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Well Tempered Clavier Book I BWV 846-869

Sviatoslav Richter (Piano)

Richterís WTC Book 1

K-4

Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I

 

WTC 1: 24 Preludes & Fugues BWV 846-869

Sviatoslav Richter (Piano)

RCA Red Seal / Olympia / Le Chant Du Monde / Russian Revelation

Jul 21-31, 1970

2-CD / TT: 119:31

Recorded at Schloß Klesheim, Salzburg, Austria. Included in Box Set [B-1].
Buy this album at: Amazon.com [RCA] | Amazon.com [Olympia] | Amazon.com [LCDM] | Amazon.com [Box Set]

B-1

J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier [Box Set]

24 Preludes & Fugues BWV 846-869 [119:31]
24 Preludes & Fugues BWV 870-893 [147:16]

Includes: [K-4]

Sviatoslav Richter (Piano)

RCA

WTC 1: Jul 21-31, 1970
WTC 2: Aug-Sep 1972; Feb 1973

4-CD / TT: 266:47

Recorded at Schloß Klessheim, Salzburg, Austria.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com [Box Set]

Part 1

Donald Satz wrote (November 25, 1999):
The piano is one of my favorite instruments along with period strings and the human voice. Masters of the piano such as Richter have measureably enhanced the quality of my life, and I owe no small part in this to the technology of recorded sound.

We can now listen to Richter perform his art from a myriad of concert locations throught the world. The sound quality of these recordings varies greatly. Sometimes, the sound is not detrimental to enjoyment of the music; sometimes it is. Also, each of us has our own threshold and sense of sound quality which impacts negatively on the music

This must be my lead-in to Richter's account of Bach's WTC, Book 1 from Russian Revelation. Richter's performances are outstanding; I can't report that the sound quality disguises his brilliance. But, the sound quality is still poor. Although recorded in 1969, it might as well have been 1939.

Well, you can't have everything, and I am thankful for this recording which gives us a picture of of two supremely gifted artists. I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish each of you a happy Thanksgiving - have a great day.

Don's Conclusion - Sample first for sound quality considerations.

 

Part 2

Donald Satz wrote (November 26, 1999):
I was again playing Richter's recording on Russian Revelation last night. Out of curiosity, I decided to follow it up with Jando's recording for Naxos. I've had the Jando account of Book 1 for about a year and was not particularly impressed with it.

Perhaps I was just in a generous mood last night, but my opinion of Jando rose significantly with the playing of each prelude and fugue. He does many of them very well or better with a fine sense of momentum and insight. Also, the recorded sound is excellent. Given the low price, I now consider the Jando recording a fine choice. And, that means that I'll be picking up Book 2 from Jando today. Not bad. Get a fine 2-cd recording and have lunch, all for about $15.

It is interesting to feel one way about a recording, then develop a very different opinion at a later date. I think that "mood swings" often play a major role.

 

Part 3

Donald Satz wrote (December 1, 1999):
I had reported that Richter's WTC Book 1 on Russian Revelation was an outstanding performance in poor sound. The sound did distract from my enjoyment. I was listening on headphones the first few times I listened to the set and never did I have the smarts to figure out that "keeping my distance" might well improve matters. And it did.

Listening on my primary loudspeakers or cd-rom has resulted in my being able to concentrate fully on the music. Lesson learned, although rather late in the game.

Richter does not dawdle with these pieces. Some might consider his readings on the hasty side with a resulting loss of pathos on one end and serenity on the other. Others will revel in his "granite" control, superb technical skills, and forward momentum. I'm in the latter camp, and Richter still provides much lyricism.

So, I have to revise my conclusion which was to sample for sound quality before buying.

Don's Second Conclusion (and last) - Unless you like your Bach very slow, grab this recording and stay away from those headphones.

 

Well Tempered Clavier Book I BWV 846-869: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6
WTC I - D. Barenboim [D. Satz] | WTC I - D. Barenboim [P. Bright] | WTC I - T. Fellner | WTC I - E. Fischer | WTC I - M. Horszowski | WTC I - C. Jaccottet | WTC I - R. Kirkpatrick | WTC I - T. Koopman | WTC I - W. Landowska | WTC I - R. Levin | WTC I - O. Mustonen | WTC I - S. Richter | WTC I - S. Schepkin
Well Tempered Clavier Book II BWV 870-893: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9
WTC II - D. Barenboim [P. Bright] | WTC II - G. Cooper | WTC II - F. Gulda | WTC II - A. Hewitt | WTC II - R. Kirkpatrick | WTC II - J. Middleton
Well Tempered Clavier Books I&II BWV 846-893: WTC I&II - B.v. Asperen, S. Ross & G. Wilson | WTC I&II - E. Crochet | WTC I&II - O. Dantone | WTC I&II S. Feinberg | WTC II&II - T. Nikolayeva | WTC II&II - L. Thiry [N. Halliday] | WTC I&II - Z. Ruzickova

Sviatoslav Richter: Short Biography | Recordings of Vocal Works | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Richterís WTC Book 1 (3 Parts)

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Last update: żOctober 24, 2006 ż23:05:34