Johann Sebastian Bach

I'm far from the first musician whose heart has been touched by Bach's music, and I won't be the last. I've played all of his harpsichord music at one time or another, and started to record it. Then a creep rubber-banded the tempi, pretended they were his and were played on a piano, legally copyrighted the results in the USA, and threatened legal action against sites that refused to carry them.

One of them was a recording I made for my daughter just before she died of brain cancer. He removed the prayer for her that I had placed in the recording. The sites that carry his files know what happened, and don't care.
I play for myself and my friends now.
You can listen to my recordings done to that point at Dave's J.S.Bach Page.
I thank David for his steady support, especially during this period.

Three brief notes that are relevant to my recordings:
- Bach did not invent a tuning scale, nor did he compose for equal-tempering. He wrote for a wohltemperierte, a 'good tempering', specifically tunings similar to that we call Werkmeister III today. What he invented was equal-tempered composing, the techniques of controlling consonance so that music could have a consistent style in all keys while remaining in tune on harpsichord or organ.
- Bach was well aware of the piano, in fact he was an agent for a piano maker during his later years. Further, although I play the Italian Concerto with cross-manual technique common to German organists of the time, it bears strong evidence of having been written for fortepiano.
- Two manual harpsichords were always a tiny minority of those in use. There are two methods of playing Bach's two-manual pieces such as the Goldberg Variations on a one-manual instrument. One was popularized by Glenn Gould: make a seat that can be tilted at any angle desired and use hand waving better suited to Scarlatti than to Bach. The other method, which I use, is to sit sufficiently far from the keyboard that my arms are straight; with this position the two hands can pass each other while using proper harpsichord technique. (I keep right hand over left by personal preference for equal parts, but of course use a leaping hand over a continuous hand.) Since MIDI at the time didn't support two tuned voices on one track, this is the way I recorded the Goldberg Variations.
(I note that the variations in tempo in this MP3 version were introduced during the conversion of my MIDI original to MP3. I don't play them that way.)

John Sankey