29 Jul 2017

Houstoun Plays Bach - The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Nos 1 - 12

From Music Alive, 3:00 pm on 29 July 2017

Michael Houstoun in recital at the University of Auckland Music Theatre performs the Preludes and Fugues Nos 1-12 of Book 2 of The Well-Tempered Clavier by Bach

As Michael Houstoun has explained, preparing to play the 48 preludes and 48 fugues involves a very deep delving into the essential character of each one. This has led him to giving them all short descriptions - or 'pseudo-titles', as he calls them. He offers these as a possible spur to a listener's imagination but stresses that they need not be taken as definitive or even too seriously. With his kind permission, we give them here.

Book Two

C major
Prelude: The Universe as a Temple
Fugue: Invitation to Joy (birthright)

C minor
Prelude: The dark wheel spins
Fugue: Unhappy resignation

C sharp major
Prelude: Invisible aria
Fugue: Rustic dance, jollity

C sharp minor
Prelude: Sorrow as Consolation
Fugue: Whirling

D major
Prelude: Processional
Fugue: Alms giving

D minor
Prelude: Vehement imprecations
Fugue: What goes up...

E flat major
Prelude: Regal elegance
Fugue: Affirmation (Beethoven)

D sharp minor
Prelude: Agreeing to disagree
Fugue: Hopes are dashed

E major
Prelude: Angelic benediction
Fugue: Holy, holy, holy

E minor
Prelude: The edge of hysteria
Fugue: Bravado

F major
Prelude: Organ playing in the empty cathedral
Fugue: Dance of smiles

F minor
Prelude: Private droplets
Fugue: Stern warning

Recorded by RNZ Concert in the University of Auckland Music Theatre, May 2017
Producer/Engineer: Tim Dodd

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