Bach’s Complete Well-Tempered Clavier by Angela Hewitt

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Welcome to the Grand Hall. Thank you for coming to the concert. To ensure that everyone enjoys the music, please switch off your mobile phones and any other sound and light emitting devices before the performance. Unauthorised photography and audio / video recordings in the Hall are prohibited. Enjoy the concert and come again.

Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier at HKU 20 SEP | THU | 6:30PM Music in Words with Angela Hewitt 21 SEP | FRI | 7:30PM Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier by Angela Hewitt, Book I 22 SEP | SAT | 3:00PM Music in Words with Stephen Hung 23 SEP | SUN | 3:00PM Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier by Angela Hewitt, Book II

Presented by

museinfo@hku.hk | +852 3917 8165 | www.muse.hku.hk

Supported by


Angela Hewitt

In September 2016, Angela began her 'Bach Odyssey', performing the complete keyboard works of Bach in a series of twelve recitals, finishing in June 2020. In 2018 she performs the complete WellTempered Clavier in London, Tokyo, Ottawa, New York, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Vancouver/Victoria, and Stratford (Ontario). Other recitals will take her to Lisbon, Prague, Rotterdam, London’s Royal Festival Hall, Girona, Minneapolis, Ferrara, Bari, Perugia, Portland (Oregon), Cleveland, Bern, and Newcastle. Born into a musical family, Angela began her piano studies aged three, performing in public at four and a year later winning her first scholarship. She studied with Jean-Paul Sévilla at the University of Ottawa, and won the 1985 Toronto International Bach Piano Competition which launched her career. In 2018 Angela received the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award – the highest honour for an artist in Canada. In 2015 she was promoted to a Companion of the Order of Canada, and in 2006 was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, has seven honorary doctorates, and is a Visiting Fellow of Peterhouse College in Cambridge. She lives in London but also has homes in Ottawa and Umbria, Italy where she is Artistic Director of the Trasimeno Music Festival.

1 B i og r a p hy

Angela’s award-winning cycle for Hyperion Records of all the major keyboard works of Bach has been described as "one of the record glories of our age" (The Sunday Times). Her second recording of the Goldberg Variations appeared in 2016 and was immediately a best seller, as was her 2014 recording of The Art of Fugue. Her discography also includes albums of Couperin, Rameau, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Fauré, Debussy, Chabrier, Ravel, and Granados. Her second disc of Scarlatti Sonatas and her seventh volume of Beethoven Sonatas (including The Tempest) were released in October 2017 and June 2018 respectively, both hitting the Billboard charts in the U.S. In 2015 Angela was inducted into Gramophone Magazine’s "Hall of Fame" thanks to her popularity with music lovers around the world.

B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

One of the world’s leading pianists, Angela Hewitt appears in recital and with major orchestras throughout Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Her interpretations of Bach have established her as one of the composer’s foremost interpreters of our time.


Music in Words with Angela Hewitt 20 SEP | THU | 6:30PM

M u s i c i n Wo r d s w i t h A n g e l a H e w i t t

Rehearsal Room, LG1/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, HKU

B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

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Moderator: Prof. Daniel Chua, Department of Music, HKU Inspired by her organist and choirmaster father, the young Hewitt has developed a deep fondness of Bach’s music since childhood. From completing an 11-year project recording all the major keyboard works for Bach, to organising her second all-Bach cycle world tour, one can see how Hewitt breathes Bach and transforms with the timeless music. In this talk, Hewitt will unveil her personal experience and pianistic transformation throughout all the years on the Bach keyboard.


The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I 21 SEP | FRI | 7:30PM Grand Hall, Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre, HKU

No. 1:

Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 846

No. 2:

Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 847

No. 3:

Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp major, BWV 848

No. 4:

Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp minor, BWV 849

No. 5:

Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 850

No. 6:

Prelude and Fugue in D minor, BWV 851

No. 7:

Prelude and Fugue in E-flat major, BWV 852

No. 8:

Prelude and Fugue in E-flat minor, BWV 853

No. 9:

Prelude and Fugue in E major, BWV 854

No. 10: Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 855 No. 11: Prelude and Fugue in F major, BWV 856 No. 12: Prelude and Fugue in F minor, BWV 857

20-minute intermission

No. 13: Prelude and Fugue in F-sharp major, BWV 858 No. 14: Prelude and Fugue in F-sharp minor, BWV 859 No. 15: Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 860 No. 16: Prelude and Fugue in G minor, BWV 861

B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

J. S. BACH BWV 846-869

No. 17: Prelude and Fugue in A-flat major, BWV 862 No. 18: Prelude and Fugue in G-sharp minor, BWV 863 No. 19: Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV 864

