J. S. Bach & Beyond: A Well-Tempered Conversation

J. S. Bach & Beyond: A Well-Tempered Conversation

On the 300th anniversary of the publication of the first book of J. S. Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, Belgian pianist Julien Libeer gives the great composer a modern context, juxtaposing Bach’s major-key preludes and fugues with works from later centuries in the corresponding minor keys. So, leveling up to Bach’s near-perfect balance of head and heart are, among others, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Ligeti, and Schoenberg. Striking pairings include Bach in B-flat major with Reger’s “Two-part Canon in B-Flat Minor” and Bach in E major twinned with Ravel in E minor (from Le Tombeau de Couperin). It’s clever—and Libeer makes it work wonderfully well.

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