J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Daniel-Ben Pienaar
Individual Works:24 Preludes and Fugues, BWV 846-869
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Promtetheus Editions
Year Released/Recorded:2003
Total Playing Time:disc 1: 50:06
disc 2: 59:13
Related Web Site:http://www.prometheuseditions.com/prometheus/
Comments:Jan Hanford said:

This is an exciting Well-Tempered Clavier played in a uniquely personal style. Daniel-Ben Pienaar is impressive in both his flawless technique and intepretive daring.

I'm often critical of musicians who interpret these works to the extent that they become unmusical or annoying (no, I won't name any names). However, here I have no such criticism. Daniel-Ben Pienaar blends the gentle with the strong in his playing and it works. I was delighted and excited by this intelligent and highly musical performance. His soft touch is subtle and delicious and his hard touch is powerful and dramatic. Most importantly, he knows when to use these tools and the results are a triumph. I look foward to Book 2.

John Lewis Grant said:

I completely agreed with Jan Hanford's assessment. No recording will provide the listener with EVERY prelude and fugue from Books 1 and 2 played exactly as you might like them to be played. For example, I don't like the rather quick pace Daniel Ben Pienaar takes the famous C major prelude from Book 1. But in numberous instances there is utterly beautiful playing, and voices always quite independent in the fugues and fugue-like preludes.

Really, one of the most deeply satisfying WTCs I've heard in a long time!

John Grant

  • John Lewis GrantFrom the collection of Jan Hanford.
  • Date First Submitted:04/28/2004