Bach’s Welltempered Clavier has been recorded numerous times, and of course the work allows for a very diversified and individualist approach. In terms of displaying polyphony hardly anybody can touch Glenn Gould, but I always seem to come back for one version, which I think ranks way above the rest. There seems no ego involved in this playing and the music just speaks for itself.
Needless to say that this pianist has a gargantuan command of the keyboard, but it is the spiritual ‘Durchdringung’ of the notes that make this recording the towering monument regarding Bachs collection of 48 Preludes and Fugues. ( Already the very first Fugue has a breath and vision that eclipses any contemporary version by an arm’s length.)

( Links to 1st book )