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J.S. Bach: Clavichord

András Schiff

Solo Piano - Released January 27, 2023 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet
It took András Schiff over 40 years to acquire his first clavichord, but the long wait was worth it. His love for the harpsichord's ‘little sister’ began in the late 1960s, when Schiff met the English pianist, organist, composer and conductor Georg Malcolm: ‘He showed me how to play Bach's polyphony with my fingers alone, without using the sustain pedal’.Unlike the harpsichord or piano, a note (string) played on the clavichord resonates for as long as the key is held down. As a result, playing this instrument is unique in that you can influence the sound even after a key has been struck, allowing for techniques such as vibrato.Historically, the clavichord was widely used as a practice instrument and a composition aid, and it was often only played in front of small groups. This doesn’t detract from its importance and significance, however, as evidenced by its frequent use by composers such as Bach.András Schiff takes to this intimate, personal instrument to offer recordings which— together with those of Friedrich Gulda or Gustav Leonhardt—constitute one of the rare complete recordings of Bach's keyboard music for clavichord. He performs the Inventions, Sinfonias, Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue BWV 903, among others, with dedication and precision, and he’s not afraid to put his own mark on the music. Schiff tends to be less known for his historical performances, but he astonishes here with an impressive recording in which he remains true to himself and to Bach. © Lena Germann/Qobuz

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