Home » Projects » J.S. Bach - The Well-Tempered Clavier, LIVE » Album

Track Listing:

1
Bach: WTC Book 1, Prelude in C Major, BWV 846
 
2
Fugue in C Major, BWV 846
 
3
Prelude in C Minor, BWV 847
 
4
Fugue in C Minor, BWV 847
 
5
Prelude in C Sharp Major, BWV 848
 
6
Fugue in C Sharp Major, BWV 848
 
7
Prelude in C Sharp Minor, BWV 849
 
8
Fugue in C Sharp Minor, BWV 849
 
9
Prelude in D Major, BWV 850
 
10
Fugue in D Major, BWV 850
 
11
Prelude in D Minor, BWV 851
 
12
Fugue in D Minor, BWV 851
 
13
Prelude in E Flat Major, BWV 852
 
14
Fugue in E Flat Major, BWV 852
 
15
Prelude in D Sharp Minor/E Flat Minor, BWV 853
 
16
Fugue in D Sharp Minor/E Flat Minor, BWV 853
 
17
Prelude in E Major, BWV 854
 
18
Fugue in E Major, BWV 854
 
19
Prelude in E Minor, BWV 855
 
20
Fugue in E Minor, BWV 855
 
21
Prelude in F Major, BWV 856
 
22
Fugue in F Major, BWV 856
 
23
Prelude in F Minor, BWV 857
 
24
Fugue in F Minor, BWV 857
 
25
Prelude in F Sharp Major, BWV 858
 
26
Fugue in F Sharp Major, BWV 858
 
27
Prelude in F Sharp Minor, BWV 859
 
28
Fugue in F Sharp Minor, BWV 859
 
29
Prelude in G Major, BWV 860
 
30
Fugue in G Major, BWV 860
 
31
Prelude in G Minor, BWV 861
 
32
Fugue in G Minor, BWV 861
 
33
Prelude in A Flat Major, BWV 862
 
34
Fugue in A Flat Major, BWV 862
 
35
Prelude in A Flat Minor/G Sharp Minor, BWV 863
 
36
Fugue in A Flat Minor/G Sharp Minor, BWV 863
 
37
Prelude in A Major, BWV 864
 
38
Fugue in A Major, BWV 864
 
39
Prelude in A Minor, BWV 865
 
40
Fugue in A Minor, BWV 865
 
41
Prelude in B Flat Major, BWV 866
 
42
Fugue In B Flat Major, BWV 866
 
43
Prelude in B Flat Minor, BWV 867
 
44
Fugue in B Flat Minor, BWV 867
 
45
Prelude in B Major, BWV 868
 
46
Fugue in B Major, BWV 868
 
47
Prelude in B Minor, BWV 869
 
48
Fugue in B Minor, BWV 869
 
49
WTC Book 2, Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 870
 
50
Prelude and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 871
 
51
Prelude and Fugue in C Sharp Major, BWV 872
 
52
Prelude and Fugue in C Sharp Minor, BWV 873
 
53
Prelude and Fugue in D Major, BWV 874
 
54
Prelude and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 875
 
55
Prelude and Fugue in E Flat Major, BWV 876
 
56
Prelude and Fugue in D Sharp Minor, BWV 877
 
57
Prelude and Fugue in E Major, BWV 878
 
58
Prelude and Fugue in E Minor, BWV 879
 
59
Prelude and Fugue in F Major, BWV 880
 
60
Prelude and Fugue in F Minor, BWV 881
 
61
Prelude and Fugue in F Sharp Major, BWV 882
 
62
Prelude and Fugue in F Sharp Minor, BWV 883
 
63
Prelude and Fugue in G Major, BWV 884
 
64
Prelude and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 885
 
65
Prelude and Fugue in A Flat Major, BWV 886
 
66
Prelude and Fugue in G Sharp Minor, BWV 887
 
67
Prelude and Fugue in A Major, BWV 888
 
68
Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, BWV 889
 
69
Prelude and Fugue in B-Flat Major, BWV 890
 
70
Prelude and Fugue in B-Flat Minor, BWV 891
 
71
Prelude and Fugue in B Major, BWV 892
 
72
Prelude and Fugue in B Minor, BWV 893
 

Keith Jarrett :

J.S. Bach - The Well-Tempered Clavier, LIVE


In February 1987, Keith Jarrett recorded, on piano, the first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was the first in a series of lauded Bach discs that Jarrett would make for ECM. On March 7, 1987, prior to the release of the studio set, he performed the complete WTC Book I for an audience in upstate New York at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, a venue renowned for its beautiful acoustics. With this release, ECM is presenting an archival live recording of this concert for the first time. When his studio album of the WTC Book I was released, Jarrett's manner in these iconic preludes and fugues surprised many listeners with its poetic restraint, given his renown as a jazz improvisor. But the pianist was deeply attuned to what he called "the process of thought" in Bach; by not imposing his personality unduly on the music, Jarrett allowed the score to shine via the natural lyricism of the contrapuntal melodic lines, the dance-like pulse of the rhythmic flow. These qualities are strikingly apparent in the live recording, with its added electricity of a concert performance.

