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Discussion: Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier (Das Wohltemperierte Klavier) - Sviatoslav Richter

Posts: 39
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Post by SnaggS September 4, 2012 (1 of 39)
I was surprised to see this has no reviews. One of the best if not the best performances and a good recording wonderfully remastered.

The Piano sounded very natural and liquid, so I went to check the booklet... no surprises here, DSD mastering.

Post by Euell Neverno September 4, 2012 (2 of 39)
SnaggS said:

I was surprised to see this has no reviews. One of the best if not the best performances and a good recording wonderfully remastered.

The Piano sounded very natural and liquid, so I went to check the booklet... no surprises here, DSD mastering.

Maybe it's the price?

Post by Tehillim September 4, 2012 (3 of 39)
I rather enjoy the Koroliov interpretations on CD, with not a clavichord to be heard.

Post by Beagle September 5, 2012 (4 of 39)
Euell Neverno said: Maybe it's the price?
Yes. Competitive with the Glenn Gould WTC. I am thinking carefully about both issues: Gould is 'interesting' -- perhaps over-thinking the music to the point of quirkiness -- but interesting enough to make other performances 'boring' by comparison.

It is difficult to decide how one wants monumental works like this or the Goldbergs; their very duration can easily exceed one's attention-span. I suspect the fault lies with us, with our ability to listen anytime, start to finish, 'biting off more than we can chew'. My wife and I sat through a splendid live performance of the Goldberg Variations two years ago, barely able to stay awake. The woman on the other side of my wife did fall asleep -- snoring against my wife.

Post by Claude September 5, 2012 (5 of 39)
Hard to believe it's the same recording as the one reviewed here:

http://www.allmusic.com/album/bach-well-tempered-clavier-book-i-mw0001852874

Post by sunnydaler September 5, 2012 (6 of 39)
Claude said:

Hard to believe it's the same recording as the one reviewed here:

http://www.allmusic.com/album/bach-well-tempered-clavier-book-i-mw0001852874

Most Allmusic critics--especially, Blair Sanderson and James Leonard--are not reliable. Actually, I take any 5-star review as a warning.

Post by Ubertrout September 5, 2012 (7 of 39)
Beagle said:

It is difficult to decide how one wants monumental works like this or the Goldbergs; their very duration can easily exceed one's attention-span. I suspect the fault lies with us, with our ability to listen anytime, start to finish, 'biting off more than we can chew'. My wife and I sat through a spendid Goldberg Variations two years ago, barely able to stay awake. The woman on the other side of my wife did fall asleep -- snoring against my wife.

One of my favorite Friedrich Gulda stories is, after playing a recital to shouts of "encore," he sat down and played an encore...the entire Goldberg Variations. (I recall reading this but can't find a source...another source online says it was Rudolf Serkin)

After all, the Goldberg variations were supposedly written as a salve to insomnia.

Post by lennyw September 5, 2012 (8 of 39)
I heard it was Rudolf Serkin too, but one also has the feeling these stories are apocryphal.

I saw Piotr Anderszewski on a very rainy evening at the Wigmore Hall, and he played the French Overture with repeats as an encore. We could hear the rain on the roof, and I guess he realised no one wanted to leave...wonderful concert.

The Richter WTC is, for me, the best on record. I don't agree with all his ideas (I feel the e-min from Book I could be with more feeling), but when one hears the c-min prelude, or the c#-min, e-min or b-min fugues, one realises that there couldn't be a better version. Gould's would come in second, and then of course, there's Feinberg...

Post by Beagle September 5, 2012 (9 of 39)
SVIATOSLAV RICHTER SAID...

WELL-TEMPERED CLAVIER:
"My recording of Part One is undoubtedly more successful than that of Part Two. In the second volume, it's the most significant preludes and fugues that have turned out the worst - those in E flat minor (No.8) , F sharp minor (No.14), and this weighs heavily on my conscience." (1972)*
"Unlike Part One, which is fairly successful, this recording of Part Two is riddled with mistakes, above all - unfortunately - in the most important preludes and fugues, such as in F sharp minor and B flat minor." (1975)*

GOLDBERG VARIATIONS:
"I've heard G.G. play in the concert hall, and have also listened to his recording. Some day I'd like to play it (the Goldberg Variations) myself - if ever I manage to master it." (1973)*


GLENN GOULD SAID...

WELL-TEMPERED CLAVIER:
"I have just this week finished Volume I of the W.T.C., thank goodness, and now I have little choice but to proceed onward into Book II." (1965)**

Gould regarded many of the preludes simply as "prosaically prefatory" (in other words, as a sort of compulsory exercise to which the performer has to submit before proceeding to the free section of the fugues).** --Michael Stegemann
_________
* http://www.geocities.jp/imyfujita/wtcpage0021.html
** http://www.mymusicbase.ru/PPS1/sd_634.htm

Post by Arthur September 5, 2012 (10 of 39)
I've always liked these performances - I've owned them in at least a half-dozen different incarnations. But I have to agree with the All-Music critic, the sound was always horrible. If hi-res presentation can clean this up, we're really getting somewhere!

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