J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Julia Cload
Individual Works:Bach, Das Wolhtemperierte Klavier, Bk 1 complete. BWV 846-869
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Meridian
Catalog Number:CDE 84384/5-2
Year Released/Recorded:1998
Total Playing Time:125 min
Comments:John Lewis Grant said:

At least 60 recordings of Bach's Well-tempered Clavier have been made on piano alone. But there are only four or five truly great recordings.

This is one of them.

What makes it so wonderful? It is intimate, yet spiritual, always singing, always natural. The listening public is tired of the mechanical or analytical exercises so many super-pianists turn this music into. This recording reminds us that this music is, after all, the greatest keyboard music ever written. No struggle is evident in this playing. Everything is easy, fluid, and yet totally mesmorizing.

The "big" fugues of Book 1, no. 4 in C# Minor; no. 8 in E Flat Minor; no. 12 in F Minor; and no. 24 in B minor are given performances that are not merely "very good": they are extraordinary; they are played almost as if the pianist were in direct contact with God!

John Grant

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • John Lewis Grant
Date First Submitted:03/03/2005