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Well Tempered Clavier Books I & II Andras Schiff
New Release on ECM
As a young pianist, Andras Schiff earned wide esteem for his 1980s recordings of the major keyboard works of J.S. Bach; in recent years, as part of his long-term relationship with ECM, he has gone back to Bach as a sage veteran, earning more acclaim for his New Series recordings of the Goldberg Variations (2001) and the six Partitas (2007). The New York Times said, Mr. Schiff is, in Bach, a phenomenon. He doesn t so much perform it as emit, breathe it. In August 2011, Schiff turned his focus to the 48 preludes and fugues of The Well-Tempered Clavier, making studio recordings of both books in the Auditorium Radiosvizzera Italiana, Lugano. An iconic inspiration for composers from Mozart and Beethoven to Chopin and Brahms and beyond, The Well-Tempered Clavier has long been considered the Old Testament of the keyboard literature (with Beethovens piano sonatas as the New Testament). In his liner notes to this four-CD set, Paul Griffiths underscores the suitability of Bach's timeless keyboard work for the modern piano: Bach s inquiry into so many nuances, of touch, of interplay between hands and between contrapuntal lines, of character and of expressivity, has helped form keyboard technique as we know it, and his music belongs to the instrument of Beethoven, of Chopin, of Debussy, of Kurtág especially when that instrument is played with the mastery and sensitivity of Schiff in these performances. . . Noteworthy is his floated melody and his rhythmic sense his realization that so much of Bach s music is song or dance. Grandeur and intimacy are also here. Wit, too. (TEXT reproduced by permission Amazon.com sales)