42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
A superb 48 reissued,
This review is from: Bach: The Well-tempered Clavier (Audio CD)
The 48 Preludes and Fugues form one of Bach's greatest works for the keyboard. There is a vast range of pieces which are charming, dramatic, joyful, melancholy...you name it. They are all beautifully done with Bach's unrivalled counterpoint and sense of structure and are an unalloyed pleasure from the famous and lovely first Prelude from Book One to the mighty, intense B minor fugue which concludes Book Two.
Angela Hewitt plays Bach superbly. Her work has attracted universal admiration, and these discs show why. Her technique is impeccable, so that each line is perfectly articulated while blending ideally with the others. She respects and conveys the structure of the music while bringing out its wonderful range of emotions and colours. There is just sufficient rubato (speeding up and slowing down) to make the music really speak to us, but it never intrudes as in some other performances and she allows Bach's magnificent music to blossom under her fingers. This is my favourite recording of the 48, which is very high praise given the tremendous quality of the competition.
The only reason not to buy this set is if you have a rooted objection to Bach played on the piano and can only tolerate a harpsichord. I also have Davitt Moroney's excellent recording on the harpsichord Bach - Well Tempered Clavierand enjoy that, too, but the harpsichord does not have any dynamic range and the ability to play loudly or quietly when required on the piano makes the Hewitt performance the one I would choose overall.
I bought the originals years ago and the two sets cost over £50 between them. I have never regretted a single penny. These are recordings to last a lifetime: I still play them very regularly and with enormous pleasure. Now that these discs are reissued at budget price they are a real bargain, too, and recommended in the strongest possible terms.