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No. 21: Prelude and Fugue in B-flat major, BWV 866 No. 22: Prelude and Fugue in B-flat minor, BWV 867 No. 23: Prelude and Fugue in B major, BWV 868 No. 24: Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 869

W TC Bo ok I - P ro g r a mm e

No. 20: Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 865


B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t Book I - Score

Book I

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B o o k I - S c or e

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B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t


Music in Words with Stephen Hung 22 SEP | SAT | 3:00PM

M u s i c i n Wo r d s w i t h S t e p h e n H u n g

Rehearsal Room, LG1/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, HKU

B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

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Moderator: Prof. Chan Hing-yan, Department of Music, HKU Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier is perhaps the very first musical pilgrimage every pianist embarks on. Whilst its performance demands a high musical stamina, this monumental keyboard masterpiece also offers a dazzling kaleidoscope of timbre that gives out brand new listening sensations every time it is revisited. In this talk, Hong Kong pianist Stephen Hung will share how he approaches Book I and II – the two divergent Well-Tempered Clavier sets that are composed 20 years apart. As the 48 preludes and fugues gradually evolve into deepening musical complexity, Hung will unfold the interlaced harmonic spectrums before us.


The Well-Tempered Clavier Book II 23 SEP | SUN | 3:00PM Grand Hall, Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre, HKU

No. 1:

Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 870

No. 2:

Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 871

No. 3:

Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp major, BWV 872

No. 4:

Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp minor, BWV 873

No. 5:

Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 874

No. 6:

Prelude and Fugue in D minor, BWV 875

No. 7:

Prelude and Fugue in E-flat major, BWV 876

No. 8:

Prelude and Fugue in D-sharp minor, BWV 877

No. 9:

Prelude and Fugue in E major, BWV 878

No. 10: Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 879 No. 11: Prelude and Fugue in F major, BWV 880 No. 12: Prelude and Fugue in F minor, BWV 881

30-minute intermission

No. 13: Prelude and Fugue in F-sharp major, BWV 882 No. 14: Prelude and Fugue in F-sharp minor, BWV 883 No. 15: Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 884 No. 16: Prelude and Fugue in G minor, BWV 885

B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

J. S. BACH BWV 870-893

No. 17: Prelude and Fugue in A-flat major, BWV 886 No. 18: Prelude and Fugue in G-sharp minor, BWV 887 No. 19: Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV 888

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No. 21: Prelude and Fugue in B-flat major, BWV 890 No. 22: Prelude and Fugue in B-flat minor, BWV 891 No. 23: Prelude and Fugue in B major, BWV 892 No. 24: Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 893

W TC Bo ok I - P ro g r a mm e

No. 20: Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 889


B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t Book II - Score

Book II

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B o ok I I - S c or e

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B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t


Programme Notes by Angela Hewitt

Programme Notes

Book I

B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

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The six years that Johann Sebastian Bach spent as Capellmeister to Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen (1717–23) were some of the happiest of his life. The young prince (only twenty-three years old in 1717) was a viola da gamba player of great skill and had an eighteen-piece orchestra of excellent caliber. Bach was delighted to work for someone who both "loved and understood music". On taking up his new duties, Bach relinquished the composition of organ and choral music that had occupied him previously in Weimar. Only a few cantatas were composed to celebrate royal birthdays and special occasions. Cöthen was in Saxony where Calvinism predominated at the time, and there was little music in the local churches (with the exception of the Lutheran Agnuskirche where Bach worshipped and went to practice the organ). He was now expected to produce secular instrumental music, and he did so, as was his custom, with great energy and all his heart and soul. From the Cöthen period date the Brandenburg Concertos, the four orchestral Suites, the Partitas, Suites, and Sonatas for solo and accompanied violin and cello, and the French Suites for keyboard. Bach and the prince became close friends, and he often accompanied the prince on his journeys. Upon returning from a trip to Karlsbad in 1720, Bach was confounded by the news that his wife, Maria Barbara, had died and was already buried. With four children ranging from the age of five to twelve to bring up, he could not remain a widower for long, and within a year had married Anna Magdalena Wilcke, sixteen years his junior and a fine soprano. Their marriage was celebrated on December 3, 1721, with four barrels and thirty-two carafes of wine — almost a hundred liters! As his duties at court were not totally time-consuming, Bach was able to devote himself to the musical education of his family. In 1720, when his eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann was nine years old, he presented him with a notebook in which they began to compile pieces that contain, among other things, first drafts of what we know today as the Little Preludes, the Two- and Three-Part Inventions, and eleven of the first twelve Preludes from The Well-Tempered Clavier. It was always Bach’s aim to develop musical intelligence from the very beginning, along with technique — something which is often overlooked today. Many of the pieces in the Clavierbüchlein are in Wilhelm Friedemann’s own hand, as he was undoubtedly learning how to compose. It is impossible to give exact dates of composition of many of Bach’s works, as they were often compiled from already-existing material. In the case of The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, Bach wrote the date 1722 on the title page of the fair copy:


