Reissue on the 1955s USSR Accord, the quality varies from track to track, the sound is sometimes not fully disclosed, but magical honey notes, expressive and caressing the ear, arise here and there. Gould is certainly a wizard!
From the 3-lp set only the first (1968) and the third (1972) records have been found, from each one I took three most successfully recorded tracks. The result was an example of how the thoughtless replacement of recording equipment with a more modern one leads to the degradation of sound, in this case – the loss of natural timbres of the piano on the record of 1972 (tracks 4, 5, 6). In general, the sound of the entire second book of the WTC makes worse impression than the first (1965).
On tour in the USSR Gould was recorded several times, including a live performance of the Three-Voice Inventions (1960) and a partita #2 (1962) with a well good LO-FI sound. Inventions convey the magic of the piano Gould better than studio recordings, we can only guess how great it sounded live. Rondo and sarabande from the second partita recorded somewhat tougher, there are noticeable detonations in the saraband. At the end of the list there are two finest Columbia 1964 studio recordings of inventions. The magic there is noticeably less.
The German LP MPS-Basf 1972, in general recorded and mixed poorly – there are many preludes with a level of -10db, and subsequent overloaded fugues, most tracks sound disembodied and cold. F. Gould, to my taste, plays WTC too monotonous and rigid, especially it concerns fugues, but a couple of well-recorded preludes clearly demonstrate that at the piano the master of his craft.
The recording was made in 1970 in one of the churches of Salzburg. Microphones are set far from the piano, the sound is dull and over echoed but rather plastic and conveys the sacred nature of the music very well. Richter plays thoughtfully, his version of WTC is imbued with light sadness and philosophical reflections.
Bach and Gould are made for each other. The language of heavenly beauty of the first and the stunning polyphony of the second are indescribable. The quality of the recording is not bad, the most clearly recorded tracks are selected.
Among more than a dozen long-playing records of Sofronitsky turned out to be only a few good-sounding tracks, it is a pity that a pianist of this high level was recorded with such disregard.
Masterfully executed piano miniatures.
The TU-1kl 33 album, Gilels sounds much more interesting than its later editions on Melody. The orchestra looks weaker in the background of the piano.
Sofronitsky plays a little softer than Prokofiev, but his charisma is not inferior.