Volume 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier, based on the New Bach Edition, closely follows Bach’s autograph score. The Foreword draws on earlier versions contained in the autograph as well as on non-autograph variants found in reliable secondary sources. This edition which does full justice to Bach’s work enables musicians to try out and play alternative readings.
The Barenreiter Well-Tempered Clavier is masterpiece of keyboard literature, a unique URTEXT edition reproducing the musical text of the New Bach Edition. The Barenreiter edition presents the musical text as it is found in the sources. J S Bach was the first to conquer the entire breadth of tonality in his Das Wohltemperierte Clavier (The Well Tempered Clavier) by composing a collection of preludes and fugues in all major and minor keys – a truly revolutionary achievement.
A detailed German/English preface by the editor Alfred Duerr included with each volume discusses the source material as well as the performance practice, including the execution of ornaments.
Barenreiter editorial guidelines keep differing manuscript traditions and versions of the Well-Tempered Clavier separate. In many other publishers’ editions, there is a mixture of the various manuscript traditions and versions, creating a work different from the original sources.