In 1715 Johann Caspar Fischer had composed a set of preludes and fugues in twenty different keys called Ariadne Musica. Four years later, Johann Mattheson wrote a user’s manual in figured-bass playing that gave two examples in each of the twenty-four keys. It was left to Bach, however, to give us the first real music in keys like C-sharp major and E-flat minor. Twenty-two years later, in 1744, he compiled another twenty-four preludes and fugues to complete what is now known as the "48". It is an inexhaustible treasure trove of the greatest possible music, combining contrapuntal wizardry with his immense gift for expressing human emotion in all its forms. Bach amazes us by absolutely never running out of steam. In The Well- Tempered Clavier, we find a piece to suit every mood and every occasion.

11 P ro g ra m m e N o te s

To satisfactorily explain the adjective 'well-tempered' is to tread on dangerous ground. Treatises have been written on the subject, and even today the debate continues. Tuning a keyboard instrument always has to be a compromise, because the intervals of a perfect fifth and a perfect third are incompatible with each other and with a pure octave. In Bach’s day, the common practice was to use the mean tone system, which retained the purity and sweetness of the major third. This meant, however, that it was impossible to play in all twenty-four keys because of 'errors' that would occur in the more remote ones. As musicians became more and more dissatisfied with these restrictions, they turned to equal temperament which favours the interval of a perfect fifth, and which makes each key tolerable (although inevitably one can argue that much is lost by making everything uniform, especially as regards the character of each key). In between these two systems there can be many modifications, and it is thought that Bach must have used his own method of tuning. The only, rather vague, testimony we have on the subject comes from his obituary, written by his son C.P.E. Bach and his pupil J.F. Agricola, where it states that: "In the tuning of harpsichords he achieved so correct and pure a temperament that all the keys sounded pure and agreeable. He knew no keys which, because of impure intonation, one must avoid."

B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

The Well-Tempered Clavier or Preludes and Fugues through all the tones and semitones including those with a major third or Ut Re Mi as well as those with a minor third or Re Mi Fa. For the profit and use of musical youth desirous of learning and especially for the pastime of those already skilled in this study composed and prepared by Johann Sebastian Bach at present Capellmeister to His Serene Highness the Prince of AnhaltCĂśthen, and director of His Chamber Music. Anno 1722


Programme Notes B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

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In Bach’s time the word 'clavier' did not denote any keyboard instrument in particular, but meant harpsichord, clavichord, spinet, virginal, or even the organ. An inventory taken at the time of his death lists many different instruments, but gives no details beyond their size and value. Bach reportedly preferred the clavichord for its ability to produce shadings and even vibrato, although surely its extreme delicacy must have made anything but the quietest pieces rather frustrating. Perhaps for this reason, Bach’s friend, the great organ and harpsichord builder Gottfried Silbermann, set about working on a fortepiano (following the first attempt at one by Cristofori), which Bach tried before his death. It is said that he found it interesting, but weak in the high register and too hard to play (complaints often voiced by pianists today about some modern grands!). His music requires great sprightliness, clarity, rapidity, warmth, strength, and subtle shadings that have to be matched by both instrument and player. If Bach’s music sounds 'wrong' on the piano, then surely most of the blame must lie with the pianist. The instrument itself is, I find, ideal, as it can be made to sing and dance as Bach demands. The difficulty is in making it sound easy.


Bach did, however, leave us a composite manuscript, probably built up between 1739 and 1742. Each prelude and fugue is written out separately on a folded sheet of paper (prelude on one side, fugue on the other to avoid page turns), and several are copied out in Anna Magdalena’s hand. There is no title page, and three of them have been lost. Many corrections and revisions are visible, done at different times. After Bach’s death, this autograph probably went into the hands of his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann, and we know that Muzio Clementi owned it in the nineteenth century. In 1896 it was acquired by the British Museum, where it remains today. It would be easy if the story ended there. It does not. Bach continued to make revisions in copies belonging to his pupils right up until 1748 — perhaps never giving us his final thoughts on the subject. The most important of these sources is the complete manuscript in the hand of Johann Christoph Altnickol (1719 –1759) who became Bach’s son-in-law in 1749. It is dated 1744 and bears the title page: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Second Part, consisting of Preludes and Fugues through all the Tones and Semitones, written by Johann Sebastian Bach, Royal Polish and Electoral Saxon Court Composer, Capellmeister and Directore Chori Musici in Leipzig.

