Gieseking: Bach - Well-Tempered Clavier (3 CD, FLAC)
Gieseking: Bach - Well-Tempered Clavier (3 CD, FLAC)

Audio CD
SPARS Code: A-D
Number of Discs: 3
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 609 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Disc 1:
01. Prelude And Fugue In C (WTK, Book I, No.1), BWV 846
02. Prelude And Fugue In C Minor (WTK, Book I, No.2), BWV 847
03. Prelude And Fugue In C Sharp (WTK, Book, No.3), BWV 848
04. Prelude And Fugue In C Sharp Minor (WTK, Book I, No.4), BWV 849
05. Prelude And Fugue In D (WTK, Book I, No.5), BWV 850
06. Prelude And Fugue In D Minor (WTK, Book I, No.6), BWV 851
07. Prelude And Fugue In E Flat (WTK, Book I, No.7), BWV 852
08. Prelude And Fugue In E Flat Minor/D Sharp Minor (WTK, Book I, No. 8), BWV 853
09. Prelude And Fugue In E (WTK, Book I, No.9), BWV 854
10. Prelude And Fugue In E Minor (WTK, Book I, No.10), BWV 855
11. Prelude And Fugue In F (WTK, Book I, No.11), BWV 856
12. Prelude And Fugue In F Minor (WTK, Book I, No.12), BWV 857
13. Prelude And Fugue In F Sharp (WTK, Book I, No.13), BWV 858
14. Prelude And Fugue In F Sharp Minor (WTK, Book I, No.14), BWV 859
15. Prelude And Fugue In G (WTK, Book I, No.15), BWV 860
16. Prelude And Fugue In G Minor (WTK, Book I, No.16), BWV 861
17. Prelude And Fugue In A Flat (WTK, Book I, No.17), BWV 862
18. Prelude And Fugue In G Sharp Minor (WTK, Book I, No.18), BWV 863
19. Prelude And Fugue In A (WTK, Book I, No.19), BWV 864
20. Prelude And Fugue In A Minor (WTK, Book I, No.20), BWV 865

Disc 2:
01. Prelude And Fugue In B Flat (WTK, Book I, No.21), BWV 866
02. Prelude And Fugue In B Flat Minor (WTK, Book I, No.22), BWV 867
03. Prelude And Fugue In B (WTK, Book I, No.23), BWV 868
04. Prelude And Fugue In B Minor (WTK, Book I, No.24), BWV 869
05. Prelude And Fugue In C (WTK, Book II, No.1), BWV 870
06. Prelude And Fugue In C Minor (WTK, Book II, No.2), BWV 871
07. Prelude And Fugue In C Sharp (WTK, Book II, No.3), BWV 872
08. Prelude And Fugue In C Sharp Minor (WTK, Book II, No.4), BWV 873
09. Prelude And Fugue In D (WTK, Book II, No.5), BWV 874
10. Prelude And Fugue In D Minor (WTK, Book II, No.6), BWV 875
11. Prelude And Fugue In E Flat (WTK, Book II, No.7), BWV 876
12. Prelude And Fugue In D Sharp Minor (WTK, Book II, No.8), BWV 877
13. Prelude And Fugue In E (WTK, Book II, No.9), BWV 878
14. Prelude And Fugue In E Minor (WTK, Book II, No.10), BWV 879

Also available:  Bollon: Magnard - Symphonies no.1,2 (24/48 FLAC)

Disc 3:
01. Prelude And Fugue In F (WTK, Book II, No.11), BWV 880
02. Prelude And Fugue In F Minor (WTK, Book II, No.12), BWV 881
03. Prelude And Fugue In F Sharp (WTK, Book II, No.13), BWV 882
04. Prelude And Fugue In F Sharp Minor (WTK, Book II, No.14), BWV 883
05. Prelude And Fugue In G (WTK, Book II, No.15), BWV 884
06. Prelude And Fugue In G Minor (WTK, Book II, No.16), BWV 885
07. Prelude And Fugue In A Flat (WTK, Book II, No.17), BWV 886
08. Prelude And Fugue In G Sharp Minor (WTK, Book II, No.18), BWV 887
09. Prelude And Fugue In A (WTK, Book II, No.19), BWV 888
10. Prelude And Fugue In A Minor (WTK, Book II, No.20), BWV 889
11. Prelude And Fugue In B Flat (WTK, Book II, No.21), BWV 890
12. Prelude And Fugue In B Flat Minor (WTK, Book II, No.22), BWV 891
13. Prelude And Fugue In B (WTK, Book II, No.23), BWV 892
14. Prelude And Fugue In B Minor (WTK, Book II, No.24), BWV 893

HIPster Wars – News from the Handel Front – Communiqué 87

Hungry and tired after driving all day, I decided to have dinner in Foster. It’s the defacto capital of Gippsland. Given the rainfall, it is more emerald than Tipperary. Rather than frequenting my usual haunt – the Exchange Pub – I patronised its competitor at the end of the street: Heartbreak Hotel. There weren’t many lights on. The bistro was empty – and I was the only guy in the bar as I strode in. The publican – an octogenarian – was drinking a beer himself. He was a fatty. Time had been kind to his scalp: his hairline was intact and a few strands of black were visible amidst the grey. He was dressed in white; is it some sort of chef’s costume, I asked myself. Surely that’s not a cape at the back! It was impossible to tell in the semi-darkness. I let it pass. These yokels, I reminded myself, wear clothes that even God has forgotten.

