The Well-Tempered Clavier
composed and prepared by Johnann Sebastian Bach in 1722
text and data arranged by Iori Fujita
September 2001
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Let me talk about the Well-Tempered Clavier.

One or ? There are two books called as the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 and Book 2. Which one do you like better? I love both. But some preludes and fuges of each book impress me a lot more than others. According to the history, the Book 2 was not named as such by J. S. Bach. It was named by Johann Christov Altnikol, his son-in-law. We don't know why Bach had completed the second book about 20 years after of the Book 1.

Nature Many people argue about the meaning of "Well-Tempered". Some say it dose not mean "Equal-Tempered". The "Equal-temperament" is thought to be a compromise. But the Nature has sometimes a fuzzy aspect. On the Uncertainty Principle by German physicist Werner Heisenberg ( published in 1927 ), the position and the velocity of a subatomic particle cannot both be measured exactly, at the same time, even in theory. In future, someone would find a new music theory for this temperament issue.

Ourselves J. S. Bach gave the Well-Tempered Clavier to "musical youth desirous of learning and especially for the pastime of those already skilled in this study". Then why do we have to listen to the performances of great pianists? Great pianists should have played it for thier own pastime. I think that the value of the Well-Tempered Clavier will emerge when we play it by ourselves like singing hymns in our church. Oh, no, we cannot play the piano well. Then there is a way. We can transcript the score on our notebook and enjoy the transcription work itself. Oh, no, we cannot hear the music. Right. But if you transcript the score into midi data, you can listen to the music freely.

Genius Sviatoslav Richter and Glenn Gould are outstanding geniuses. They created Bach's music through the piano. No other pianists can do the same performance like those. Anyway,we can never listen to J. S. Bach's perfromance itself. So, Sviatoslav Richter and Glenn Gould are the missionaries for the New Temperament. How can I explain the differences among other pianists except Sviatoslav Richter and Glenn Gould?
Sviatoslav Richter and Glenn Gould

Actually there are many questions to be answered.

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