J.S. Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier

J.S. Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier
Composer Johann Sebastian Bach
Artist Daniele Boccaccio organ
Format 4 CD
Cat. number 95157
EAN code 5028421951577
Release September 2016

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About this release

The Old Testament of keyboard music, as it’s well-known, and readily played on every instrument with black and white keys, from the kind of tiny house clavichord on which Bach probably wrote much of The Well-Tempered Clavier, to modern accordions and synthesisers. And yet Daniele Boccaccio’s new recording is the only one presently available to be played on Bach’s own instrument, the organ. Boccaccio is not the first to do so, and it’s hardly an iconoclastic gesture. As he points out in his booklet-note, several preludes and fugues, especially in Book 2 (written over a decade after the First), suggest that the organ was the (or at least an) intended instrument for their legato figuration and long-held notes.

The maverick scholar and musician Robert Levin recorded a Well-Tempered Clavier on four different instruments, including clavichord, two-manual harpsichord, chamber organ and even fortepiano, but Boccaccio has elected one instrument for his journey through this compilation which tests the limits of a keyboard player’s technique and imagination like no other. The instrument of S. Antonio Abate in Padua was built by Francesco Zanin and has been used for many recordings since its inauguration in 2006, including on Brilliant Classics.

Boccaccio freely admits he has used the full colouristic capabilities of the instrument: ‘I tried to make the performance as varied as possible from the tonal point of view, merging together all the available colours of the organ stops, according to the technical and stylistic suggestions of the time.’ He has form in Bach on Brilliant before, accompanying Patxi Montero in the sonatas for viola da gamba (BC95042) and then playing his own, strikingly original transcriptions of the violin concertos (BC94829).

Bach’s famous Well-tempered Clavier, recorded for the first time on organ!
Bach’s immortal 48 Preludes and Fugues in all major and minor keys was written for Clavier, and in Bach’s time that could mean any keyboard instrument: harpsichord, clavichord or organ. There is no indication in the entire score which precludes a performance on the organ. The great advantage of the organ is that the notes are sustained, which enhances the harmonic and contrapuntal writing to a great extent. The long bass notes, which on the harpsichord die out quickly, keep their strength on the organ, maintaining the harmonic power.
Daniele Boccaccio is one of the foremost Italian keyboard players, he already successfully recorded his own arrangement of Bach’s violin concertos for organ (BC 94829) which was very favourably reviewed in the press. He plays on a beautiful Francesco Zanin organ, built in 2006, the details of which are included in the booklet.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Prelude No. 1 in C Major, BWV 846
  2. Fugue No. 1 in C Major, BWV 846
  3. Prelude No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 847
  4. Fugue No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 847
  5. Prelude No. 3 in C-Sharp Major, BWV 848
  6. Fugue No. 3 in C-Sharp Major, BWV 848
  7. Prelude No. 4 in C-Sharp Minor, BWV 849
  8. Fugue No. 4 in C-Sharp Minor, BWV 849
  9. Prelude No. 5 in D Major, BWV 850
  10. Fugue No. 5 in D Major, BWV 850
  11. Prelude No. 6 in D Minor, BWV 851
  12. Fugue. No. 6 in D Minor, BWV 851
  13. Prelude No. 7 in E-Flat Major, BWV 852
  14. Fugue No. 7 in E-Flat Major, BWV 852
  15. Prelude No. 8 in E-Flat Minor, BWV 853
  16. Fugue No. 8 in E-Flat Minor, BWV 853
  17. Prelude No. 9 in E Major, BWV 854
  18. Fugue No. 9 in E Major, BWV 854
  19. Prelude No. 10 in E Minor, BWV 855
  20. Fugue No.10 in E Minor, BWV 855
  21. Prelude No. 11 in F Major, BWV 856
  22. Fugue No. 11 in F Major, BWV 856
  23. Prelude No. 12 in F Minor, BWV 857
  24. Fugue No. 12 in F Minor, BWV 857

