Thanks for the feedback Alexander. Your professional opinion is always welcome.
I'm commenting only on BWV 882, since it's the one I've played most recently. I found the prelude a bit too "right-handed"--the counterpoint is all invertible, so I'd sometimes like to hear the left hand sound louder than the right to give a sense of dialogue. Also for my taste you can afford to relax (slow down slightly) at phrase endings sometimes. For what it's worth, in bar 52 for the LH I play A sharp as the second note. All the scores I've checked have G sharp, as you play it, but it just sounds wrong to my ears. I've heard it played both ways, so there seems to be no consensus.
It never occurred to me this G sharp sounded wrong. Indeed A sharp sounds good too, just as plausible if not more. But who are we to improve on Bach ? I've learnt that everything he does is for a reason, even if I don't always get it. Isn't Bach a lot like God
Curiously, I do have such an issue with the fugue of BWV 858. In bar 21, last beat, the RH has two D#'s that sound wrong to me. In fact I've always played C## but for the recording I decided to be puritan. Others I heard play as written too. What is your take on this ?
The fugue I think is one of the most difficult in WTC--even though it's only three voices, it doesn't lie under the hands comfortably, there are a lot of leaps, and the ornaments are difficult to bring off. On the whole your playing is very clear and you've met most of the challenges successfully. But you could have made it a lot easier for yourself by not insisting on so much legato--the 6ths suggest a more detached style of playing, which would help to bring out the gavotte character, and it's also easier to play that way. Be careful with the voicing in places such as bars 26-27--I think you need to play the alto voice louder than the soprano in order for it to make sense.
I gave the soprano priority here, and when that passage re-occurs in bars 56 onwards, I tried to give the alto priority to provide some variation. I guess that idea did not work as I thought it would. Yes this fugue could be played more lightly, detached, and dance-like, but I get carried away with its powerful driving force.
I'm impressed by your dedication in rerecording all of these. I think most people would be very satisfied to do it just once!
It's a labor of love
Also my first cycle was only just passable in terms of sound, interpretation and technique. It had to be replaced.