Bach's Tonal Soundscape

Ian Holtham’s unique approach to Bach’s monumental Well Tempered Clavier provides the listener with the opportunity to hear the preludes and fugues organised by key rather than the traditional and more artificial order by volume.

By performing the related works from both Books I and II together, Holtham demonstrates Bach’s extraordinary tonal landscape in an easily manageable way and so reveals the way Bach reflects on the concept of key. In so doing, Holtham illustrates the manner in which Bach’s genius and tonal landscape foregrounds the development of classical music of the subsequent centuries.

Bach's Tonal Soundscape comes on a 4-CD set to accomodate 264 minutes of music. Also included is a 20 page booklet featuring an extensive essay detailing Holtham's approach to the music. The booklet is also included if you choose to purchase the set on iTunes.

Artist

Ian Holtham

Professor Ian Holtham is one of the most distinguished and highly regarded pianists and pedagogues in Australia and his performances of the great Classical and Romantic repertoire have played to packed houses and rave reviews for many years.


Press quotes

“To record Bach’s '48' complete – 96 intensely-crafted miniatures spanning nearly five hours – is an immense undertaking. Ian Holtham arranges the movements not in the traditional chronology – Book I (1722) then Book II (1742) – but by key. Each key pair has Book I before Book II, save at the half-way point (F minor) and the end (B minor), where he puts the lighter Book II before the profound Book I. His unique ordering exposes many correspondences and relations between the pairs not heard before.

Holtham plays Bach insightfully, adding personal ornamentation, tonal shading and articulation. His fugue voicing is always crystal clear, while his delicacy in some of the most archaic fugal types is almost subdued for such grandeur. Rapid pieces are given virtuosic renditions, difficult problems are gracefully solved. In Book II he makes sense of often rambling structures with clever contrasts of articulation and tonal shading: the G Sharp Major Prelude – the only one with f/p marks, almost unrecognisable as Bach – is exquisitely given, bound to the vast triple fugue that follows, a total contrast of introverted chromaticism. Closing with the Book I B Minor Fugue, its subject the first 12-tone row in music, Holtham takes the Largo mark literally, and plays with a grandeur and freedom of tempo and dynamic contrast that wonderfully captures its sublimity and make a fitting close to a vast and impressive anthology.” ★★★★

Limelight

“A triumph of musical contemplation. The unique ordering, interlacing Books 1 and 2 by key, leads Holtham to discover many relationships between the books never considered before.”

