Two mighty landmarks of Bach's keyboard canon. The Well-tempered Clavier and Goldberg Variation form the mainstay of this collection. A masterly interpreter of Baroque music, Bob van Asperen has been praised by Gramophone magazine for "secure technique, fastidious attention to detail, fine rhythmic sense and a feeling for gesture." Here he performs on a pair of treasured northern German harpsichords, both dating from the time of Bach himself.
Piotr Anderszewski takes a characteristically creative approach to Bach’s Das Wohltemperierte Klavier (The Well-tempered Clavier). Rather than recording all 48 of its prelude-and-fugue pairings, he has focused on 12 pairings from Book Two. “I decided to put the pieces together in a sequence of my own subjective choosing, based sometimes on key relationships, at other times on contrasts. The idea behind this specific order is to create a sense of drama that suggests a cycle: 12 characters conversing with one another, mirroring each other.” Anderszewski’s last Erato album of Bach prompted BBC Music Magazine to write: “For anyone who loves Bach (or the piano) … this life-enhancing disc is required listening.
Kenneth Gilbert's vital rhythmic sense and love of refinement are qualities which can be strongly felt throughout this set.
Gary Cooper is a multi-talented musician, equally adept at both harpsichord and fortepiano performance, as well as conducting. His keyboard performances follow strict historic practices and while he is identified with Baroque music, particularly the works of J.S. Bach, Cooper is also known for his incisive Beethoven interpretations.
The Iranian pianist, Ramin Bahrami, studied with Piero Rattalino at the conservatory “G. Verdi” in Milan, at the Accademia Pianistica “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola and with Wolfgang Bloser at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart. He participated in master-courses with Alexis Weissenberg, András Schiff, Robert Levin and, in particular, with Rosalyn Tureck, the artist who, more than any other in the 20th century, popularized Bach’s works through her research and performances.
“These are performances in which tempos, phrasing, articulation and the execution of ornaments are convincing,” wrote Gramophone of Jarrett’s first recorded account of The Well-Tempered Clavier. “Both instrument and performer serve as unobtrusive media through which the music emerges without enhancement.” In this live recording from Troy, New York, made in March 1987, just one month after his studio recording of the work, Keith Jarrett addresses the challenges of Bach’s great set of preludes and fugues once more. Part of the goal is transparency, to bring the listener closer to the composer. As Jarrett explained at the time: “The very direction of the lines, the moving lines of notes, are inherently expressive…When I play Bach, I hear almost the process of thought. Any colouration has nothing to do with this process.“