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- Well Tempered refers to the new tuning system for keyboard instruments that allows for pieces to be written in any key - Clavier is the German word for any keyboard instrument other than organ The best recording of JS Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. This little-known piano recording of all Bach's Well-tempered Clavier is a masterpiece. The Well-Tempered Clavier and the Renaissance of the Works of J S Bach. I hope to include some words by other musicians I trust and perhaps even some instrument builders. Deconstructing the title of this collection, the clavier just means keyboard in German. András Schiff (piano) (2012) ECM New Series 476 4827. Beginning in mid-March, I have been without steady work. Each prelude and fugue pair will be recorded on a different keyboard instrument and shared, along with profiles on each of the instruments used. It's hard to imagine too many other musicians with as varied a career and as diverse a set of repertoire as pianist and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy.Nonetheless, the Moscow Conservatory graduate still has his feet firmly planted in his Russian heritage, this new recording of the Well-Tempered Clavier on longtime partner Decca being no exception. 2 in C Minor, BWV 847," and many more. Well-tempered clavier spans a huge range. . Bach compiled this second manuscript only around 1740, although once again some of the preludes and fugues it contains date from a much earlier period. As a consequence, you can easily compare the default engraving styles of Musescore and Lillypond, side by side. “The fugue has for me the most joyful and good-humòured theme which Bach ever composed.”. Phenomenal piano-playing from beginning to end. 1 in C Major, BWV 846," "The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Fugue No. The episode has an 89% score on Rotten Tomatoes and has an average rating of 8.2 out of 10, based on 19 reviews. As the Well-tempered Clavier uses some less common key signatures (I admit, I don't usually play in C# major), it is important to familiarize with those. Thank you for helping build the largest language community on the internet. C-sharp major did indeed remain extremely rare for many years after Bach’s day. Before the late Baroque, keyboard and other “fixed pitch” instruments featured a number of different temperaments which meant that certain keys would be more in-tune than our contemporary (equal temperament) standard, while other keys would sound noticeably off. The Well-Tempered Clavier wasn't written for musicians to perform, but rather to help musicians tune keyboard instruments such as harpsichords, pianos, and clavichords. This idea of writing music in every major and minor key has been copied by a number of composers, particularly in the Romantic and Contemporary eras of Western concert music. And then, of course, there is the question of how C-sharp major could anyway sound ‘well-tempered’. Unless you're Angela Hewitt or Glenn Gould I would recommend mastering only a select few Preludes and Fugues rather than being 'okay' … Extending the variety already evident in Book I (available on 2.110653), Bachs effortless brilliance and new-found sonorities push harmony and counterpoint further than ever with a combination of ancient and modern styles, church austerity and galant lightness. The first part of the Wohltemperirte Clavier dates from 1722, although it contains some music that was written in the preceding five years. And we can’t complete the task without the financial support of our patrons. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier of 24 preludes and fugues have set a historic precedent for keyboard composition and technique. The easiest Prelude is perhaps the one in C major, No.1 from Book 1. In 1728, the music theorist Johann David Heinichen therefore classified C-sharp major as one of the ‘superfluous keys’. (More on temperaments in a later essay.). Before I sign off for the week to prepare for the first piece’s introduction, I wanted to thank you for your curiosity about this project. For the Fugues, the public domain engraving by Kyle Rother using Lillypond software was chosen. Bach's famous composition "Das wohltemperierte Klavier", The Well-Tempered Clavier That is going to change starting with this blog. Yet the Prelude is a model of melodious simplicity and the Fugue has one of the liveliest themes of the whole Wohltemperirte Clavier. 29 In D Major: A2: Prelude And Fugue No. Bach wasn’t content writing 24 pairs of preludes and fugues — he wrote two complete sets. There are still many recordings to be made before the whole of Bach’s oeuvre is online. Instruments Bach may have composed this for include the harpsichord, clavichord, and the organ (more on this later). Hopefully some of these stories will make you laugh, some cry, but mostly gain a greater appreciation for these incredible pieces. The Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 846–893, is a collection of two sets of preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys, composed for solo keyboard by Johann Sebastian Bach. The Well-Tempered Clavier, composed in 1722 and 1744 and widely considered Bach's pinnacle of keyboard music, is divided into two books, each containing 24 preludes and fugues, with each prelude and fugue moving successfully upwards in key, starting with C major. It explores the intricacies of each of the 12 major and 12 minor keys and constitutes the largest-scale and most-influential undertaking for … Each key has a pair of prelude and fugue. In the preludes, he gave free rein to his imagination, and demonstrated mathematical tours de force in the fugues. Some time ago I found a ranking of each set by difficulty, and will be tackling each of the sets from easiest to most difficult. Without going into too much detail on split keys, various tuning temperaments, and the musical import of these we shall frame The Well-Tempered Clavier this way: this volume was the first to feature music written in each major and minor key, to be played on an instrument which could accommodate all keys. For the Preludes, the Open Well-Tempered Clavier score from Musescore was used. Before the outbreak of Covid-19, I had booked several concerts for local schools, a performance trip to Chicago, a potential trip to Florida to play some piano four-hands works with a great friend, a musical, a benefit concert (performed 3 times in a single day), and a few weddings and local entertainment gigs. 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