13 P ro g ra m m e N o te s

The year after Johann Sebastian Bach wrote the date 1722 on the title page of his first set of twenty-four preludes and fugues, The Well-Tempered Clavier, he left the court of AnhaltCöthen to take up his duties as Kantor of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. During the next twenty-seven years until his death in 1750, he wrote a breathtaking amount of music — mostly sacred and secular cantatas, motets, Masses, Passions, and oratorios. Also from this time date the six keyboard Partitas, the completion of the French Suites, the Clavierübung II and III, the Goldberg Variations, another set of twenty-four preludes and fugues and, in the last few years, The Musical Offering and The Art of the Fugue. It is therefore not surprising that he left us with no fair copy of what is now known as Book II of the '48'. Time must have been scarce! He also had to direct the Collegium Musicum, train and discipline unruly choirboys, play at weddings and funerals, and deal with the town authorities who were a constant source of annoyance. On top of all that, he and his wife Anna Magdalena added thirteen more children to their family — only six of whom survived infancy.

B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

Book II


Programme Notes B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

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After Bach’s death, individual preludes and fugues were published in various theoretical treatises, but it wasn’t until 1801/2 that not one but three complete editions of the '48' appeared. In the case of Book II, however, none was based on the British Library autograph which was then unknown. We have had to wait until the 1990s for editions to appear that take into account all of the available sources (the new Associated Board edited by Richard Jones, and the Neue Bach-Ausgabe edited by Alfred Dürr). The first English edition (a copy of which was passed down to me through my father’s family) was done by Samuel Wesley and C F Horn, and published in instalments between 1810 and 1813 (with a different price for subscribers and non-subscribers). In their introduction, Wesley and Horn make the following claim: The 48 Preludes and Fugues, the first 12 of which are here presented to the Musical World (in a more correct manner than they have ever yet appeared, even in the Country where they were constructed) have always been regarded by the most scientific among scientific Musicians, (the Germans) as matchless Productions. They give detailed recommendations on how to study them (slow practise, beginning with the less complicated ones), even advising the avoidance at first of those in C-sharp major, E-flat minor, and F minor 'because they are set in Keys less in use in England than upon the Continent, and therefore are at first puzzling'. Myriad signs are used in the text to mark each entry of the subject, its inversions, augmentations, and diminutions. This complex history of Book II is the reason why so many variants appear in the editions we now have. In the end, of course, that is not the most important thing (bringing Bach’s music alive should be uppermost in the mind of the interpreter) but it is fascinating to see how his musical imagination was constantly seeking to embellish and improve. Indeed, several of the pieces survive in early versions probably dating from the 1720s and ’30s. For their inclusion in The Well-Tempered Clavier II they underwent extensive revisions, enlargements, and often transpositions.


It was when my mind was in a state of perfect composure and free from external distractions, that I obtained the true impress of your grand master. I said to myself: it was as if the eternal harmony was conversing within itself, as it may have done in the bosom of God, just before the creation of the world.

Programme notes (abridged) © Angela Hewitt for Hyperion Records

B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

The Well-Tempered Clavier has never ceased to be a source of inspiration, fascination and wonderment to professional musicians and music lovers. We have been told many times that, after his death, Bach’s music fell out of favour and that it was only 'revived' by Mendelssohn. That is partly true, of course, but Mendelssohn was introduced to it by his teacher Carl Friedrich Zelter, who himself had been a pupil of Johann Kirnberger, who in turn was a pupil of Bach. Zelter, the director of the Berlin Singakademie, counted among his friends the poet Goethe who often heard the young Mendelssohn performing Bach’s Fugues. Late in his life, Goethe made the following remark:

15 P ro g ra m m e N o te s

It is futile to even attempt to say which book of the '48' is the better. Both contain jewels of many colours. There are certainly differences, especially in the preludes which, in the second set, are on a much bigger scale (accounting for the extra half-hour playing time). Whereas in Book I only one prelude is in binary form (two sections both repeated), there are ten examples of this in Book II. The beginning of what was later called 'sonata form’'is apparent in many of the preludes, with substantial amounts of thematic material being partially recapitulated — usually with a different distribution of parts and often in a key other than the tonic. There are no two- or five-part fugues in The Well-Tempered Clavier II, but some of the three-part ones are among his most ambitious. Certainly there are more pieces in Book I that are immediately familiar to us, making them more approachable to the listener and student, but undoubtedly Bach’s maturity and mastery of the genre is nowhere more brilliantly displayed than in this final set.


