J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Well Tempered Clavier, Book 2

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Betty Oberacker
Individual Works:24 Preludes and Fugues
BWV 870 - BWV 893
Format:Vinyl Record
Record Label:Klavier Records
Catalog Number:KS-567
Year Released/Recorded:1979
Total Playing Time:not specified
Comments:Mike Flemmer said:

My rating (on a scale of 1 to 10): 10+

This is a rare, 2 LP vinyl set that is outstanding in every way. Having devoted almost a lifetime of study to the WTCII, Oberacker's piano performance rejuvenates the listener's heart, mind and soul. The unique character of each prelude and fugue is presented with the highest artistic pianistic skills and musical form. How rewarding it is to hear a performer take great efforts to keep the spotlight on the music of Bach and avoid executing any type of stylistic excess or mannerism. All repeats are played.

Tempos, phrasing, ornamentation, and dynamics are never extreme. All musical elements have been refined to a degree rarely presented before nor since. A delightful combination of meticulous artistry and individual expression. Ornamentation is exceptionally tasteful and is presented as integral with the melody and never as a flashy feature. For example, once you hear the beautiful prelude in F minor (one of the many album highlights)- you will not want to hear it any other way.

A very unique recording session that positioned microphones very close to the strings and hammers of a 9 foot Steinway created remarkable audio qualities: every piano string can be heard with clarity and detail, with notes heard in an exciting and unusually wide spatial spectrum. Individual notes have their own 'place in space'. I've never heard a piano recorded like this before or since. The result is astonishing. This is a 'must find' collector's item for the Bach connoisseur/collector.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Mike Flemmer
Date First Submitted:09/19/1998