Christine Schornsheim

Bach: Das wohltemperirte Clavier, Books 1 & 2

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Listeners who like their Bach played on an authentic Baroque era harpsichord instead of a modern piano will want to hear Christine Schornsheim's four-CD set of the Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II, on Capriccio. This traversal of "The 48" was performed on an instrument built in Antwerp by Johannes Ruckers in 1624, which is significant because the Ruckers family's instruments were highly valued in the 17th and 18th centuries and were frequently upgraded to suit the emerging tuning system of equal temperament, which Bach promoted with these pieces. Schornsheim is a solid performer with a robust sound, and her handling of the harpsichord's sonorities is assured and varied, according to the changing textures and characters of the preludes and fugues. There is also a muscular quality to her playing that comes through in her regular motor rhythms, though the antique keyboard's action might be a little stiff, requiring a strong, even attack to make the notes sound. The recordings were made in 2010 and 2011 in a museum setting, so carefully placed microphones capture the harpsichord with crisp details and clean sound with little background resonance, so the overall effect is close-up and intensely focused.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Das wohltemperirte Clavier, BWV 846-869
1 1:57
2 2:00
3 1:46
4 1:50
5 1:12
6 2:44
7 2:31
8 3:59
9 1:16
10 1:48
11 1:56
12 1:59
13 3:49
14 1:52
15 3:27
16 4:46
17 1:13
18 1:26
19 2:06
20 1:35
21 1:08
22 1:19
23 1:52
24 3:39

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Das wohltemperirte Clavier, BWV 846-869
1 1:20
2 2:06
3 1:10
4 2:44
5 0:58
6 2:49
7 2:00
8 2:11
9 1:18
10 1:58
11 1:25
12 2:21
13 1:39
14 2:22
15 1:14
16 4:49
17 1:19
18 1:46
19 2:24
20 2:41
21 1:15
22 2:13
23 7:48
24 6:15

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Das wohltemperirte Clavier, BWV 870-893
1 2:30
2 1:49
3 2:51
4 2:06
5 1:46
6 1:57
7 4:05
8 2:31
9 4:40
10 2:06
11 1:40
12 1:57
13 2:39
14 2:13
15 4:03
16 3:20
17 5:33
18 2:48
19 3:33
20 2:56
21 3:12
22 1:46
23 3:51
24 2:28
25 2:51
26 2:37

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Das wohltemperirte Clavier, BWV 870-893
1 2:33
2 4:35
3 2:33
4 1:18
5 2:26
6 3:20
7 3:48
8 2:53
9 4:36
10 4:22
11 1:41
12 1:27
13 4:55
14 1:46
15 6:26
16 2:35
17 2:45
18 5:33
19 2:02
20 4:04
21 2:04
22 1:49
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