演繹.平均律

演 繹 .平 均 律

文.邵頌雄 人文學者,著有《樂樂之樂:巴赫〈郭德堡變奏曲〉的藝術》及 《黑白溢彩:荷洛維茲的藝術》

B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

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西方古典音樂史上,固然有數之不盡的不朽作品,但若論最重要的一部,則非巴赫(Johann Sebastian Bach)的兩卷《平均律鍵盤曲集》(The Well-Tempered Clavier)1 莫屬。兩卷 曲集,分別就十二個大調和十二個小調,寫成前奏曲(prelude)與賦格(fugue),對各 個調性的音樂內涵、風格、情感,悉予探索。 顧名思義,所謂「前奏曲」者,就是為即將彈奏的樂曲作一種暖手似的準備,若彈奏者於 一台未接觸過的鍵琴上演奏,先來一段前奏也讓他們對該台鍵琴的調音、音色、琴鍵等 2 有所認識。 因此,前奏曲既富即興色彩,亦可容納多種不同的曲式,變化多端。例如卷 一的升 C 大調前奏曲(BWV 848)和卷二的 A 大調前奏曲(BWV 888),曲式便如吉格 舞曲(gigue);卷一的 e 小調前奏曲(BWV 855),仿若一曲詠嘆調(aria),而隨後 的降 e 小調前奏曲(BWV 853),則為薩拉邦德舞曲(sarabande);卷一的降 B 大調前 奏曲(BWV 866)乃一闋觸技曲(toccata)無疑,卷二的 c 小調前奏曲(BWV 871)卻 是一首兩聲部創意曲(invention);鋼琴家休伊特(Angela Hewitt)甚至認為卷二的 B 大 3 調前奏曲(BWV 892),就如一首協奏曲(concerto) ;兩卷《平均律集》開首的 C 大 調前奏曲(BWV 846 & 870),都明顯帶有濃重的即興味道;卷二的 f 小調前奏曲(BWV 881),則富當時流行的嘉蘭特風格(galant style)。至於各首樂曲的「賦格」部分,不 但展現對位法的洞見、譜寫四聲部或五聲部的精湛技巧,亦把每一個調性的情感與色彩發 揮得淋漓盡致。 以上稍舉數例,說明兩部共四十八首前奏曲與賦格,不但是巴赫教導兒子和學生作曲的教 材(卷一其中十一首的前奏曲與賦格,即來自巴赫教授長子的《致威廉弗里德曼 • 巴赫之 鍵盤曲集》(Clavier-Büchlein vor Wilhelm Friedemann Bach)),對後世的啟發和影響 亦非常深遠。《平均律集》卷一,為十八世紀初制定鍵盤樂器的「平均律」調音後,首部 全面探索二十四個大小調性的作品,內容豐碩、包羅萬有,對不同曲式、寫作技法都有涉 獵,於賦格的處理,更見精微。莫扎特(Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)的五首弦樂四重奏 賦格(K. 405),便是根據《平均律集》卷二的 c 小調、降 E 大調、E 大調、降 e 小調和 D 大調的賦格部分而成。此外,貝多芬(Ludwig van Beethoven)的遺物中,亦見他珍藏 的《平均律集》,眉批處處,可見他曾下苦功精研;蕭邦(Frédéric Chopin)的《前奏曲》 (Preludes, Op. 28)和蕭斯塔高維契(Dmitri Shostakovich)的《二十四首前奏曲與賦格》 (24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87),都受《平均律集》啟發寫成。

1 德語 Das Wohltemperierte Klavier,中文一般翻譯為「平均律鍵盤曲集」,但究竟 Wohltemperierte 所指,是把八 度音程以內的十二個音「平均調律」,還是容許不平均調音而能突出各個調性獨特個性的「善巧調音」,於西方 學術界至今仍頗有爭論。於此從俗,譯之為「平均律」。 2 David Ledbetter, Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier: the 48 Preludes and Fugues. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. 3 Angela Hewitt, Bach Performance on the Piano. Hyperion Records, DVD.


小結上來所言,巴赫的《平均律集》於音樂創作、彈奏技法和滋養心靈等三方面的高度藝 術成就,都天衣無縫地融而為一,是其獨領風騷的地方。 巴赫從來未有打算把兩卷《平均律集》出版,傳世的卻有好幾份其學生謄寫的抄本。但巴 赫兒子和學生於鍵盤上炫技而即興的出色演奏,卻深受當時愛樂者的推崇,令《平均律集》 5 廣於當時音樂圈子中傳閱、抄寫、私藏,被視如音樂教學的「無上秘笈」 。然而,正因 為一直以來《平均律集》的學術氣味甚濃,且當中大部分的樂曲都內蘊篤樸,與巴赫其他 如《觸技曲與賦格》(Toccatas and Fugues)、《英國組曲》(English Suites)、《帕緹塔》 (Partitas)等較華麗外揚的作品不同,因此直至二十世紀初,都沒有鋼琴家或鍵琴家會 把全套《平均律集》搬上表演台上作為演奏曲目。布桑尼(Ferruccio Busoni)於 1894 年 出版了他改編的《平均律集》卷一,鑑於現代鋼琴的性能和近代發展的彈奏風格與技術,

