Wow, what a list.... And here was me thinking I'd done them right this time. Your forensic examination quickly exposes the cracks in the glaze ! It's a bit frustrating, but also (as I love telling others) character-building. I should never think I'm done with any Bach piece. At least not until you say so
Well, I think, probably I wouldn´t give such a detailed critique to any other person than to you here, because I know, you can take it in the right way. I appreciate it very highly, if two friends can give some factual and specialist critic without the intention of any personal affront. This factual, specialist and honest critique without any personal is a way of critique I sincerely appreciate and approve. In this way this forum makes indeed a valuable sense for me, also course, if you show me my more or less little imperfections in my Bach-recordings. It´s a kind of factual contention, which motivates me very much to work further on the pieces and to try to improve my recordings.
Dammit, why is playing Bach so hard... Maybe I should pick another composer, like Liszt or Rachmaninov
Bach-playing is so hard, because it´s much complexer, more sophisticated and has a much higher claim concerning accurateness and clearness then the virtuoso romantic music like Liszt and Rachmaninof. Indeed, I would estimate the degree of art and difficulty of a fugue higher in most cases than to play one of the Mephisto-valses by Liszt or a Prelude by Rachmaninof.
As for pedal, I am not so dogmatic about not using it as in my first version. Sure, the extra coloring achieved by the pedal can go at the expense of some clarity. That's a trade-off I am willing to make. But indeed in some places there may be a bit too much.
Well, there are different opinions about using pedal in Bach-playing, of course. Most pianists are the "purists" like me, who don´t use any pedal (except in some exceptional cases I do use it, as I have mentioned). That´s the traditional rule: using pedal while playing Bach is forbidden. And now there are some few here and there, who use the pedal for some chord-progressions or arpeggios. But in every case there is left over one principal and general rule: It is forbidden to use pedal in runs while playing Bach
. "Runs", that means any progession of seconds. If pedal is used in Bach-playing, it only may be used in connections with thirds, quints or other harmonic intervalls or such, which are a part of an arpeggio in some form. And that´s what disturbs me so much in your version of the prelude and fugue d-major BWV 850, because you use pedal so much during runs (second progessions), and also in the prelude of BWV 874, there are so much runs, in which you use it. I have had no critic point concerning pedal in the fugue d-major of WTCII, because there are no runs and it´s slower, so here you don´t produce a disturbing "Sauce Hollandaise" during runs.
My personal statement to this question is the following: I like "Sauce Hollandaise" very much, I´m always licking my tongue after it, but not while playing Bach
I don't think I'll redo the WTC II pair. That prelude is long, with a lot of notes, and I will indulge in missing a few as long as the overall result is right.
Of course, it´s your decision, but if I would be you, I would redo the prelude of WTC II, because you use too much pedal in many of that fast runs here, which really is unprofessional and not adequate for this kind of music. The fugue you don´t need to rerecord.
Anyway, thanks a lot for the detailed feedback. I'll keep all these things in mind for next time, marking all the spots where weak notes were found (because there's usually some reason for them).
It was a pleasure! Don´t mention.