Peter Hill’s recording of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II wowed critics across the board in January 2012, prompting The Guardian to write: ‘With luck this is the first in a series of Bach recordings from Hill, and let’s hope Book I of the “48” follows soon.’
Indeed, throughout 2012 Hill was preparing Book I. His performances of Bach’s first volume of masterpieces exhibit all the qualities that were identified by reviewers of Hill’s previous traversal – ‘warmth, clarity and insight’ (Classical Music Magazine, Editor’s Choice), ‘vital communication’ (HiFi Critic), ‘impeccable’ (BBC Radio 3 CD Review, Disc of the Week), ‘shimmering’ (BBC Music Magazine), ‘liquescent’ (International Record Review).
"Hill establishes his voice from the outset with fluid, velvet-toned playing and a predominantly introspective, rather than showy approach...In short, these are exquisitely poetic and, above all, painterly accounts."
"what emerges so clearly again in Hill's wonderfully thoughtful, lucid performances is the sheer range of these pieces, the myriad ways in which Bach varied the preludes to incorporate so many distinctive 18th-century musical forms, from dances to studies, arias to improvisations. Hill characterises every one of them vividly and individually"
"Bach’s music tests the pianist in many ways, but one of the most telling is that it asks how much or how little the performer should exert ego. Hill... gets the balance just about right in an intimate account of the first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier that nevertheless oozes authority"
Recording venue(s): University Concert Hall, Cardiff
Recording dates: 10-12 July & 17-18 December 2012
Physical format: Jewel case (slimline double)
Number of discs: 2
Number of tracks: 48
Total playing time: 2:01:18
First UK release date: March 13, 2006
Album ID: DCD34126