A badly-tempered Bach

Masaaki Suzuki delivery of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier Book II has bite in places, but lacks distinction

Composer: Bach
Repertoire: Well-Tempered Clavier Book II
Artists: Masaaki Suzuki (harpsichord)
Rating:  2.5/5
Genre: Instrumental
Label: BIS BIS-CD-1513/14

Suzuki plays a two-manual harpsichord made in 1982 by Willem Kroesbergen after an original by Ruckers, the top 17th-century European maker. A dark resonance behind the jingle-jangle tone gives it golden warmth. Suzuki tackles WTC2 (as, without explanation, the notes call Bach’s keyboard masterpiece) with considerable zest. The racing chords in the jig of the Prelude in G make feathery percussion and the finger-twisting chromatics in the Prelude in A minor have snake-charmer appeal. He uses the second manual for repeats and the F minor Prelude, but its timbre lacks distinction and one tires of the seemingly unchanging volume pervading the disc.


Bach