“So stranger,” he said in an Australian accent with a twist of Yank: “are you lonesome tonight?”

“I dunno about that,” I replied with a stammer, “but I’m bloody hungry! What’s the best hunger-killer on your menu? I could eat a horse!”

“I’ve got something in mind,” he rumbled, “but folks round `ere say it’s a man-killer!” He laughed. At that point, his mojo became apparent. In response, a voice inside my head spoke up but it was near-inaudible. There was something familiar about the publican. It was not the first time I had been in his presence – that much I knew. His eyes were mesmeric. Before my thoughts could mature further, he spoke again in that sonorous voice of his. “It’s called the Fool’s Gold Loaf. Man, the ingredients are simple. Get a single warmed, hollowed-out loaf of bread, fill it with a jar of creamy peanut butter; top that with grape jelly and throw in a pound of bacon with the rind on. It’s a hunka hunka burnin’ love! A friend of mine in Denver gave me the recipe!”

“Errrrrrr . . . . sounds good to me!” I replied. Twenty minutes later, this gastronomic monstrosity was sitting on my plate. It was accompanied by an ice-cold Melbourne Bitter.

The publican was anxious to talk. Yes, he was a Yank: that guess was right. He had moved to Australia in the late Seventies in search of a career-change.

“I was a singer, man! I appeared in a few crappy movies. Don’t look `em up: they’re Saturday afternoon fodder! I made lots of cash but blew it. My marriage went bust. I had enough of Vegas. I was tired of being a coin-operated freak in a jumpsuit. There was no point hangin’ around. The Memphis Mafia were suckin’ me dry! The Colonel was also milkin’ me like a cow!”

“Colonel Sanders?”

“Not quite,” he muttered. “It does not matter anymore. One can’t build dreams on suspicious minds. He’s gone. I’m still here. Glory, glory, baby!” He looked at my plate: “A little less conversation, a little more action please!”

I tucked into the Fool’s Gold Loaf. It tasted like crap. Given how hungry I was, it didn’t matter. Halfway through, I decided enough was enough.

“Mate,” I said, “you look as if you’ve lived life to the full and had a few adventures along the way. What’s kept you goin’ all these years?”

A smile came to the publican’s face. He reached under the counter. Much to my surprise, he pulled out Gieseking’s survey of the Well-Tempered Klavier, recorded in sturdy mono in 1950.

“Geez, I have not seen that in ages!” I looked around quickly. “You should know that the Period Practice Taliban has issued a fatwa against it. If Father Melchizedek OP, the High Inquisitor, catches you with it – and he’s in the area at the moment – you’ll be strung up on piano wire!”

“Nobody ‘fornicates’ with the King, baby!” the octogenarian replied as he gingerly launched a karate kick into the air. That done, he reached under the counter and pulled out a law-enforcement badge. “Tricky Dicky gave it to me!” he announced gleefully (I was none the wiser for his comment).

“Why do you like it so much?” I queried. “Why give it air-time at all? Richter from 1970 is in much better sound! Do you prefer it to Fischer’s account?”

He paused. “Dunno, man! When I was a young `un, I used to listen to Gould’s Well-Tempered Klavier and sing `There must be lights burning brighter somewhere . Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue. If I can dream of a better land, where all my brothers walk hand in hand .Tell me why, oh why, oh why can’t my dream come true!’ When I heard Uncle Walt, I said to myself, `His truth is marchin’ on, baby!’ Gieseking was still top-dog at the time – his finger-work is hot; there’s no hound-dog slushiness or guff to it; it’s amazing what a fat tone he has without much pedal. The inner voices are clear – and geez he steps on the accelerator at times (just listen to the first Prelude). A guy at Sun Studio told me that old fella recorded it in one day; as he was not young at the time, he flags towards the end of Book II – it matters nothin’! Walt’s spontaneity throughout is a knock-out, man! If you want to sample how smokin’ this guy is, check out the tenth Prelude and Fugue in E Minor – BWV 855. Man, he burns down the house in the Fugue! When I first heard it, I sang `Lord Almighty, I feel my temperature rising! Higher higher, It’s burning through to my soul; Bach, Bach, Bach – you gonna set me on fire. My brain is flaming- I don’t know which way to go!”

We drank beer for the next hour or so as Gieseking plied his trade. The Fool’s Gold Loaf had my measure: I was left vanquished and feeling queasy. Worse for wear, I paid my bill and took my leave. As I left the building, two people strode past me and into the hotel. The first of them, crucifix in hand, was a pale-faced cleric; the other was a trusty Asian man-servant. Before I reached my car, an altercation erupted in the hotel. It was short-lived. Then I heard the publican roar in triumph:

“TCB – baby – TCB!”

7 Comments

  1. Thanks for this whatever. I *really* hope its Walter on the piano and not the harpsichord…

  2. It comes with some relief that I can confirm it is indeed Walter rattling the old Joanna.

    Thanks again.

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