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Glenn Gould Plays Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Books I & Ii, Bwv 846-893 Box set

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Glenn Gould Plays Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Books I & Ii, Bwv 846-893
  • +
  • Glenn Gould Plays Bach: Goldberg Variations Bwv 988 - The Historic 1955 Debut Recording; The 1981 Digital Recording
  • +
  • Glenn Gould Plays Bach: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 - 5 Bwv 1052-1056 & No. 7 Bwv 1058
Total price: £26.81
Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Performer: Glenn Gould
  • Audio CD (10 Sept. 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Sony Music Classical
  • ASIN: B0085MK2GM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,655 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

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Digital Booklet: Glenn Gould plays Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Books I & II, BWV 846-893
Digital Booklet: Glenn Gould plays Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Books I & II, BWV 846-893
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I first really (and finally after much youthful resistance: Bach's too formal, too rigid, isn't he? - no, wrong) appreciated Bach's piano work, it was only through Gould's playing. These various recordings grouped by Sony under the "Glenn Gould Collection" are wonderful. And great value: 3 or 4 CDs in one box. Perfect also to work to - the musical intricacy, variety and virtuosity stimulate the brain. Bach and Excel really do go together.
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By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Nov. 2012
Format: Audio CD
I picked up a copy of these in my local charity shop for an outrageous 50p. It felt like such a steal that I ended up giving the lady an extra fiver towards her 'Stop Human Trafficking' charity. Genuine relaxation doesn't come easily to me but these, over the course of two evenings, took me very, very close. I already owned three version of these famous works; two from Naxos for piano and harpsichord respectively, and another harpsichord set that was included with my Brilliant Classics Bach boxset. But Gould quite simply knocks all those into the compost. It is very rarely that pieces of such duration can hold my attention so absolutely riveted from beginning to end. Gould doesn't just play the works, but enters into a personal dialogue with you the listener, walking ahead, pointing out each tiny detail worthy of note, slowing down the moment he sees you are tiring, speeding up when he sees your attention wavering. What he does seems more like calairvoyance than piano playing. These are such absolute treasures that I am even willing to put up with the donkey heard braying in the background. (Of course those familiar with Gould will know I am making a humorous reference to his idiosyncratic habit of humming along quite tunelessly when the inspiration gets the better of him. This may sound off-putting to the newcomer, but all who know him will assure you that this occurs at the threshold of liminality and, such as Gould's genius, does nothing to inerfere with the absolute revelatory pleasure of his performances).
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Great music and great performances, like a great debate, should give food for thought as well as aural pleasure, especially if the music in question is of the more cerebral kind. Perhaps in this context "cerebral" might mean pre-Romantic (and post-Romantic), and certainly Bach's preludes and fugues would belong in this category. I'm not remotely any kind of expert, and am to some extent thinking aloud here.

Glenn Gould often seems to be the ultimate cerebral pianist, but if he were just that he would probably not have been famous for long. I have read reviews that elevate him to the level of the greatest genius of a keyboard player ever, and at the other end of the scale pieces in which he is castigated extremely, with terms like "rigid", "harsh", "unyielding", "metronomic" and "unsubtle" being employed to describe his playing.

This can be accounted for by the huge range of different tastes and sensibilities that exist among music-lovers (and, thankfully, among humans generally), but also by the unverifiable fact that what each of us hears when we listen to the same performance or recording is probably not the same in terms of each individual's perception of the sounds.

If you buy these CDs, you will undoubtedly hear much fantastic playing, and a very thought-provoking and perceptive traversal of these mostly inspired 96 pieces.
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Format: Audio CD
Gould keyboard touching is clearly audible but some tunes of this collection are played a bit slow or too marked as the first one, very staccato and the second, slowish...

I recommend the box as a document os this fantastic and exquisit artist and invite you to enjoy another excelent reading with Thomas Gunther, a hidden gem on SACD with a very accessible price:

B00ECJABPO

This is my oppinion and recommendation.

Capezio
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If you can put up with Gould's ad-hoc humming (and it can get on your nerves sometimes), then you are in for a treat. The only weakness in the 4 CD's is the very first Prelude in C (Book 1) which is played in a very idiosyncratic, lumpy sort of way. But apart from that, there is some great, even sublime playing to be found in this collection. Astonishingly priced too. Recommended.
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No one could fault Glenn Gould's insight into this wonderful music. His playing is flawless and extremely crisp - some might even say too crisp, though that is a matter of personal taste. The biggest negative on this otherwise superb recording is the sound of Glenn singing along under his breath as he plays. I wish I could ignore it. But I can't.
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I can't stop playing it over and over -- it entrains my mind as I write my poetry. I don't hear him breathing at all.
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Not a bad price for this great 4CD set. As I mentioned about Gould's performances of the English and French suites, again here he played with clear counterpoint and every section is well shaped. I've even heard pianists play the 48 in a classical or romantic style. In the fugues, the fugal polyphony can easily be heard and the articulation is mostly tenuto. His touch on the piano is also amazing.
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