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Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier Bk I CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

Price: £4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier Bk I
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  • Bach, J.S.: The Well-tempered Clavier, Book 2
Total price: £17.22
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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Aug. 2009)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B0000041CZ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,708 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Prelude
  2. Fugue
  3. Prelude
  4. Fugue
  5. Prelude
  6. Fugue
  7. Prelude
  8. Fugue
  9. Prelude
  10. Fugue
  11. Prelude
  12. Fugue
  13. Prelude
  14. Fugue
  15. Prelude
  16. Fugue
  17. Prelude
  18. Fugue
  19. Prelude
  20. Fugue
  21. Prelude
  22. Fugue
  23. Prelude
  24. Fugue
  25. Prelude
  26. Fugue
  27. Prelude
  28. Fugue
  29. Prelude
  30. Fugue

Disc: 2

  1. Prelude
  2. Fugue
  3. Prelude
  4. Fugue
  5. Prelude
  6. Fugue
  7. Prelude
  8. Fugue
  9. Prelude
  10. Fugue
  11. Prelude
  12. Fugue
  13. Prelude
  14. Fugue
  15. Prelude
  16. Fugue
  17. Prelude
  18. Fugue

Product Description

FRIEDRICH GULDA

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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.
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2 Comments 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: 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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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