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Thread: Bach's 48?

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    Newbies AnthonyAthletic's Avatar
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    Default Bach's 48?

    Hope I have posted this in the correct section.

    Don't go Medieval on me if I haven't, I'm new and still surfin'

    Well, shamefully I do not know these works at all, both books. Could you throw in a few tips, pointers and performances which could be worthy of consideration. I will be looking to buy a set of the two books soon, based on the fact that I watched a few of them last night on BBC Two, over here in England.

    I found them superb, Joanna McGregor and Nick Demidenko each played a selection and had me enthralled. Its strange how I never got around to these works after years of feasting on the Goldbergs and English/French suites along with masses of his chamber works. I feel as though I am probably missing some essential rep. by not indulging.

    Endulge me
    "I have heard the future of music".... Grainger

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    Junior Member DavidW's Avatar
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    I'm lost here Tony-- 48 what? You say both books which makes me think WTC-- but I dunno.

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    Junior Member Todd's Avatar
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    The 48 are of course Bach's WTC. Start and end with Edwin Fischer. Ancient sound, yes, but glorious music making.
    ---



    "The universe is change, life is opinion." Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    The WTC: I like Fischer, but not all, Richter and Gould in parts.
    My now favourite recording all in all is Andras Schiff: combining inner matureness with a feeling for structure and poetry!

    What do you think about the Barenboim recording?

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    Newbies jwinter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel
    The WTC: I like Fischer, but not all, Richter and Gould in parts.
    My now favourite recording all in all is Andras Schiff: combining inner matureness with a feeling for structure and poetry!

    What do you think about the Barenboim recording?
    Greetings & salutations! Nice forum you have here...

    I confess that I haven't heard the Fischer, although it's on my "will buy it someday if I find it really cheap" list (man, that's a long list! ).

    I have two large inclusive sets of Bach's piano music, Schiff and Hewitt. I like them both in the WTC, although if I had to pick one it would be Schiff. Hewitt has a beautiful crisp tone, but she occasionally comes across as a bit bloodless in comparison. Schiff plays with more passion, and is a bit more lyrical to my ears.

    I've heard Barenboim's Book I (Book II is so *#$#*! expensive I doubt I'll pick it up -- 3 full-priced discs? please). The romantic approach takes some getting used to, but I like it -- not a first choice, certainly, but worth a listen.

    I also have a recording on harsichord (Davitt Maroney, I think, don't have it with me). Excellent, but I generally prefer Bach on the piano, call me a heathen.

    I suppose I'll eventually pick up Gould, assuming that Sony someday remasters it and drops the price to be more in line with his Goldbergs, etc.

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    Junior Member Todd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwinter
    I confess that I haven't heard the Fischer, although it's on my "will buy it someday if I find it really cheap" list


    Buy the Naxos transfer; it's plenty cheap.
    ---



    "The universe is change, life is opinion." Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Thanks jwinter, and welcome here!

    Naxos Historical is a good project, and cheap as all Naxos!

    I think Edwin Fischer lived in a time with a different Bach-view. If I compare for example his WTC with our today's recordings, or take the Partita 1 played by Dinu Lipatti and compare it for example with Schiff: Today's pianists take Bach poetic, a very much balanced piano tone, light dynamical crescendos and diminuendos, a clear tone. Old time pianists take him more strict, structure is important, but it is more harpsichord-like in that way of dynamical changes. (Schiff combines poetry with harpsichord-ideas, I think, it is in his Goldberg-Variations recording, where he plays the repitition higher, as it would be 4' of the harpsichord).

    So far,
    Daniel
    Last edited by Daniel; Sep-17-2005 at 18:57.

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    The WTC played in piano by Friedrich Gulda has been one of the most impressive musical experiences of my life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    The WTC: I like Fischer, but not all, Richter and Gould in parts.
    My now favourite recording all in all is Andras Schiff: combining inner matureness with a feeling for structure and poetry!

    What do you think about the Barenboim recording?
    Just trying to revive this thread about one of the greatest keyboard works ever written. Concerning Barenboim's WTC, it's one of the worst I've come across. In addition to being overly romanticized and distant from Bach's soundworld, Barenboim is rather dull. Also, equality of the contrapuntal voices rarely seems to be on his mind.

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    Hi!

    Are any HIP-friends here?
    Bach surely played these works at home on his clavichord. The range of notes in the 48 fits to the clavichord. So try the Kirkpatrick-recording on clavicjord (DGG Originals) - if you dare.

    @jwinter:

    I also have a recording on harsichord (Davitt Maroney, I think, don't have it with me). Excellent, but I generally prefer Bach on the piano, call me a heathen.
    Can you please tell me what's excellent in this recording? Can you compare it to other cembalo-recordings?
    Moroney's "Art of Fugue"-recording I like very much. So this could be a good add-on to my collection....

    Regards,
    AVH.

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    Senior Member zlya's Avatar
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    When I first read this thread, I thought someone was interested in buying the score. "The two books" made me think sheet music. From the responses, it seems like people are mainly interested in recordings, but I'd like to suggest that you consider actually buying the music as well (or instead of the recordings). Even if you can't play piano, or harpsichord, or cemballo, or any keyed instrument, the 48 are works of genius which you can't fully appreciate just by listening, particularly the fugues. Well, maybe you can if you have VERY good ears, which I don't. Get the score, follow along, note the entrances of the fugue theme, marvel at the different inversions and try not to drool with awe.

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