Donald Nicholson

The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Part 1

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Six concerts, seven clavicinistes, 24 keys, 48 ways of looking at Bach.

Acclaimed harpsichord player Donald Nicolson (Latitude 37, Anja & Zlatna) takes us to the heart of the eighteenth century, demonstrating on two harpsichords the tonal and tuning possibilities that were known to Bach himself.

In 1722, Johann Sebastian Bach set out to explore a new way of thinking about sound. His explorations led to an astonishing achievement – two books of 24 Preludes and Fugues, in all major and minor keys. In 2017 we’ve invited some of Australia’s most accomplished, creative and adventurous keyboard players to take us on a journey through ‘the 48’, bringing their own insights and reflections to this music, as well as matching it with music that they feel illuminate and enhance these masterworks. This is a unique project across 6 concerts throughout 2017, celebrating the genius of J.S. Bach.

Each concert will be followed by a short Q&A with the artists, allowing us all to reflect on and interrogate the music of the greatest of all Baroque composers.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre


J.S. Bach
Prelude and Fugue No.5 in D, BWV874
Prelude and Fugue No. 3 in C-sharp, BWV872

Peter Phillips
Pavana Doloroso from Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, LXXX
Galiarda Dolorosa from Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, LXXXI

J.S. Bach
Prelude and Fugue No.7 in E-flat, BWV876
Prelude and Fugue No.2 in C minor, BWV871

Michelangelo Rossi
Settima toccata from Toccate e Correnti d’Intavolatura d’Organo e Cimbalo, 1657
Corrente seconda

J.S. Bach
Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor, BWV875
Prelude and Fugue No.1 in C, BWV870

Dieterich Buxtehude
Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV163

J.S. Bach
Prelude and Fugue No.4 in C-sharp minor, BWV873
Prelude and Fugue No.8 in D-sharp minor, BWV877

Louis Couperin
Prelude from MS Bauyn II f. 15v.
Grand Passacaille from MS Bauyn II f. 24v.