— Warren Bebbington, University of Adelaide

Track Listing

  1. Book I, Prelude No 1 in C major, BWV 846 Johann Sebastian Bach
  2. Book I, Fugue No 1 in C major, BWV 846 Johann Sebastian Bach
  3. Book II, Prelude No 1 in C major, BWV 870 Johann Sebastian Bach
  4. Book II, Fugue No 1 in C major, BWV 870 Johann Sebastian Bach
  5. Book I, Prelude No 2 in C minor, BWV 847 Johann Sebastian Bach
  6. Book I, Fugue No 2 in C minor, BWV 847 Johann Sebastian Bach
  7. Book II, Prelude No 2 in C minor, BWV 871 Johann Sebastian Bach
  8. Book II, Fugue No 2 in C minor, BWV 871 Johann Sebastian Bach
  9. Book I, Prelude No 3 in C sharp major, BWV 848 Johann Sebastian Bach
  10. Book I, Fugue No 3 in C sharp major, BWV 848 Johann Sebastian Bach
  11. Book II, Prelude No 3 in C sharp major, BWV 872 Johann Sebastian Bach
  12. Book II, Fugue No 3 in C sharp major, BWV 872 Johann Sebastian Bach
  13. Book I, Prelude No 4 in C sharp minor, BWV 849 Johann Sebastian Bach
  14. Book I, Fugue No 4 in C sharp minor, BWV 849 Johann Sebastian Bach
  15. Book II, Prelude No 4 in C sharp minor, BWV 873 Johann Sebastian Bach
  16. Book II, Fugue No 4 in C sharp minor, BWV 873 Johann Sebastian Bach
  17. Book I, Prelude No 5 in D major, BWV 850 Johann Sebastian Bach
  18. Book I, Fugue No 5 in D major, BWV 850 Johann Sebastian Bach
  19. Book II, Prelude No 5 in D major, BWV 874 Johann Sebastian Bach
  20. Book II, Fugue No 5 in D major, BWV 874 Johann Sebastian Bach
  21. Book I, Prelude No 6 in D minor, BWV 851 Johann Sebastian Bach
  22. Book I, Fugue No 6 in D minor, BWV 851 Johann Sebastian Bach
  23. Book II, Prelude No 6 D minor, BWV 875 Johann Sebastian Bach
  24. Book II, Fugue No 6 in D minor, BWV 875 Johann Sebastian Bach
  1. Book I, Prelude No 7 in E flat major, BWV 852 Johann Sebastian Bach
  2. Book I, Fugue No 7 in E flat major, BWV 852 Johann Sebastian Bach
  3. Book II, Prelude No 7 in E flat major, BWV 876 Johann Sebastian Bach
  4. Book II, Fugue No 7 in E flat major, BWV 876 Johann Sebastian Bach
  5. Book I, Prelude No 8 in E flat minor, BWV 853 Johann Sebastian Bach
  6. Book I, Fugue No 8 in D sharp minor, BWV 853 Johann Sebastian Bach
  7. Book II, Prelude No 8 in D sharp minor, BWV 877 Johann Sebastian Bach
  8. Book II, Fugue No 8 in D sharp minor, BWV 877 Johann Sebastian Bach
  9. Book I, Prelude No 9 in E major, BWV 854 Johann Sebastian Bach
  10. Book I, Fugue No 9 in E major, BWV 854 Johann Sebastian Bach
  11. Book II, Prelude No 9 in E major, BWV 878 Johann Sebastian Bach
  12. Book II, Fugue No 9 in E major, BWV 878 Johann Sebastian Bach
  13. Book I, Prelude No 10 in E minor, BWV 855 Johann Sebastian Bach
  14. Book I, Fugue No 10 in E minor, BWV 855 Johann Sebastian Bach
  15. Book II, Prelude No 10 in E minor, BWV 879 Johann Sebastian Bach
  16. Book II, Fugue No 10 in E minor, BWV 879 Johann Sebastian Bach
  17. Book I, Prelude No 11 in F major, BWV 856 Johann Sebastian Bach
  18. Book I, Fugue No 11 in F major, BWV 856 Johann Sebastian Bach
  19. Book II, Prelude No 11 in F major, BWV 880 Johann Sebastian Bach
  20. Book II, Fugue No 11 in F major, BWV 880 Johann Sebastian Bach
  21. Book II, Prelude No 12 in F minor, BWV 881 Johann Sebastian Bach
  22. Book II, Fugue No 12 in F minor, BWV 881 Johann Sebastian Bach
  23. Book I, Prelude No 12 in F minor, BWV 857 Johann Sebastian Bach
  24. Book I, Fugue No 12 in F minor, BWV 857 Johann Sebastian Bach
  1. Book I, Prelude No 13 in F sharp major, BWV 858 Johann Sebastian Bach
  2. Book I, Fugue No 13 in F sharp major, BWV 858 Johann Sebastian Bach
  3. Book II, Prelude No 13 in F sharp major, BWV 882 Johann Sebastian Bach
  4. Book II, Fugue No 13 in F sharp major, BWV 882 Johann Sebastian Bach
