, the fugues and preludes seem more developed, textured, richer and complex. While Book 1 is a feast to the mind, Book 2 is truly celebratory, a celebration of exquisite music perfectly interpreted in a convincing, honest way.
Of course, throughout the 24 preludes and fugues, some catch earlier than others, many grow on you but the more you persevere the more it is clear that all are masterpieces.
The only downside perhaps of this collection is that it makes me lazy; I'm always tempted to let Gould (and my stereo) do all the work rather than learn to play these pieces for myself. But at least this is a highly enjoyable short-cut.
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2001
I have listened to much Bach keyboard music, and attempted to play some of it; but this is for the enthusiast who possesses that link with mathematics, which seems to heighten the appreciation of the Baroque composer generally. The mood and expression are emphasised by Gould's dry and brittle approach. I have only given four stars, not because of any lack of execution or fault of style, but because I do not think this CD is for the casual listener.