J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Well-Tempered Clavier, Books 1 and 2

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Scott Ross
Individual Works:Book 1: 24 Preludes and Fugues, BWV 846-869
Book 2: 24 Preludes and Fugues, BWV 870-893
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Disques Pelleas
Catalog Number:CD101/2 CD103/4
Year Released/Recorded:1980
Total Playing Time:231 mins
Comments:Robert Jorgensen said:

I have to admit to being a great fan of Scott Ross, so I am thrilled these old Radio Canada recordings have been issued on CD. They have all the vitality of other performances by him which makes Moroney, my previous 48 front runner, seem relatively pedestrian.

Jan Hanford said:

Scott Ross has been one of my favorite harpsichordists for a long time and I was excited to find these amazing performances of the Well-Tempered Clavier. His clarity and articulation of the voices is extraordinary. Hastily recorded, it is fairly "raw" sounding, with some tuning problems in the harpsichord. But Ross' performance still makes it very enjoyable.

Max Schmeder said:

Extremely vital performances, yet quite undifferentiated and uniformly brisk. I suspect that Ross was practically sight-reading half the set, but this is its unique strength. He captures what a musician fleetingly experiences while still in the flush of a new musical encounter, a quality that quickly disappears forever. Ross's freshness and tactus is unbelievable in places: The C-major prelude (bk II) reveals its unfathomable ontological profundity. Bach's insight must be felt to be understood, and you can probably forget about anyone else other than Ross conveying it.

These recordings should be re-released!

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Robert Jorgensen
  • Max Schmeder
And from the collection of Jan Hanford.
Date First Submitted:04/25/1998