- Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C major 6:18
- Prelude and Fugue No. 2 in C minor 3:12
- Prelude and Fugue No. 3 in C# major 3:28
- Prelude and Fugue No. 4 in C# minor 10:32
- Prelude and Fugue No. 5 in D major 3:33
- Prelude and Fugue No. 6 in D minor 3:10
- Prelude and Fugue No. 7 in E flat major 7:32
- Prelude and Fugue No. 8 in E flat minor 11:44
- Prelude and Fugue No. 9 in E major 2:37
- Prelude and Fugue No. 10 in E minor 4:00
- Prelude and Fugue No. 11 in F major 2:30
- Prelude and Fugue No. 12 in F minor 10:01
- Prelude and Fugue No. 13 in F# major 4:29
- Prelude and Fugue No. 14 in F# minor 4:36
- Prelude and Fugue No. 15 in G major 3:41
- Prelude and Fugue No. 16 in G minor 5:02
- Prelude and Fugue No. 17 in A flat major 3:47
- Prelude and Fugue No. 18 in G# minor 4:18
- Prelude and Fugue No. 19 in A major 4:11
- Prelude and Fugue No. 20 in A minor 6:55
- Prelude and Fugue No. 21 in B flat major 3:19
- Prelude and Fugue No. 22 in B flat minor 7:15
- Prelude and Fugue No. 23 in B major 3:44
- Prelude and Fugue No. 24 in B minor 15:37
João Carlos Martins / Bach
The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1
Labor Records is proud to announce the digital release of The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, the first installment of The Complete Keyboard Works of J.S. Bach, a collection comprising 15 volumes/19 CDs. This monumental edition features the celebrated Brazilian pianist João Carlos Martins, a legend among Bachophiles.
Martins sums up his approach to Bach as follows: “I believe, first of all, that Bach was a prophet. Through him, I can feel romantic, modern, impressionistic, everything. We can find in his music every particular of every era in musical history. If you listen to the slow preludes of The Well-Tempered Clavier, especially the ones in the minor keys, you will hear the harmonic resolutions and modulations that seem typical of Wagner and Rachmaninoff. In other pieces, you hear the syncopation of jazz and other characteristics we normally think of as 20th century developments.”
Take my word for it: you have never heard Bach played like this, and it may infuriate you, it may entrance you, but it will not leave you unmoved. João Carlos Martins is often compared to Glenn Gould, probably because play Bach on a modern piano (and often at lightning-fast tempos), and because both reconsider Bach in a highly personal way. But Gould was really an archetypical modernist, while Martins’s emotionally volatile style might just as well be compared to Horowitz, even Stokowski.
– K. Robert Schwarz / Classic CD
The most exciting player of Bach on the modern piano to emerge since Glenn Gould.
– The Boston Globe
Right from the start Martins defies convention with an extremely slow and very soft C Major Prelude from Book I. The familiar arpeggios are dreamy, not driven; Martins takes four minutes to get to the fugue. The E-flat Minor also is exceptionally slow, but other preludes–the D Minor and the B-flat Major–set speed records.
Martins puts a surprise in nearly every one of the 48 preludes and fugues, but the novelty does not come at the expense of the beauty of Bach’s exercises. In fact the wonder of this collection is that the music remains at the center of attention, and that confirms the validity of Martins’s approach. –Tom Vernier / CD Review
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