4 Joseph Horowitz, Arrau on Music and Performance. Mineola: Dover Publications, Inc., 1982, pp. 39-40. 5. 有關流通至義大利的各種《平均律集》版本,可參考 Charles Bertoglio, “Italian Instructive Editions of The WellTempered Clarvier: A Useful Resource for Performance Practice Studies,” Understanding Bach(2014), 9, 49-74。文 章對近年過於「迷信」Urtext Edition 的情況,甚有啟發之處。

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舒曼視巴赫的《平均律集》為其精神食糧,猶如每天不可或缺的食糧(“Let the WellTempered Clavier be your daily bread”)。《平均律集》展示的,不僅為寫作及彈奏上的 精闢技法,巴赫為每首樂曲賦予高雅而深邃的精神境界,才是其精華之處。彈好兩卷《平 均律集》極難,不少著名的鋼琴大師都不敢碰,原因就是演奏者除了需對各種曲式韻律有 所認識、能游刃有餘地處理複音織體、具備廣博的彈奏技法,還要能深入曲中的精神意趣, 引領觀眾進入樸實恬靜、幽玄枯高的境界。

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除音樂創作上的啟蒙,《平均律集》亦是學習彈奏鍵盤技法的重要教材。貝多芬、車爾尼 (Carl Czerny)一系,便非常注重這部作品的教學。貝多芬一支,由他傳給車爾尼,車爾 尼的學生則有李斯特(Franz Liszt),由李斯特再傳克勞斯(Martin Krause),並由克勞 斯傳阿勞 (Claudio Arrau)。阿勞曾提到,兩卷《平均律集》是克勞斯教法的基礎。他要求 所有學生不但把每一首前奏曲與賦格都練得滾瓜爛熟、清楚彈好每一個聲部,並了解由聲 部建立起的豐富織體,更需要做到可以隨時能把任何一首前奏曲與賦格移到另一調性彈奏 4 出來。 由於四十八首前奏曲與賦格各具風格、各有特色,故其彈奏技巧亦豐富多變,因 此鋼琴家席夫(András Schiff)於多次訪問中明言,每天僅好好選彈這些前奏曲與賦格已 足,毋須更特別作其他的指法練習。但其實除席夫外,每天必彈巴赫此作品的,還有不少 音樂大家,其中包括蕭邦;較近代的,則有大提琴家卡薩爾斯(Pablo Casals),他每天 起來必先做的,就是走到鋼琴前彈上一兩首《平均律集》內的樂曲,而每天入寐前,也必 拉上一首巴赫的《無伴奏大提琴組曲》,幾十年如一日,風雨無改。筆者慶幸藏有一段他 彈奏的卷一升 F 大調(BWV 858)賦格部分,造句的溫暖感人,幾十年下來的功力果然名 不虛傳,非畢生研習不能達至。由此也可了解,不少音樂家視這套《平均律集》如瑰寶, 每天從中受其高雅的養份滋養。


演 繹 .平 均 律

大大增寫了原曲,說是令這套曲集能作演奏之用。此舉究竟是把十八世紀的音樂作品「現 代化」,令樂曲更能得到後世觀眾的欣賞,還是偉大作品上的塗鴉,固是見仁見智,但布 桑尼的做法,正正說明了《平均律集》到了二十世紀初,仍只是一套「教材」,鮮有將之 全套演出。據說貝多芬和孟德爾頌偶爾也有選彈曲集中的前奏曲與賦格,但也只是選彈當 中較為炫技外揚的幾首而已。

