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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
16
J.S. Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Clavier (Books I & II)
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£32.64+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 23 March 2013
For reference I own many recordings of this master work: the Fisher version, Gould's, Richter's, Angela Hewitt's, Pollini's (Book 1), a harpsichord version of Book 1 and one I won't bother mentioning.

I think this may well be my favourite or at least up there with Richter and Gould. Unlike the latter two, however, Schiff's new recording is less resolved, more open-ended and in its ultra-delicate and deliberate playing forces one oddly to pay more attention to the notes rather than revel in the interpretative genius of say, a Sviatoslav Richter.

In addition the tempoes are often slower so allow for a more reflective and concentrated experience; I think what wins me over with Schiff is that the recording is translucent and immediate, like Gould, but without the x-ray quality and manneristic reading of Gould's classic reading. To put it in layman's terms, it is far more "chilled".

It is also far less resolved. The pieces unfold before one's ears without having been sauced out to death at the outset so one listens to them develop not having a clear idea how they will develop, allowing for a more open-ended and open-minded experience.

I strongly recommend this set which is for me almost definitive along with Richard Goode's cycle of the complete Beethoven sonatas.

Four stars and a half to five stars.
15 people found this helpful
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VINE VOICEon 20 October 2013
This is a lovely set from Andras Schiff and ECM. Re-recording Bach's masterpiece of keyboard exploration, there is a luminous, flowing quality to the interpretations, and Schiff has combined his usual technical excellence with a lightness of new understanding and reflection he now brings to his playing.

The Decca set from the 1980s is still a fine recording, but there are certainly subtle differences here as the older Schiff re-engages with a work he clearly knows inside out.

The recording quality is first rate, as you would expect from ECM. In the age of the download, this subtle, under-stated box set of four CDs and an interesting, accessible set of liner notes on how the pieces may be interpreted, proves the superiority of the physical medium. An elegant addition to any collection, and something to savour over and over again.
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on 15 January 2016
Replaced the first Hewitt version (poor recording) based on acquisition of the same pianist's Goldberg variations. Really excellent recording, beautifully played - see videos on youtube. Perhaps not for everyone, but first choice for me. One annoyance, the box set is slightly larger than the usual CD form & will not fit in the CD cabinet !
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on 8 February 2013
Beautiful playing, warm, clear sound. This even surpasses Schiff's earlier Decca recordings of the same material. The music is controlled and often sparse but there's warmth as well as restraint. All of life is here.
6 people found this helpful
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on 10 April 2018
Excelllent playing and recording.
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on 11 December 2012
I have his first recording of the 48. This is even better, with good brisk pace when needed and subltlety of interpretation. Great variation and range.
3 people found this helpful
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on 11 January 2013
Even the most complex piece seems transparent, translucent in the way it was no doubt meant to be by the composer. This simply is an extremely beautiful recording!
3 people found this helpful
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on 21 January 2017
It was just as expected.
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on 27 January 2013
Excellent and skilled performance of these Bach piano works. This is a box of discs to be dipped into and taken to calm the nerves or aid a reflective mood.
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on 25 April 2016
Very satisfactory.
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