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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typically beautiful Barenboim playing
There exist of these works at least five extraordinary recordings, beginning in more or less chronological order, with those of Jorg Demus, followed by two brilliantly if acoustically flawed Tureck sets (compromised by tape hiss amounting to a kind of light rain), Richter (technically mind-boggling, if merely that), Angela Hewitt, perhaps the modern critical favorite, and...
Published on 20 April 2007 by Matt Matthews

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11 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stab in the Bach
Given the fact that there have only really been two recordings of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier which can be considered as top-level, those of Gould and Richter, I have to say that I was quite excited at the prospect of listening to a new recording of Bach's masterpieces; this by one of today's living piano legends, Daniel Barenboim. With all due respect to...
Published on 31 Jan. 2006 by avchateau


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typically beautiful Barenboim playing, 20 April 2007
This review is from: J. S. Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 (Audio CD)
There exist of these works at least five extraordinary recordings, beginning in more or less chronological order, with those of Jorg Demus, followed by two brilliantly if acoustically flawed Tureck sets (compromised by tape hiss amounting to a kind of light rain), Richter (technically mind-boggling, if merely that), Angela Hewitt, perhaps the modern critical favorite, and rightly so, and now those of Barenboim. Like many other listeners, I was less impressed initially than I have come to be after repeated hearings. The most precise analogue for Barenboim's conception here is that of Gilels in his initially jarring, and then consumingly interesting Scarlatti recordings, where all the tonal resources of the modern piano are put at the disposal of a music written for an instrument whose decay time is minimal. Barenboim's astonishing lyricism, color, tonal beauty, intelligence, conviction, focus are almost always in evidence here. The "vulgarity" attributed to him in another review must be accounted to the ear of the beholder, as few performers are more respectful of the uncompromising harmonic complexity of this music than Barenboim: dissonances required by the texture of the writing are given their full weight and importance. Barenboim's palette being richer than that of some orchestras, it cannout be accounted anything but a blessing, if in some passages a mixed one, that we are as much aware of the performer as the performed, but I would think it a great mistake on the part of anyone desirous a complete collection of the available WTC's to pass over this one. It is brilliant and convincing, particularly if you listen with a score on your knee.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars no humming on this recording, 25 Dec. 2007
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Amazon Customer "hamble" (somewhere in west europe) - See all my reviews
This review is from: J. S. Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 (Audio CD)
as someone who had to sell his previous glenn gould copy on ebay because i couldn't bear listening to the performer mumbling and humming along as he played (no prizes for guessing who), i am delighted that this version sounds as fresh as a daisy, is virtuosically performed and sympathetically interpreted. i have been for a long time, and hope to continue to be for an even longer time, an ardent admirer of barenboim's playing. the only bad thing about this recording is the awful photo on the cover - he looks like he's rubbing his hands in glee as he thinks greedily about his royalties.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best recording of Book One ever made, 11 Feb. 2006
This review is from: J. S. Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 (Audio CD)
We have the Gould and Richter recordings, as well as others, but Barenboim gives by far our favourite interpretation. The man has been playing Bach since he was six, and the fluidity and sensuality he brings to the pieces is revelatory. If you know the 48 (Book 1), be prepared to listen to the whole recording in one sitting, so spellbinding are Barenboim's interpretations. If you don't, well this is a recording that may annoy pedants but is one that powerfully expresses the joy and genius of Bach's work.

One caveat: the recording quality is occasionally muffled, and certainly not as good as it should be. But this won't detract from your listen pleasure: if you don't whoop with delight after listening to the Prelude in G Major, you may well be clinically dead.
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11 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stab in the Bach, 31 Jan. 2006
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This review is from: J. S. Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 (Audio CD)
Given the fact that there have only really been two recordings of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier which can be considered as top-level, those of Gould and Richter, I have to say that I was quite excited at the prospect of listening to a new recording of Bach's masterpieces; this by one of today's living piano legends, Daniel Barenboim. With all due respect to Mr. Barenboim's standing, I was very disappointed by the pianistic quality and the general sound quality on these discs. Mr. Barenboim's playing is imprecise, choppy, badly articulated and lacking in any kind of nobility of purpose. The "charm" that some other reviewers have referred to is of the vulgar, exaggerated, olde worlde, inexpensive perfume kind that I associate with the "please the audience at all costs" way of playing. It reveals a total lack of respect for the inherent and absolute qualities in the music itself and is, at most, only superficially "pleasant" to listen to. Even by Romantic pianism standards, Mr. Barenboim fails miserably in that there is no sense of pure sentiment so necessary to the performing of Bach's music, and certainly no hint of any sort of virtuosic control. Perhaps Mr. Barenboim should stick to what he truly excels at, conducting.
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J. S. Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1
J. S. Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 by Daniel Barenboim (Audio CD - 2004)
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