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Customer Review

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only Richter could play the 48 like this, 7 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Well-Tempered Clavier, The (Richter) (Audio CD)
To my ear Richter is unique among pianists in his approach to the piano, and peformance by humans in general. And he brings all of this to the recording of Bach's 48 preludes and fugues. What do I mean by this? Well for a start he had a philosophy of not getting in the way of the music. So this makes his playing rather ethereal and in many cases it feels like it is drifting rather than being pushed. Sometimes there is even a feeling that the music is constantly slowing down, reaching the final cadence with perfect judgement. But not always - he has a technique that appears to have no limits, so some of the numbers are very strongly (and effortlessly)driven. Throughout the playing there seems to be an almost inhuman focus on the musical line, the sound, and the overall beauty. I have never heard the good old Bk 1 prelude in C sound so beautiful. Richter had a talent for making the dominant musical subject sound a different tone colour from the others, almost coming, exquisitely crafted, from a different piano. No mean feat in the finger-tangling fugues!

So the conclusion: I love this set. I keep listening to it. The playing is so different, fresh, and really works for this music. If you like Richter, Bach, or both, I think you will not be disappointed.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Jan 2014 23:56:10 GMT
C. Steiner says:
Inhuman or ethereal? There is something about these interpretations - maybe the recording chamber or indeed his playing, that makes a number of these sound as if they are other-worldly - heavenly even...and I genuinely am the last one to ascribe any religious pertinence to this music - when, to some, it is taken as proof of the existence of a god. This music is so powerfully spiritual that it has Charms to sooth the most savage Breast. I wonder what J.S.Bach would have felt about these...played on a modern grand. I think amazed.
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