Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars The humming is not really that bad!, June 24 2000
This review is from: Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 (Audio CD)
I give this CD a review of five stars even though I do not believe that it is the be-all, end-all recording of The Well-Tempered Clavier. The reason is that I believe that other individuals giving it a review of 1 star simply on account of Jando's humming is absurd.
I am personally almost unaware of the humming (I guess that I'm not oversensitive enough), and find the performances here to be ones that take advantage of the piano as it did not exist in Bach's time, while still being quite respectful to Bach's music. Although there are huge extremes of tempo, they do not exist within individual movements, and Jando does not pull a Pogorelich by using an amount of rubato that is inappropriate for Bach's music.
He takes advantage of the dynamic capabilities of the piano, as Bach's own writing undoubtedly would have had he lived 70 years later. Even Book 2 itself of the Well-Tempered Clavier includes dynamic markings, but in any case, I'm not here solely to defend the performance of Bach on a piano that is made to sound like a harpsichord.
Perhaps most importantly, Jando's renderings of the fugues are very lucid. Cautious individuals should be glad to know that he does not improvise hummed additional voices in the fugues, and they are not performed with so many liberties as to muddle their textures.
Overall, this set manages to let the performances be of Bach's music rather than of Jando's own version of Bach's music, while still showing his unique personality (and not just through the humming!). Some people may find Jando's playing to generally not be 'characterful' enough, but they must be shockingly bored with Bach's music if they demand a great deal of 'character' over a very truthful interpretation such as this one, where Bach's genius is allowed to shine through with just a bit of modernizing romanticism.
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Location: Edmonton, Canada

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