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若以私下為人演奏《平均律集》而言,首位把整套曲集演全的,不是別的鍵琴家,而正 是巴赫自己。他的一位學生格爾巴(Heinrich Nikolaus Gerber)曾多番向兒子提到一次本 應跟巴赫上堂之時,巴赫並無心情教授,卻為他彈奏了整部《平均律集》第一卷,格爾 巴謂畢生難忘。至於以此作表演曲目,筆者的資料搜集恐未周全,暫以偲爾娃(Blanche Selva)於 1904 年於巴黎所作十七場全巴赫作品演奏會,為當年「破天荒」首趟於演奏廳 6 演奏整套《平均律集》。 其後,芬伯格(Samuel Feinberg)為第一位於蘇聯演奏整套《平 7 均律集》的鋼琴家,其時為 1914 年。 同一年,克勞斯把四十八首前奏曲與賦格分配幾 8 位學生(當中包括阿勞),於柏林把兩卷《平均律集》彈演其全。 值得留意的是,此中 提及的純《平均律集》演奏會,都有很濃烈的教學意味。年僅二十的偲爾娃演奏全部巴赫 鍵盤作品,有為公眾推介這位作曲家的意味;芬伯格那時才從莫斯科音樂學院(Moscow Conservatory)畢業三年,其演奏對音樂學院的學生來說,亦具示範意義;克勞斯指導年 輕學生演出(那時阿勞才十一歲),也是讓他們積累演奏經驗,予練習於演奏。 稍後,於 1936 年,便有圖雷克(Rosalyn Tureck)以首位「巴赫專家」的姿態,於紐約 市政廳(New York’s Town Hall)演奏多場全巴赫作品的獨奏會,當中包括兩卷《平均律 集》。到了 1948 年,已移居紐約的蘭多絲卡(Wanda Landowska),以 Pleyel 特製的仿 古鍵琴,同樣於紐約市政廳演奏了這套曲集。無獨有偶,演奏史上兩位分別於鋼琴和羽管 鍵琴建立演奏巴赫音樂的權威人物,都是女性演奏家。 兩位巴赫權威,對詮釋巴赫的理念大異。蘭多絲卡的名言,謂「你用你的方法演奏巴赫, 我則以巴赫的方法來演奏」(“You play Bach your way, I’ll play Bach his way”),道出了 她對自己詮釋巴赫鍵盤作品的自信。但今天看來,蘭多絲卡的演奏固然不能視為標準,即 使圖雷克樹立的,也不被視為唯一「正確演奏巴赫」模範。兩種迴異的巴赫風格,不但衍 生出何謂「以巴赫的方法來演奏」的問題,也間接引導學界思考究竟《平均律鍵琴曲集》 是否特別為甚麼類型的琴而寫的。多年以來,學者的意見不一,但大都傾向認為不是為 單一種鍵琴樂器來寫。例如卷二的 a 小調前奏曲(BWV 889),便明顯不可能按照曲譜 於羽管鍵琴(harpsichord)彈出來,而更像是為管風琴(organ)寫的一曲。鍵琴家萊文

6 感謝黃轅兄提供資料。可參 http://www.blanche-selva.com/biographie.html。 7 見 http://www.skfe.com/aifs/aifs/biog_en_feinberg_sirodeau.html。 8 見上揭 Joseph Horowitz 一書,頁 39。


(Robert Levin)替 hänssler 唱片公司灌錄的《平均律集》全集,便輪番以羽管鍵琴、翼 琴(clavichord)、管風琴等不同鍵盤樂器來彈奏四十八首前奏曲與賦格,甚得《平均律集》 為多種「鍵盤」而寫的意趣。事實上,巴赫既是當時最有名的管風琴家,亦擅各類鍵琴, 我們總不能以為他創作的《平均律集》只能限於某一種樂器來彈出,或自限認為不能以另 一種樂器演奏。

當然,全套《平均律集》的演奏會,今天還是少見。畢竟,在演奏廳中以能耐緊握觀眾逾 兩小時於如斯內蘊沉潛音樂的演奏家,實在不多。我們熟悉的,還是以唱片為多。最早灌 錄《平均律集》選曲的,是珂恩(Harriet Cohen),時為 1928 年,距今剛九十年。其後 於 1933 年那一兩年間,費雪(Edwin Fischer)錄下了第一個完整的全套《平均律集》錄音, 筆者認為至今仍為最好的演奏之一。往後幾十年間,全套錄音的唱片如雨後春筍,印象尤 為深刻的鋼琴錄音,包括季雪金(Walter Gieseking: 1950)、圖雷克(1953;1975-6)、 妮可拉耶娃(Tatiana Nikolayeva: 1971; 1984)、顧爾德(Glenn Gould, 1965)、歷赫特 (Sviatoslav Richter: 1969; 1970; 1973)、德姆斯(Jörg Demus: 1970)、古爾達(Friedrich Gulda: 1972)、柯洛里奧夫(Evgeni Koroliov: 1998-9)、朱曉玫(2009)等。休伊特為 Hyperion 分別於 1997 及 2008 灌錄的全集錄音,前者以 Steinway 鋼琴灌錄、後者則以 Fazioli,琴聲的音質上可以聽出差異:1997 的版本,琴音較為醇厚溫暖,而 2008 的版本 則偏向乾淨清脆。後出的演奏,也為樂曲賦予更多的音色和節奏的變化,但前出的版本聽 來卻更為坦率自然,兩者各擅勝場,都是不少學習《平均律集》學人必聽的版本之一。

