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Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1
Johann Sebastian Bach, Daniel Barenboim
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1
Genre: Classical
 
Barenboim's Bach has a refreshing "Old World" quality, reflecting his rounded tone, moderate tempos, and emphasis on harmonic tension. Better known these days as a conductor, Barenboim has continued his career as a major p...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Johann Sebastian Bach, Daniel Barenboim
Title: Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Warner Classics
Release Date: 8/24/2004
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Forms & Genres, Improvisation, Historical Periods, Baroque (c.1600-1750), Classical (c.1770-1830)
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 825646155323

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Barenboim's Bach has a refreshing "Old World" quality, reflecting his rounded tone, moderate tempos, and emphasis on harmonic tension. Better known these days as a conductor, Barenboim has continued his career as a major pianist, his technique remains fresh, his interpretations, even more insightful. This is heard in the fluency of his playing and the clarity he brings to the fugal lines. Barenboim maintains the individuality of each of the preludes and fugues, and his emphasis on harmony brings out the unfolding mystery inherent in the C-sharp minor Fugue and the D-sharp Prelude, the Fugue of which swells from its pianissimo statement to multiple voices of rising discourse full of meaning. He's as capable of projecting the wit of the A minor Prelude as he is in dazzling with the swift fingerwork of the C major Fugue or conveying the gracious elegance of the D minor Prelude. Barenboim's unabashed pianism and interpretive insights make this among the best piano versions, coming much closer than most to penetrating the myriad mysteries of Bach's masterpiece. --Dan Davis

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CD Reviews

Excellent performance
Daniel Graser | Wappingers Falls, New York United States | 09/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I will say that I absolutely loved these performances of Bach's masterful keyboard writing. However, if you have grown up on the Bach of Gould and Schiff you may not find this to your liking. Their main focus was to clearly detail all of the polyphonic writing in the music to better outline the counterpoint; which is great. Gould's 1981 Goldberg variations will always be the best. Barenboim's playing is not as clear as some might like, he instead focuses on the charm and elegance of the pieces and stresses the harmonic tension but never sacrificing the direction of the melodic lines. That being said, the sound on this disc is wonderful, the playing is fantastic. I can understand apprehension about hearing Bach from Daniel Barenboim. His odd choice of rubatos in the Beethoven sonatas have left me disappointed and confused many times but he really does a straight up job with these pieces, worrying less about his ego and concept and more about making beautiful music. I love how after conducting most of the great masterpieces of wagner, beethoven, and a lot of contemporary music, toward the end of his career, Barenboim decides he's ready to interpret these bach pieces. I'm sure you will enjoy it."
A question of personal taste - and an open mind
A music lover | Fremont, CA | 03/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Looking at the other reviews of this recording, I think it is safe to say that if your tastes lean toward a more "romantic" interpretation of Bach (dynamic modulations, pedal tastefully but generously applied) and/or you are open to hearing Bach interpreted a variety of ways, this recording is for you. If you have a very definite idea of how Bach should be played, especially if Gould is your thing, then stay away. Barenboim is in top form here, but the style of interpretation may not appeal to all. As for me - everything David said in his 5-star review goes for me, too. I wouldn't be without the Gould performances, either, but I think this is an equally valid, and beautiful, approach. I suspect even Bach would approve - but I guess we'll never know!"
Thrilling, Romantic Interpretation of WTC From Barenboim
John Kwok | New York, NY USA | 01/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I heard Daniel Barenboim give an enthralling, Romantic interpretation of the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 a few nights ago at Carnegie Hall's magnificient Stern Auditorium. His interpretation will surely not please everyone, especially those familiar with Glenn Gould's austere, precise interpretation, but I think Barenboim has a thoughtful, important interpretation of this work in which he emphasizes the harmonic aspects of the scores. Having heard part of this CD too, I will say that it is one of Barenboim's best keyboard recordings in recent memory, demonstrating that he is still a fine pianist, as well as a notable orchestral conductor. I strongly recommend acquiring this CD for those interested in a fresh, yet vivid, interpretation of Bach's scores. However, if you are more inclined towards an austere, almost sublime, interpretation of the Well Tempered Clavier, I would recommend acquiring instead the classic recordings by Glenn Gould and the recent ones by Andras Schiff."