Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johann Sebastian Bach, Kenneth Gilbert|
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2
Listen to Samples
Bach as it should be
Sean A. Fulop | Fresno, CA United States | 05/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is little in this world that sounds better than a Bach keyboard piece played on a fine harpsichord. And there are few harpsichord players who can compete with Kenneth Gilbert. So this recording is a real winner, and its 1980s era digital sound is actually not bad (though fine analog would probably have been better at that point in time).
Out of all the Well-Tempered Clavier recordings available through Amazon, this is the only one played on its original instrument. As far as I'm concerned, you can keep all those piano recordings. Bach doesn't take too well to the piano, I'm afraid (though I'm forced to do it that way at home, I wish I had a harpsichord). Bach was famously not too fond of pianos when they came on the scene near the end of his career, and he certainly didn't compose anything that works well on one.
The Well-Tempered Clavier is one of the most thrilling collections of harpsichord music ever created, every one is truly a masterpiece. The complete selection of keys and styles is truly delightful. Reading along with the recording on a sheet score is always fun, too, for the amateur musician, especially when your own playing is too poor to tackle most of these. The fugues are a celebration of counterpoint and part-writing.
It is possible to listen to the same piece over and over again before even moving on to the next one, that's how thrilling and fulfilling each one is.
The best introduction to the WTC?
R. SA NOGUEIRA SARAIVA | LISBOA Portugal, Europe | 09/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In a way, this is the best possible version of the WTC to someone who is looking for a balanced, deep and totally honest version.
The harpsichord is a beautiful Flemish-French (recent research shows it is rather more French than Flemish) harpsichord (Gilbert's own) that has a marvelous sound: rich and deep, and yet bright and clear.
Professor Gilbert's version is as new now as it was when it was released. It is totally respectful of the music (you won't find eccentricities, here, just the music but superlatively played). He has a very cantabile sense of the music - every voice is respected - and his Bach is phrased almost as a dance, rather than as gesturing. He seems to belie Leonhardt, when the Dutch says that the piano was meant to sing and the harpsichord to speak; in Gilbert's hands, it really sings).
Do not expect strong chords, abrupt contrasts or anything like that. Gilbert's version is for the connoisseur rather than the Fireworks enthusiast. If you examine, in detail, the way he plays, you will find that every voice is subtly sung, that the amount of work and serious thought he lavished into Bach's music is prodigious.
One of the top versions of the WTC (this is valid to both WTC I and II)"