An Acclaimed WTC, Book I, at Super-Bargain Price
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 10/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mieczyslaw Horszowski (June 23, 1892 - May 22, 1993) recorded this 2CD set in the 1970s when he was in his eighties. By the time he died a month shy of his 101st birthday he had been playing professionally longer than any pianist in the history of classical music, having made his debut at age eight. Reportedly even at that age he could play all of Bach's keyboard music suitable for the piano. This set of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier has been available for more than thirty years and it is still one I return to often. I compare it with Richter's monumental set of WTC I and find that some days I prefer, other days the other. Horszowski's account is, in my mind, a deeper, more architecturally sound traversal, perhaps less flashy than Richter's but somehow more spiritual, if I can use that term. In any event, I've owned this set on LP and have had an earlier CD set. This one, however, is being offered at a breathtakingly low price and is more than worth every penny!
I would recommend this set to anyone who knows and loves the WTC I, but also to anyone coming to this monumental set of pieces for the first time or for whom this can be their only recorded version. It's that good.
Don't worry that the sound is deficient. Acoustically this set can match such more modern versions as that by Angela Hewitt (1998).