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Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 (Pienaar)

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (6 Oct. 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Prometheus Editions
  • ASIN: B0000D9YED
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 516,163 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on 19 Nov. 2003
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First, judge a book by the cover. Behind the photo of the devastatingly handsome pianist we see his own compelling liner notes of exceptional insight and particular breadth of reading and study. Firstly one might therefore expect a similarly studied performance; secondly, Pienaar seems to promise a middle way recording, plain vanilla or ready salted, difficult to look forward to.
Happily neither fear is fulfilled. The performance is fresh, but more importantly it is unlike any other I have heard: it has a nervy, edgy tone unlike any of the other great recordings (Richter being my other personal favourite), consistent (unlike Gould) and totally rivetting, more Monster Munch than Ready Salted throughout. Where the music should be tender it is breathtakingly tender, where it should be jaunty it has a neurotic edge and great dynamic range that is mesmerizing, and where one should simply let rip the sheer technical accomplishment and sense of a great talent walking a tightrope of technique leaves one elated at the accomplishment of both composer and performer.
A must-have.
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This kid does not have it rhythmically, and the raves here are quite a puzzle. Bach's power derives from a flexible steadiness, and although some compare this guy with Gould (sharp attacks, speed etc.), the one thing Gould had above all others is rhythmic strength. This pianist is more like Schiff, just not hearing or getting the fundamental pulse and beat of Bach's motor. Weird.
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When I am tired and the world is less than sparkling, this record puts the shine back into life. I am not a music expert at all, I just love the effect Bach's music has on mind and heart. Pienaar's interpretation brings extra swing, without being jazzy, and an in-depth joy which is wonderful. Thank you - more of it please !
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