  5. Book I, Prelude No 14 in F sharp minor, BWV 859 Johann Sebastian Bach
  6. Book I, Fugue No 14 in F sharp minor, BWV 859 Johann Sebastian Bach
  7. Book II, Prelude No 14 in F sharp minor, BWV 883 Johann Sebastian Bach
  8. Book II, Fugue No 14 in F sharp minor, BWV 883 Johann Sebastian Bach
  9. Book I, Prelude No 15 in G major, BWV 860 Johann Sebastian Bach
  10. Book I, Fugue No 15 in G major, BWV 860 Johann Sebastian Bach
  11. Book II, Prelude No 15 in G major, BWV 884 Johann Sebastian Bach
  12. Book II, Fugue No 15 in G major, BWV 884 Johann Sebastian Bach
  13. Book I, Prelude No 16 in G minor, BWV 861 Johann Sebastian Bach
  14. Book I, Fugue No 16 in G minor, BWV 861 Johann Sebastian Bach
  15. Book II, Prelude No 16 in G minor, BWV 885 Johann Sebastian Bach
  16. Book II, Fugue No 16 in G minor, BWV 885 Johann Sebastian Bach
  17. Book I, Prelude No 17 in A flat major, BWV 862 Johann Sebastian Bach
  18. Book I, Fugue No 17 in A flat major, BWV 862 Johann Sebastian Bach
  19. Book II, Prelude No 17 in A flat major, BWV 886 Johann Sebastian Bach
  20. Book II, Fugue No 17 in A flat major, BWV 886 Johann Sebastian Bach
  21. Book I, Prelude No 18 in G sharp minor, BWV 863 Johann Sebastian Bach
  22. Book I, Fugue No 18 in G sharp minor, BWV 863 Johann Sebastian Bach
  23. Book II, Prelude No 18 in G sharp minor, BWV 887 Johann Sebastian Bach
  24. Book II, Fugue No 18 in G sharp minor, BWV 887 Johann Sebastian Bach
  1. Book I, Prelude No 19 in A major, BWV 864 Johann Sebastian Bach
  2. Book I, Fugue No 19 in A major, BWV 864 Johann Sebastian Bach
  3. Book II, Prelude No 19 in A major, BWV 888 Johann Sebastian Bach
  4. Book II, Fugue No 19 in A major, BWV 888 Johann Sebastian Bach
  5. Book I, Prelude No 20 in A minor, BWV 865 Johann Sebastian Bach
  6. Book I, Fugue No 20 in A minor, BWV 865 Johann Sebastian Bach
  7. Book II, Prelude No 20 in A minor, BWV 889 Johann Sebastian Bach
  8. Book II, Fugue No 20 in A minor, BWV 889 Johann Sebastian Bach
  9. Book I, Prelude No 21 in B flat major, BWV 866 Johann Sebastian Bach
  10. Book I, Fugue No 21 in B flat major, BWV 866 Johann Sebastian Bach
  11. Book II, Prelude No 21 in B flat major, BWV 890 Johann Sebastian Bach
  12. Book II, Fugue No 21 in B flat major, BWV 890 Johann Sebastian Bach
  13. Book I, Prelude No 22 in B flat minor, BWV 867 Johann Sebastian Bach
  14. Book I, Fugue No 22 in B flat minor, BWV 867 Johann Sebastian Bach
  15. Book II, Prelude No 22 in B flat minor, BWV 891 Johann Sebastian Bach
  16. Book II, Fugue No 22 in B flat minor, BWV 891 Johann Sebastian Bach
  17. Book I, Prelude No 23 in B major, BWV868 Johann Sebastian Bach
  18. Book I, Fugue No 23 in B major, BWV868 Johann Sebastian Bach
  19. Book II, Prelude No 23 in B major, BWV892 Johann Sebastian Bach
  20. Book II, Fugue No 23 in B major, BWV892 Johann Sebastian Bach
  21. Book II, Prelude No 24 in B minor, BWV893 Johann Sebastian Bach
  22. Book II, Fugue No 24 in B minor, BWV893 Johann Sebastian Bach
  23. Book I, Prelude No 24 in B minor, BWV869 Johann Sebastian Bach
  24. Book I, Fugue No 24 in B minor, BWV869 Johann Sebastian Bach

Performers

Composer

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity.


Where to buy

Bach's Tonal Soundscape can be purchased online through Buywell Just Classical or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

This title is also available in (or can be ordered through) many fine music retailers across Australia, including Thomas’ and Readings.

Product details

List price
$50.00 AUD
Release date
December 2016
Copyright
© 2016 Ian Holtham
Phonogram
℗ 2016 Move Records
Category
Classical
Catalogue number
MD 3413
Alternate catalogue number
MD3413
Barcode
EAN 9314574341324