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4.8 out of 5 stars
9
4.8 out of 5 stars
J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I & II
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 18 June 2017
I don't hear this as more Barenboim than Bach, I hear a more romantic Bach than I expected, which is fine, I think of the Baroque as a romantic era anyway, and I enjoy these pieces in the very different versions by Glenn Gould, Kempff, Richter and lots of others. The Richter RCA version is rather cold which is emphasized by the miserable recording. Gould was a romantic even though everybody thought he was ironic when he said that, and his jazzy Bach is great fun and has lots of feeling. Barenboim uses his prodigious musicality and pianism to carry these wonderful pieces to their limits of romanticism sometimes bordering on impressionism through a dynamic shading and colouring which is mesmerizing if you're not burdened by ideas of correctness and period awareness.
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on 26 August 2017
In a class by itself when compared to the many outstanding extant recordings of this music from Fischer (1934) to Hewit ( both '96 and '08 versions), including the fabulous recently re-mastered tapes of Gulda's great 1974 rendition. If only Tureck's superb 1952 performance, but horrible sound reproduction, could be re-done from the original tapes in the manner of the new Gulda issue we might then have a horse race. But the white elephant in the room is obviously Glen Gould ( although I could never really forgive him for his horrendous rendition of the French Suites - as opposed to Andre Gravilov's sublime performance). In many ways Gould's inspired playing of the 48 with his captivating cerebral rhythmic intensity, in spite of his 'puritanical' obsession with playing the piano like a harpsichord, is the polar opposite of Barenboim's fearless, masterful use of the sustaining pedal and his phenomenal, romantically meditative rubato; but both are exceptional performances that set them apart from al the rest. So it's Barenboim and Gould neck and neck coming down the home stretch, followed closely by Gulda, Tureck , Fischer and Hewitt ( with Andreas Schift left very far behind in the dust).......and the winner is.....J.S. Bach!
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on 17 August 2011
...and that's not altogether a bad thing. Barenboim certainly has very firm ideas about how the pieces should go and he executes them perfectly. However, his Bach is a very acquired taste - highly Romantic and blurred with pedal, contrapuntal lines often get lost under layers of pedalling. I'd say his Preludes are overall a success, but the Fugues are often a disaster, with exaggerated dynamics, portentously slow tempos and pretentious ritardandos in the end. Barenboim is at his best in the rare occasions that he plays them straightforwardly, like the Book 1 G Major for example. Sound quality is excellent - beautiful and realistic piano sound.
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on 23 July 2017
:-)
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on 26 March 2016
Non-pareil!!
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on 22 January 2015
Delightful restful music, beautifully played.
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on 16 February 2012
Super recording with a super pianist. It brought back memories from the first I heard these pieces on a mono lp.Bach, Js : Well-Tempered Clavier Books 1 & 2
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on 2 August 2014
exactly what was required having listened to a track played on classic fm
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on 30 July 2010
as good as richter but budget price cd always have bad cd quality lots of creese
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