In Friedrich Gulda’s recording of The Well-Tempered Clavier two significant events in the history of Western music meet. One of these is this exceptional recording. It originates in the years of 1972/73, the high- and endpoint of the collaboration between the Austrian pianist and the sound-sorcerer from Villingen, Germany, Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer. Since 1969, Gulda had been using the Black Forest studio’s state-of-the-art technical capabilities for the recording of the music cycles of Beethoven, Debussy, and Mozart, as well as his own work. A Bösendorfer Grand Imperial was hauled into the MPS studio especially for Gulda’s use. You can still see the marks left from where the instrument had been precisely placed to the millimeter so that the piano’s sonority could be optimally captured. All of this is what makes Golda’s interpretations so bold and meaningful to this day. The optimal microphone placements on the piano strings reduces the distance between Bach’s work and the audience, allowing the listener to physically experience the music. The Bösendorfer sounds out in full stereo; its extreme dynamics creates a wide emotional spectrum, ranging from delicate intimacy to unbridled extroversion. The other epic event is the work itself: although it may be taken for granted today, Johann Sebastian Bach created a cycle of works played through all 24 major and minor keys that, with its development of equally tempered tuning, was a quantum spring forward. At the same time, Bach underlined the cosmic dimension of his creation by intentionally leaving open the choice of which “clavier” the piece should be played on (at that time, Clavichord, Cembalo and organ). Independent of the mechanics, this underscores the divine substance of his music. Gulda died in 2000. This new release of the Gulda recordings appears on the anniversary of the pianist’s 85th birthday. It especially takes into account the encounter between two geniuses; this is a direct copy from the master tape, the first time since the seventies that the true tonal color of the original has been produced, without any “corrections” of the dynamics. In these editions of five LPs and four CDs, the listener will find the original accompanying material, with labels, booklets, and Gulda’s comments, as well as new texts from Gulda confidant Thomas Knapp and the current sound engineer Thorsten Wyk. Finally, the listener can once again experience Gulda’s Bach the way Gulda had conceived it – as eruptive as that timeless meeting of spirit and emotion over 250 years ago.