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J.S. Bach Toccatas for Harpsichord, complete

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Les sept toccatas pour clavecin BWV 910 à BWV 916 / Colin Tilney, clavecin

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8d765564) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8dc46924) out of 5 stars Absolutely gorgeous performances of Bach's harpsichord toccatas, splendidly recorded 26 Nov. 2013
By Kenneth Bergman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Bach composed his seven toccatas for harpsichord over several years between 1705 and 1719, during a period when Bach was interested in the music of Italians like Frescobaldi and Vivaldi, and the toccatas reflect Italian influence in their structure and ornamentation. Unlike the organ toccatas of the same period, these harpsichord ones are multi-sectional works, generally consisting of a fantasia-like introduction, an ornamented slow section, and one or two fugues. Some of the fugues are quite elaborate, especially the final fugue of the G-minor Toccata, where the fugue theme and its inversion are both developed and then combined. Bach apparently borrowed some ideas from other composers, such as the theme of the "spinning wheel fugue" of the E-minor Toccata, and he borrowed some of his own ideas for later compositions. But these Toccatas contain a wealth of beautiful music, expressed in a more Italianate fashion than Bach generally used in his compositions.

It's generally assumed that Bach meant these toccatas to be performed on a harpsichord, although individual sections would also be suitable on organ. Here, Canadian harpsichordist Colin Tilney performs on an 18th Century harpsichord that is brass-strung and has a beautiful ringing tone, splendidly recorded on this CD. The recording dates from 1988 and was made at the Troy (NY) Savings Bank music hall, famed for its excellent acoustics. The resulting sound quality is very impressive. Tilney is a master harpsichordist who performs these works gorgeously. You'll be especially impressed with his handling of ornamentation and the clarity of his lively fugal interpretations.

In recent years, several well known performers have recorded these formerly little-known pieces, but Tilney's in this Dorian recording has to be up there with the best. The cost for a new CD is now rather steep, but fortunately all seven toccatas also are available in MP3 format. Unfortunately, an MP3 download doesn't give you the very detailed and excellent notes on the music, on Tilney, on the performance harpsichord, and on the performance space and recording procedure, all of which are of interest. There should be a way to obtain such notes with an MP3 download.

In summary , this is one of the best performances of some of the most enjoyable music by Bach that I've ever heard. Highly recommended!
HASH(0x8d5ce390) out of 5 stars Nice harpsicord sound. 27 Feb. 2013
By Michael R. Hall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Loved the harpsicord recorded in a less harsh soundspace than many othewr Bach recordings I've heard. The best version I've heard, just starting to discovery Mr. Tilney.
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