The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I

2020

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH

The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I

2020

“My journey with The Well-Tempered Clavier has been life-long,” Trevor Pinnock recalls. “I first encountered it at about 12 years old … A few years later, I heard all the preludes and fugues played on the piano on the radio, and I was hooked. In my 20s I myself recorded some preludes and fugues for radio broadcast, and I knew then that one day I would play them all. The mountain seemed insurmountable, however … How could I possibly delve into the density of some of those fugues, let alone understand them?”

“The range of this book is very wide, comprising informal music which can delight a child or casual listener, and formal music in which Bach could explore the far reaches of his mind and inspiration in composition. This is his richness: informal and formal, traditional and innovative, reaching out to touch both earth and heaven.”

For this recording, Trevor chose a trusted companion, a copy of a harpsichord by the Franco-German builder Henri Hemsch. The intrument “has a unique voice which combines a singing quality with enough clarity to allow Bach’s part-writing to shine.”

Alongside the release, audiences can discover Trevor’s series of videos My Baroque to celebrate the riches of his extensive recorded legacy.

“The Well-Tempered Clavier has been a source of learning and delight for generation after generation of musicians … Bach might have been surprised at how eventually it would become the foundation of Western music to our present day,” notes Trevor. “Now it will be a central part of me for the rest of my life.”

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