The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I

Peter Hill

Delphian Records


  • Hill paints the score like an artist at his canvas, with an acute awareness of colour and timbre, light and shade, refined – no doubt – by his extensive experience of playing Messiaen. Such an approach heightens Bach’s harmonic sonorities and the different affects roused by different keys, from the shimmering pointillistic quality of the Prelude in C sharp minor to the sable glow of the G minor fugue, and from the chill austerity of its G sharp minor counterpart to the spare radiance of the final work in the book, with its hauntingly chromatic subject … In short, these are exquisite poetic and, above all, painterly accounts. BBC Music Magazine
  • Peter Hill’s account of the second book of Bach’s 48 Preludes and Fugues was one of last year’s outstanding keyboard discs. Now he has completed his set, and what emerges so clearly again in Hill’s wonderfully thoughtful, lucid performances is the sheer range of these pieces, the myriad ways in which Bach varied the preludes to incorporate so many distinctive 18th-century musical forms … Hill delineates it all perfectly. Guardian

  • Here is that calmness and serenity, along with scintillating brilliance and sparkling digital mastery, in Peter Hill’s new recording of Book I, an absolute glory from the great pianist, and a major addition to Paul Baxter’s magnificent Delphian catalogue. The wisdom, evenness and effortless fluidity of Hill’s playing represent philosophy in action. One to live with and to love. Herald Scotland
  • This is utterly exquisite. Peter Hill has struck gold again. What Hill does is to capture the inner workings of Bach’s richly woven textures with clear-cut intellectual rigour, distributing the weight of piano tone to articulate every critical seam, yet somehow coupling that with a musicality so subtle and so teasingly flexible, there is never once a sense of academic dryness in the interpretations. A clear and powerful example is the glorious 5-part C sharp minor Fugue, which Hill evolves with masterful and inevitable perception. Scotsman

    A treat for ear and mind. Sunday Times

Track listing

  • CD 1
  • 1–2 Prelude & Fugue I in C major
  • 3–4 Prelude & Fugue II in C minor
  • 5–6 Prelude & Fugue III in C sharp major
  • 7–8 Prelude & Fugue IV in C sharp minor
  • 9–10 Prelude & Fugue V in D major
  • 11–12 Prelude & Fugue VI in D minor
  • 13–14 Prelude & Fugue VII in E flat major
  • 15–16 Prelude & Fugue VIII in D sharp minor
  • 17–18 Prelude & Fugue IX in E major
  • 19–20 Prelude & Fugue X in E minor
  • 21–22 Prelude & Fugue XI in F major
  • 23–24 Prelude & Fugue XII in F minor
  • CD 2
  • 1–2 Prelude & Fugue XIII in F sharp major
  • 3–4 Prelude & Fugue XIV in F sharp minor
  • 5–6 Prelude & Fugue XV in G major
  • 7–8 Prelude & Fugue XVI in G minor
  • 9–10 Prelude & Fugue XVII in A flat major
  • 11–12 Prelude & Fugue XVIII in G sharp minor
  • 13–14 Prelude & Fugue XIX in A major
  • 15–16 Prelude & Fugue XX in A minor
  • 17–18 Prelude & Fugue XXI in B flat major
  • 19–20 Prelude & Fugue XXII in B flat minor
  • 21–22 Prelude & Fugue XXIII in B major
  • 23–24 Prelude & Fugue XXIV in B minor
  • Total playing time over 2 CDs [121:18]