Jarrett has explored the classical repertoire for ECM New Series with a depth and breadth that few jazz artists have ever attempted. He has surveyed much other solo keyboard music by Bach, including the WTC Book II, Goldberg Variations and French Suites, all on harpsichord. He also recorded, on harpsichord, Bach chamber pieces with violist Kim Kashkashian and, on piano, Bach sonatas with violinist Michelle Makarski. In league with violinist Gidon Kremer, Jarrett recorded the reference version of Arvo Pärt's Fratres, which appeared on the disc Tabula Rasa, the very first ECM New Series release, in 1984. The pianistalso recorded two volumes of concertos by Mozart, as well as concertos by Bela Bartók and Samuel Barber. On solo piano, Jarrett has ranged, to great acclaim, from Handel's keyboard suites to Shostakovich's 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87. Reviewing Jarrett's 1992 Shostakovich set, The New York Times declared: "Even in our multicultural, multistylistic age, it is still extremely difficult to cross over from one field to another. Mr. Jarrett, having long since established himself in jazz, can now be called a classical pianist of the first rank."

J.S. Bach composed The Well-Tempered Clavier (BWV 846-893) as a collection of two books of preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys, the music as sublimely expressive as it is acutely instructive. He compiled Book I in 1722, at age 37, while working in Köthen, Germany (with Book II completed two decades later, in Leipzig); the WTC wasn't published until 1801, nearly a half-century after Bach's death. Down through the ages, this music has been a signal influence on composers from Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin to Brahms, Shostakovich and beyond. As for the score's interpreters, since Edwin Fischer made the first complete recording of the WTC, in the 1930s, it has been ventured on disc by keyboardists of every stripe, from the romantic to the authenticist – and all stylistic gradations in between.

Gramophone magazine, reviewing Jarrett's studio recording of the WTC Book I,said: "These are performances in which tempos, phrasing, articulation and the execution of ornaments are convincing. Both instrument and performer serve as unobtrusive media through which the music emerges without enhancement." Discussing Bach in the booklet essay for that studio recording, Jarrett said this about his subtle approach to the composer's music: "This music does not need my assistance. The melodic lines themselves are expressive to me… The very direction of the lines, the moving lines of notes are inherently expressive." In a 1994 interview with Fanfare magazine, Jarrett linked his playing of Bach with his background as an improviser in one key aspect: "When you're an improviser, there's a certain shimmer to the motion of things. It's a dance."

Born in May 1945 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Keith Jarrett has recorded for ECM since 1971, when he and producer Manfred Eicher first collaborated on the widely influential solo piano album Facing You, eight short pieces that, in Eicher's words, "hold together like a suite." The album prefigured the solo piano concerts that would come to be such a defining aspect of Jarrett's career. His vast ECM discography now encompasses solo improvisation, duets, trios, quartets, original compositions, multi-instrumental ventures, masterpieces of the classical repertoire and far-reaching explorations of the Great American Songbook.

In 1973, ECM organized an 18-concert European tour featuring Jarrett's concerts of solo improvisations. The Köln Concert of 1975 has unsurprisingly passed into legend: a multimillion-selling album that has been the subject of books and a complete transcription. But The Köln Concert should not eclipse Jarrett's achievement with a whole sequence of improvised concerts, a genre that he effectively created. After the success of that initial solo tour, the pianist has continued to pursue the improvised solo concert format, the decades of his career studded with recordings of his ever-fertile imagination, usually titled simply by where they took place: Paris, Vienna, Lausanne, Carnegie Hall, La Scala, Rio...

Jarrett has also led several outstanding groups. In the mid-'70s, the pianist began recording for ECM with his so-called "European Quartet," featuring saxophonist Jan Garbarek, bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen. No less essential is his contemporaneous "American Quartet," with saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian. And in the early '80s, Jarrett formed his hugely popular "Standards Trio" with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette, which proved to be one of the most prolific and enduring partnerships in the history of jazz.