The Well-Tempered Clavier in Lehman

Recorded by Enrico Baiano last year:

Also available on Spotify:

Very interesting. Baiano is a very fine player, mostly with early fingerings! I perused the published information on this recording, and cannot find anywhere any reference to the temperament used or any mention of Lehman.

Le 21/01/2023 14:37, Claudio Di Veroli via The Jackrail écrit :

Very interesting. Baiano is a very fine player, mostly with early fingerings! I perused the published information on this recording, and cannot find anywhere any reference to the temperament used or any mention of Lehman.

The link leads to this:

In my opinion Brad Lehman provides a fairly convincing analysis of this
scheme (see ‘Bach’s Temperament: Our Rosetta’s Stone – 1’, “Early Music”
Vol. 33, No. 1, February 2005, pp. 3-23. – 2, “Early Music” Vol. 33, No.
2, May 2005, pp. 211-231). He assumes that the simple loops refer to
pure fifths, and those with one or two supplementary knots refer to
narrower fifths (1 knot = slightly narrow; 2 knots = a bit narrower).
The result is a typical German unequal temperament of the period, that
allows the use of all the keys, but maintains them differentiated. This
temperament avoids the traps usually occurring in the temperaments of
the period: the E-B fifth is pure and softens the E major triad, usually
problematic because of the fairly ‘acid’ E-G# third; at the same time
the G#, enharmonically intended as Ab, creates a good major third with
the C; the major thirds C#-E# and F#-A# are “nervous” but not
unpleasable. Another benefit of this temperament is that it helps to
overcome some tuning problems that strings and wind instruments could
face when they play with a keyboard instrument, which is exactly what is
required by a well-tempered instrument. I used it for Book One, and
another one, slightly different but based on the same principles, for
Book Two. How good is the result can be judged carefully listening (in
Book One) to the closing chords of the Prelude I, of the Prelude and
Fugue IV, of the Fugue XIII and of the Fugues XVII and XVIII.

Sorry Dennis. Will not repeat here the several published articles and comments on Lehman’s temperament by every single temperament scholar I know of: Patrizio Barbieri, Mark Lindley, Ibo Ortgies, Rudolf Rasch, Fred Sturm, Peter Williams, myself and others. They apply not only to the historicity (or lack thereof) of Lehman’s proposal, but also to how it is mismatched to the frequency of intervals in the WTC. You mention the E major triad, actually the worst sounding one in Lehman.

Anyway my question is: how do we know Baiano’s recording uses Lehman?

In the booklet of the 4 cds is said the wtc1 is tuned with Lehman temperament, while the wtc2 is tuned in a Baiano’s temperament very similar to Lehman’s.
You can read the booklet here: https://davinci-edition.com/product/c00656/

Dennis was quoting from the liner notes (booklet) of the cds.

Le 21/01/2023 14:58, Claudio Di Veroli via The Jackrail écrit :

Sorry Dennis. Will not repeat here the several published articles and comments on Lehman’s temperament by every single temperament scholar I know of: Patrizio Barbieri, Mark Lindley, Ibo Ortgies, Rudolf Rasch, Fred Sturm, Peter Williams, myself and others. They apply not only to the historicity (or lack thereof) of Lehman’s proposal, but also to how it is mismatched to the frequency of intervals in the WTC. You mention the E major triad, actually the worst sounding one in Lehman.

Anyway my question is: how do we know Baiano’s recording uses Lehman?

Because he says so, for Book I. The “I” here is Baiano, not me:

The Well-Tempered was not composed to advocate equal temperament,
which was well known but not generally appreciated because of the lack
of contrasts between keys. Bach favoured the practical example to a
complicated treatise, and left us a simple pattern: a flourish drawn
on top of the frontispiece page of Book One. It shows a sequence of
eleven ‘loops’, which can readily correspond to eleven fifths (the
twelfth would ideally connect the two ends). Some loops are simple,
others have one or two supplementary knots.
In my opinion Brad Lehman provides a fairly convincing analysis of
this scheme (see ‘Bach’s Temperament: Our Rosetta’s Stone – 1’, “Early
Music” Vol. 33, No. 1, February 2005, pp. 3-23. – 2, “Early Music”
Vol. 33, No. 2, May 2005, pp. 211-231). He assumes that the simple
loops refer to pure fifths, and those with one or two supplementary
knots refer to narrower fifths (1 knot = slightly narrow; 2 knots = a
bit narrower). The result is a typical German unequal temperament of
the period, that allows the use of all the keys, but maintains them
differentiated. This temperament avoids the traps usually occurring in
the temperaments of the period: the E-B fifth is pure and softens the
E major triad, usually problematic because of the fairly ‘acid’ E-G#
third; at the same time the G#, enharmonically intended as Ab, creates
a good major third with the C; the major thirds C#-E# and F#-A# are
“nervous” but not unpleasable. Another benefit of this temperament is
that it helps to overcome some tuning problems that strings and wind
instruments could face when they play with a keyboard instrument,
which is exactly what is required by a well-tempered instrument. I
used it for Book One, and another one, slightly different but based on
the same principles, for Book Two. How good is the result can be
judged carefully listening (in Book One) to the closing chords of the
Prelude I, of the Prelude and Fugue IV, of the Fugue XIII and of the
Fugues XVII and XVIII.

Dennis

Le 21/01/2023 15:05, Domenico Statuto via The Jackrail écrit :

Dennis was quoting from the liner notes (booklet) of the cds.

Actually, I was quoting from the link that was sent here, where Claudio
said he found nothing about the temperament.

I see. Well, Baiano’s argument runs straight against the unanimous opinion of scholars and also practical tuners like myself. They all agree that from the “squiggle” many different temperaments can be derived, that there is evidence that JSB could not have meant anything significant (none of the contemporary Bach-circle copies reproduced the squiggle), that the temperament is significantly different from anything that either Werckmeister or Neidhardt ever proposed, that the E major triad is the WORST one in Lehman, not the best . . . I could go on for pages and pages …

Have a nice Sunday, Dennis and the others!! :slight_smile:

Had read the “Description”, now i just read the “Complete English Booklet”. It is sad to see Baiano reproducing almost literally Lehman’s temperament arguments and proposal, convincingly debunked by all the scholars I know of.

Actually it was the fact of the recording and the playing therein that I was hoping people would comment on. Perhaps nobody has bought it or people don’t have Spotify. The Lehman was ‘on the side’, although I thought it worthy of mention in the title.

He uses a couple of harpsichords, a couple of fortepianos, and clavichords in the recording, all mixed in no particular order, though I suppose he thought about which pieces worked well on which instruments.

In the opening C major prelude and fugue he uses a fortepiano. It buzzes all over the place, very audibly, and very disturbing. I am surprised and puzzled. Is this normal for a fortepiano? Domenico tells me it is the Casiglia (I found this recording via Casiglias’s facebook page) and has parchment hammers. Is that so? If that is normal for that sort of instrument they are a miserable thing to me, and way inferior to a harpsichord. How did that ever catch on? Or is it something about the microphone technique?