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此問題其實不好答。半世紀或更遠的年代,大部分音樂家或許都覺那是不大適合的曲目 安排。甚至巴赫自己的公開演奏,也不會把《平均律集》或其他的《英國組曲》等整套 彈完。演奏卷一全卷,需時約兩小時;演奏卷二全卷,更需約兩個半小時。對演奏家來說, 準備兩小時這樣織體錯綜複雜的賦格、背譜演出風格多樣的前奏曲,本身已非易事;然 而對於觀眾來說,這種需要高度集中、思考、理解的音樂會,同樣要求頗高的文化素養。 因此,演奏這套偌長艱深而不大具娛樂性的曲目,一直被視為吃力不討好之舉。但時代 不斷在變,近代《平均律集》已是任何學琴者不能不學的首要曲目,全套樂集的唱片也 有很多選擇,學人也能通過反覆細聽而熟知各首樂曲。是故,今天以整套《平均律集》 作為演奏曲目,已非半世紀前那樣予人吃不消之感,反而是學人觀摩的機會。

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然而,如果《平均律集》不是為單一樂器來寫,我們也可反過來想想:其實有無必要於一 場演奏會中,把一整卷的曲集彈全?


演 繹 .平 均 律 B a c h ' s C o m p l e t e W e l l - Te m p e r e d C l a v i e r b y A n g e l a H e w i t t

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至於以古鍵琴灌錄的,蘭多絲卡的版本(1949-52)充滿浪漫情懷,當中不乏充滿洞見 的詮釋、感人的樂段,但卻難以說是體現了巴洛克時代的風格,連一度隨她習琴的寇克 帕萃克(Ralph Kirkpatrick: 1959)亦甚有微言,乃另外發展出一套近乎學院派的演奏風 格。此外,窩爾莎(Helmut Walcha: 1961)的演奏,則有如蘭多絲卡的反面,一絲不苟 的處理令他手下的巴赫聽來沉重而內斂。蘭多絲卡與窩爾莎,一者側重感性的抒發,另一 則着重理性的分析,有若南轅北轍。被稱為「近代羽管鍵琴之父」的里昂哈特(Gustav Leonhardt: 1967),卻兼具兩者之美,琴音造句溫暖而睿智,且奠下不少只此一家的 彈奏技巧。八十年代後灌錄過全集《平均律集》的鍵琴名家,如庫普曼(Ton Koopman: 1982)、阿斯培倫(Bob van Asperen: 1989-90)、韓岱(Pierre Hantai: 2001)、艾嘉爾 (Richard Egarr: 2006)等,都是他的學生,而鈴木雅明(Masaaki Suzuki: 1996)、魯塞 (Christophe Rousset: 2013)更是他的徒孫輩。上述所言,都是值得欣賞細聽的《平均 律集》鍵琴錄音。 鋼琴與鍵琴演奏的巴赫,帶出迴異的音樂體驗。鋼琴的造句富歌唱性,然鍵琴的造句則 近乎言說。兩者性能和音色不同,音質與音量亦大異,是故雖然彈奏的是同一份樂譜, 但因應樂器性能而建立的美學觀,自亦大有差別。故所謂「追求原真性」(authenticity) 的口號,委實虛妄。今時以鋼琴演奏巴赫,一般認為「正確」的方法,也不過是因應鋼 琴的特性而衍生的一套近代標準。與其埋首於形式上的追尋,倒不如置心於形式外的音 樂本質,以一己的性情感悟融入於巴洛克的風格、豐富多姿的織體當中,又或細意體會 其他演奏者的獨特個性、詮釋洞見。筆者雖偏愛費雪彈奏《平均律集》的深情、歷赫特 獨有的孤高、顧爾德橫空出世的鬼才,也較喜歡帶有男性氣概與稜角的巴赫詮釋,但亦 佩服休伊特以其無瑕的技巧,對每個音符、每個樂句、每段樂章等極為細膩的琢磨,由 是展露出女性陰柔嫵媚的觸覺、一份由女性角度綻放出的人生景觀。獨尊一說、排外自 矜的心態,與音樂和藝術的本質背道而馳。對於愈益趨近「一言堂」的社會環境,更需 汲取藝術的多元風格、自由詮釋,以滋養我們的心靈。《平均律集》對每個調性與曲式 的探討,不論是大調或小調、常用或較僻的調性、高昂抑低潛的樂境等,都一一「平均」 處理,本身也是海納百川的胸懷,值得偏狹封閉的文化借鏡。

節錄版分四天於《明報》世紀版刊登 2018 年 9 月 10-13 日