Bach, J S: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2

BIS: BISCD1513/14

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Bach, J S: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2

Label:

BIS

Catalogue No:

BISCD1513/14
(BIS-CD-1513/14)

Discs:

2

Release date:

5th Jan 2009

Barcode:

7318591513148

Length:

2 hours 39 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Bach, J S: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2


Masaaki Suzuki (harpsichord)

CD - 2 discs

$33.75

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Suzuki now releases Bach’s second set of 24 preludes and fugues, a key-work in Western music and a cornerstone in the repertoire for both piano and harpsichord. Like its predecessor, Book 2 traverses all the keys of the harmonic system, exploring every tonality during the span of one prelude and one fugue. In his informed liner notes, Bach specialist Professor Yo Tomita discusses various aspects of the collection. These include the interesting connections between individual pieces and other works by Bach, such as the similarities between the prelude in B flat minor and the recitative from the St Matthew Passion containing Jesus’ cry ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me’.

Johann Sebastian Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2: 24 Preludes and Fugues

Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 870

Fugue No. 1 in C major, BWV 870

Prelude No. 2 in C minor, BWV 871

Fugue No. 2 in C minor, BWV 871

Prelude No. 3 in C sharp major, BWV 872

Fugue No. 3 in C sharp major, BWV 872

Prelude No. 4 in C sharp minor, BWV 873

Fugue No. 4 in C sharp minor, BWV 873

Prelude No. 5 in D major, BWV 874

Fugue No. 5 in D major, BWV 874

Prelude No. 6 in D minor, BWV 875

Fugue No. 6 in D minor, BWV 875

Prelude No. 7 in E flat major, BWV 876

Fugue No. 7 in E flat major, BWV 876

Prelude No. 8 in D sharp minor, BWV 877

Fugue No. 8 in D sharp minor, BWV 877

Prelude No. 9 in E major, BWV 878

Fugue No. 9 in E major, BWV 878

Prelude No. 10 in E minor, BWV 879

Fugue No. 10 in E minor, BWV 879

Prelude No. 11 in F major, BWV 880

Fugue No. 11 in F major, BWV 880

Prelude No. 12 in F minor, BWV 881

Fugue No. 12 in F minor, BWV 881

Prelude No. 13 in F sharp major, BWV 882

Fugue No. 13 in F sharp major, BWV 882

Prelude No. 14 in F sharp minor, BWV 883

Fugue No. 14 in F sharp minor, BWV 883

Prelude No. 15 in G major, BWV 884

Fugue No. 15 in G major, BWV 884

Prelude No. 16 in G minor, BWV 885

Fugue No. 16 in G minor, BWV 885

Prelude No. 17 in A flat major, BWV 886

Fugue No. 17 in A flat major, BWV 886

Prelude No. 18 in G sharp minor, BWV 887

Fugue No. 18 in G sharp minor, BWV 887

Prelude No. 19 in A major, BWV 888

Fugue No. 19 in A major, BWV 888

Prelude No. 20 in A minor, BWV 889

Fugue No. 20 in A minor, BWV 889

Prelude No. 21 in B flat major, BWV 890

Fugue No. 21 in B flat major, BWV 890

Prelude No. 22 in B flat minor, BWV 891

Fugue No. 22 in B flat minor, BWV 891

Prelude No. 23 in B major, BWV 892

Fugue No. 23 in B major, BWV 892

Prelude No. 24 in B minor, BWV 893

Fugue No. 24 in B minor, BWV 893

BBC Music Magazine

March 2009

****

“…Suzuki… often a little slower than others, in one case, the B flat prelude, surprisingly so. There's plenty of energy in his playing elsewhere though - the D major prelude is impressive, as is his clean part-playing and rhythmic drive. His articulation and phrasing are intensely moving, not least in the C sharp prelude.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“More than a decade has lapsed between instalments of Masaaki Suzuki's Well-Tempered Clavier.
However, Book 2 was worth the wait. It lives up to Book 1's high artistic and sonic standards, and possibly surpasses them.
Suzuki's intelligent virtuosity operates on several levels. A vocal sensibility consistently determines how phrases begin, end and follow one another to their ultimate destinations. No matter what the basic tempo may be, breath pauses and agogic adjustments naturally mesh into the flow of Bach's lines, rather than work against them. Textural variety also manifests itself through Masaaki's subtle fingerwork.
One also senses that Suzuki seriously pondered when and how to arpeggiate chords for maximum expressive and structural purpose, as the C sharp major, F minor and F sharp minor Preludes revealingly display. Yet the D major and B minor Fugues prove that Suzuki can deliver straightforward, even brash vitality when he choses.
As before, Suzuki plays an attractive and vibrantly recorded Willem Kroesbergen harpsichord modelled on a period Ruckers instrument, and Yo Tomita provides fascinating, informative booklet-notes. In all, Suzuki's heartfelt synthesis of scholarship and musicality will provide repeated listening pleasure in one of the finest harpsichord recordings of Book 2 available.”

Gramophone Magazine

April 2009

“…Suzuki's heartfelt synthesis of scholarship and musicality will provide repeated listening pleasure in one of the finest harpsichord recordings of Book 2 available.”

The Guardian

27th February 2009

**

“Suzuki is a great Bachian, but his treatment of these pieces seems altogether too awestruck and reflective. It's desperately heavy going at times, with the playing only occasionally sparking into rhythmic life. And the heavy-duty harpsichord he uses, very closely recorded, seems only to emphasise that stodginess.”

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