Bach Well-tempered Clavier, Book I
In February 1987, Keith Jarrett recorded, on a Steinway grand piano, the first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was the first in a series of acclaimed Bach recordings he would make for ECM. On March 7, 1987, prior to the release of the studio set, Jarrett performed the complete WTC Book I for an audience at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in New York state, a venue renowned for its beautiful acoustics; an archival live recording of this concert, is being presented for the first time. When the studio album was released, Jarrett's manner in these iconic preludes and fugues surprised many listeners with its poetic restraint. The pianist was deeply attuned to what he called "the process of thought" in Bach; by not imposing his personality unduly on the music, Jarrett allowed every note of the score to come through via the natural lyricism of the contrapuntal melodic lines, the dance-like pulse of the rhythmic flow. These qualities are strikingly apparent in the live recording. Few jazz artists have so richly explored classical repertoire from Bach and Mozart to Shostakovich, Bartók, Barber and more as Jarrett.