Disk 2

  1. Prelude No. 13 in F-Sharp Major, BWV 858
  2. Fugue No. 13 in F-Sharp Major, BWV 858
  3. Prelude No. 14 in F-Sharp Minor, BWV 859
  4. Fugue No. 14 in F-Sharp Minor, BWV 859
  5. Prelude No. 15 in G Major, BWV 860
  6. Fugue No. 15 in G Major, BWV 860
  7. Prelude No. 16 in G Minor, BWV 861
  8. Fugue No. 16 in G Minor, BWV 861
  9. Prelude No. 17 in A-Flat Major, BWV 862
  10. Fugue No. 17 in A-Flat Major, BWV 862
  11. Prelude No. 18 in G-Sharp Minor, BWV 863
  12. Fugue No. 18 in G-Sharp Minor, BWV 863
  13. Prelude No. 19 in A Major, BWV 864
  14. Fugue No. 19 in A Major, BWV 864
  15. Prelude No. 20 in A Minor, BWV 865
  16. Fuge No. 20 in A Minor, BWV 865
  17. Prelude No. 21 in B-Flat Major, BWV 866
  18. Fugue No. 21 in B-Flat Major, BWV 866
  19. Prelude No. 22 in B-Flat Minor, BWV 867
  20. Fugue No. 22 in B-Flat Minor, BWV 867
  21. Prelude No. 23 in B Major, BWV 868
  22. Fugue No. 23 in B Major, BWV 868
  23. Prelude No. 24 in B Minor, BWV 869
  24. Fugue No. 24 in B Minor, BWV 869

Disk 3

  1. Prelude No. 1 in C Major, BWV 870
  2. Fugue No. 1 in C Major, BWV 870
  3. Prelude No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 871
  4. Fugue No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 871
  5. Prelude No. 3 in C-Sharp Major, BWV 872
  6. Fugue No. 3 in C-Sharp Major, BWV 872
  7. Prelude No. 4 in C-Sharp Minor, BWV 873
  8. Fugue No. 4 in C-Sharp Minor, BWV 873
  9. Prelude No. 5 in D Major, BWV 874
  10. Fugue No. 5 in D Major, BWV 874
  11. Prelude No. 6 in D Minor, BWV 875
  12. Fugue No. 6 in D Minor, BWV 875
  13. Prelude No. 7 in E-Flat Major, BWV 876
  14. Fugue No. 7 in E-Flat Major, BWV 876
  15. Prelude No. 8 in D-Sharp Minor, BWV 877
  16. Fugue No. 8 in D-Sharp Minor, BWV 877
  17. Prelude No. 9 in E Major, BWV 878
  18. Fugue No. 9 in E Major, BWV 878
  19. Prelude No. 10 in E Minor, BWV 879
  20. Fugue No. 10 in E Minor, BWV 879
  21. Prelude No. 11 in F Major, BWV 880
  22. Fugue No. 11 in F Major, BWV 880
  23. Prelude No. 12 in F Minor, BWV 881
  24. Fugue No. 12 in F Minor, BWV 881

Disk 4

  1. Prelude No. 13 in F-Sharp Major, BWV 882
  2. Fugue No. 13 in F-Sharp Major, BWV 882
  3. Prelude No. 14 in F-Sharp Minor, BWV 883
  4. Fugue No. 14 in F-Sharp Minor, BWV 883
  5. Prelude No. 15 in G Major, BWV 884
  6. Fugue No. 15 in G Major, BWV 884
  7. Prelude No. 16 in G Minor, BWV 885
  8. Fugue No. 16 in G Minor, BWV 885
  9. Prelude No. 17 in A-Flat Major, BWV 886
  10. Fugue No. 17 in A-Flat Major, BWV 886
  11. Prelude No. 18 in G-Sharp Minor, BWV 887
  12. Fugue No. 18 in G-Sharp Minor, BWV 887
  13. Prelude No. 19 in A Major, BWV 888
  14. Fugue No. 19 in A Major, BWV 888
  15. Prelude No. 20 in A Minor, BWV 889
  16. Fugue No. 20 in A Minor, BWV 889
  17. Prelude No. 21 in B-Flat Major, BWV 890
  18. Fugue No. 21 in B-Flat Major, BWV 890
  19. Prelude No. 22 in B-Flat Minor, BWV 891
  20. Fugue No. 22 in B-Flat Minor, BWV 891
  21. Prelude No. 23 in B Major, BWV 892
  22. Fugue No. 23 in B Major, BWV 892
  23. Prelude No. 24 in B Minor, BWV 893
  24. Fugue No. 24 in B Minor, BWV 893