J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Glenn Gould
Instrumentation:Piano
Individual Works:Book 1: 24 Preludes and Fugues, BWV846-869
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:CBS Masterworks
Catalog Number:M3K 42266
Year Released/Recorded:1975/1986
Comments:Marko Cekic said:
A fantastic recording! Although Gould's vocalise can be annoying, his amazing technique and unorthodox yet powerful interpretations make this a requirement for any pianists or serious music lover's library. Also a great deal ($45 US).

Steve Clark said:

THIS VERSION IS VERY RELAXING AND SOOTHING.

Pietro Bagnoli said:

Non so se sia la piu' grande registrazione mai fatta. Cio' che colpisce e' l'astrattismo quasi lunare con cui Gould scolpisce sia le fughe che i preludi (benche', come noto, non amasse particolarmente questa forma di composizione). La lettura del pianista canadese si discosta decisamente da qualunque altra lezione, prendendo come parametro di riferimento i
modelli di Fisher o di Gieseking. Proporrei come esempi il preludio n.1 in do maggiore, BWV 846 e il preludio n.5 BWV 850. Provare ad ascoltare la lettura postmoderna di Gieseking quale confronto. Credo che il Bach di Gould sia il piu' attendibile.

I don't know if this is the greatest recording ever done. What is astounding is the almost lunar abstractness with which Gould carves both fugas and preludes (although we know he didn't like much these kinds of composition). The reading of the canadian pianist is completely different from any other, assuming as a reference Fisher or Gieseking models. As an example, I would suggest the Prelude n.1 in C major BWV 846 and the Prelude n.5 BWV 850. These should be compared with the post-modern reading of Gieseking. I think Gould's Bach is the truest. [translation by Paolo C. Massarutti]

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Marko Cekic
  • Steve Clark
  • Pietro Bagnoli
Date First Submitted:08/01/1998