The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book One
“Unparalleled in the History of Music”
Vingt-Quatre Préludes et Fugues dans tous les tons et demi-tons du mode majeur, et mineur. Pour le Clavecin ou Piano-Forté...1re Suite.
Title & 109 pp. (engraved throughout). Oblong folio, cont. German half-sheep & marbled paper boards (front hinge strengthened, corners a little worn, some minor soiling & foxing). Zurich: J.G. Naigueli, .
First edition of The Well-Tempered Clavier Book One (BWV 846-869), a landmark in European musical history. It surpassed “ in logic, in format and in musical quality, all earlier endeavours of the same kind by other masters…[it] represents the culmination of a 20-year process of maturation and stands unparalleled in the history of music.”–New Grove, Vol. 1, p. 813. The work, however, had to wait almost 80 years to appear in print, when it heralded the great Bach revival of the 1820s led by Mendelssohn. Three editions came out simultaneously: by Naigueli in Zurich, Hoffmeister & Compo in Leipzig, and N. Simrock in Bonn. During Bach’s lifetime less than a dozen editions of his works appeared in print.
Very rare. A very good copy in a folding cloth box.
Item ID: 3428