The Old Testament of Piano Music – 300 Years Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier
The Bachhaus Eisenach will dedicate a cabinet exhibition to the 300th anniversary of Bach's most influential work in music history, the Well-Tempered Clavier, starting July 1, 2022.
The "Well-Tempered Clavier" celebrates its 300th anniversary in 2022. Strictly speaking, this only applies to its first part, because 20 years later Bach wrote a second one, which contained another 48 preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys. Bach is said to have begun the work, according to the report of the music lexicographer Ernst Ludwig Gerber, "in a place where discontent, long idleness and a lack of any kind of musical instruments forced this pastime upon him," namely in his four-week arrest in a Weimar prison cell.
The pianist and composer Hans von Bülow called the "Well-Tempered Clavier" "the Old Testament of the piano player". No composition is likely to have influenced today's Western conception of the number and unity of keys as much as this work, says Bachhaus director Jörg Hansen.
The two-part exhibition at the Bachhaus first deals with the problem of tuning and the new "well-tempered" keys. Bach's compositions are then the subject of the exhibition's second room, which is set up like a cell in allusion to Gerber's report, and in which all 24 preludes as well as several fugues of the first part can be listened to in reference recordings.
The Old Testament of Piano Players - 300 Years of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier
1 July 2022 - 29 May 2023
Open daily, 10 am - 6 pm. Live music every hour
Bachhaus Eisenach, Frauenplan 21, Eisenach