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Bach, J.S. : Well-Tempered Clavier Box set, Import, Complete

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 18 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Complete, Import
  • Label: RCA Gold Seal/Bmg
  • ASIN: B000026OHN
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
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Disc: 1
1. Prelude & Fugue I BWV 846 In C Major
2. Prelude & Fugue II BWV 847 In C Minor
3. Prelude & Fugue III BWV 848 In C Sharp Major
4. Prelude & Fugue IV BWV 849 In C Sharp Minor
5. Prelude & Fugue V BWV 850 In D Major
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Prelude & Fugue XV BWV 860 In G Major
2. Prelude & Fugue XVI BWV 861 In G Minor
3. Prelude & Fugue XVII BWV 862 In A Flat Major
4. Prelude & Fugue XVIII In G Sharp Minor
5. Prelude & Fugue XIX BWV In A Major
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Prelude & Fugue I BWV 870 In C Major
2. Prelude & Fugue II BWV 871 In C Minor
3. Prelude & Fugue III BWV 872 In C Sharp Major
4. Prelude & Fugue IV BWV 873 In C Sharp Minor
5. Prelude & Fugue V BWV 874 In D Major
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Prelude & Fugue XIV BWV 883 In F Sharp Minor
2. Prelude & Fugue XV In G Minor
3. Prelude & Fugue XVI BWV 885 In G Minor
4. Prelude & Fugue XVII BWV 886 In A Flat Major
5. Prelude & Fugue XVIII BWV 887 In G Sharp Minor
See all 11 tracks on this disc

Product Description

The late Russian virtuoso's 1970's interpretations of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier are among the most revered recordings of the work. The four discs of this CD set collect the entire work in one package. Richter's passionate, thoughtful treatment is an absolutely breathtaking experience and essential for any lover of great music.


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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
What utterly hypnotic performances these are! Richter creates a different atmosphere for each prelude and fugue throughout this set. Was there ever a more "complete" pianist than Richter? He really had it all: astonishingly virtuoso technique, sensitive musicianship, and expressive poetry seemingly without limit.
I have had various WTC sets over the years: Martins, Fischer, Ruzickova (harpsichord), Tureck, Gould, and now Richter. If I could have just two, it would be Gould and Richter. Gould can be exasperating one moment and illuminating the next; his ear for polyphony was second to none, but unfortunately his constant vocalizing can get to be irritating. Richter, by contrast, is remarkably consistent: there are no real weak spots.
It is Richter's set that I would recommend to newcomers. Gould's Bach is more for those who are already familiar with the music, and who are willing to tolerate the occasional misfire and all the extraneous noises. I have heard only parts of the WTC recorded by Russian pianist Samuel Feinberg - it offers a relaxed and intimate perspective that is somewhere between Gould's and Richter's. So, if I can run down a copy of that elusive set, Feinberg will make three. But if my "desert island" turns out to be just a small sandbar, it is the Richter that will go there with me.
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Format: Audio CD
Perhaps it takes the highest level comprehension and technique to carry out a pure performance of well-tempered clavier, and so far, no one have done it better than Richter in this recording. It is pure music, pure Bach. Nothing else. Comparing to his recoring for the "Revelation" label, it is more spiritually free and relaxed, probably helped by better recording and excellent sounding piano.
This is a textbook, or a bible, in any classical piano fan's collection.
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By A Customer on March 6 2004
Format: Audio CD
What these performances show us is that when Bach is played by a master musician, adding almost nothing of himself to the music except the highest taste, technique, and ability to deliniate the lines without utmost clarity, the music that results is spiritually moving in a way that far surpasses the results achieved by a performer who TRIES to be moving by adding his or her own emotions to the performance. Bravo Richter... he never sounded better!
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Format: Audio CD
I have listened to this recording since it was issued on LP in the early 1970s, and never tired of it. Richter performed Bach throughout his long career, and these readings are among his best because his love for the music shines through with almost religious intensity. His approach is lyrical; he sings each prelude and fugue, yet at the same time he's scrupulously aware of Bach's rhythmic and contrapuntal structures. Some of his tempi are extreme: e.g. the C-minor prelude in Book I is played at whirlwind speed. Unfortunately the sound is not very good, perhaps owing to the acoutics of the castle where the recording took place. But the richness and intensity of Richter's playing makes up for everything.
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Format: Audio CD
I very much enjoy this recording. It's one of the more listenable WTC's as Sviatoslav - galvanised-steel-fingers - Richter is playing on the edge of his remarkable abilities. And very musically at that, too. He really forges the WTC into one of the highlights of musical unity. Drawback is the far from perfect sound quality, but that should never EVER prevent one from buying this album.
Remember though, there is more to the WTC than Richter's interpretation. I began to fully appreciate the pieces when I had listened to the Gould and Perahia-sets as well. And the definitive recording? There is no. And there will not be.
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Format: Audio CD
This has been my favorite recording of the WTC (and one of my favorite recordings of anything) for years. While there have been many very fine recordings of the WTC, in my opinion, none comes close to the poetry expressed by Richter in this set. I think the crucial difference with Richter is that he never just plays the notes, he is always looking for, and finding, the beauty of the music. There is literally something special in every moment of his playing.
If you are looking for a recording that will repay the deepest listening and the deepest concentration on your part, look no further, this is it.
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Format: Audio CD
Don't die yet! Listen to this first... and know what you'll be missing if you don't go to heaven! These magnific recordings were made during early 70'ties, when Richter was arround 55 years old and on the top of his mastery - making the Bosendorfer piano sing like an angel (!), - a miracle, lets say, that made of it my favorite recording of WTC.
The sound quality is '4 stars', but the musicality is outstanding: on tempos, rubbatos, melodic lines, colors and fit's Richter's recording among other archangels' of this masterwork, as Fischer's, Tureck's, Gould's and Demus's.
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