J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II (2 CDs)

A recognised authority in twentieth-century and contemporary music, Peter Hill turns for the first time on disc to another of his lifelong preoccupations: the music of J.S. Bach. On this new recording, Hill brings his customary scholarly acumen and crystalline musical intelligence to bear on Book Two of the ‘48’ – music of ‘unsurpassed inventiveness’.


"Hill's technique is impressive, but he eschews flamboyant showmanship, bringing instead humility, poise and gravitas to these accounts. Tempos are thoughtfully judged and tend to underscore the reflective, meditative qualities that underlie many of Bach's later works"


"Hill is unfailingly musicianly in his approach, his playing full of the kind of insights that can only come from long acquaintance with the music. He lets Bach speak for himself - this is entirely unegotistical playing - the opposite end of the specturm from Gould's highly interventionist approach....What I miss in Hill's recording is an audible relish for the instrument itself."


"Every performance here is quite audibly the product of careful consideration; every musical decision, whether over tempi, phrasing, or dynamics, seems utterly logical. Yet there's nothing didactic about the results, just a wonderfully natural unfolding of these pieces, in which Hill is never ashamed to make full use of the tonal resources of the modern piano. The crystalline quality of his quiet playing is a regular pleasure."


Recording venue(s): University Concert Hall, Cardiff
Recording dates: 11-13 November 2010 & 19-20 February 2011
Physical format: Jewel case (slimline double)
Number of discs: 2
Number of tracks: 48
Total playing time: 2:38:10
First UK release date: September 12, 2001
Album ID: DCD34101