J.S. Bach: Prelude in E Flat Major BWV 998, JungHae Kim, harpsichord

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  • ℹ️ Published 6 years ago
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The prelude (preludium) in E Flat Major BWV 998 by J.S. Bach, performed on the harpsichord by JungHae Kim. Live, 4K UHD video from the Voices of Music Celebration of Bach concert, September, 2015.

The streaming semiquavers of BWV 998 and BWV 999 provide a rich tapestry of sound; Bach uses this device to great effect in several of his preludes as well as the Allemande in A Minor for flute (see these works here on our channel). By arbitrarily ignoring the title "Pour le luth o Cembal[o]," the Wikipedia article dismisses the possibility that Bach wrote solo music for lute. In fact, these works have at their compositional center the style luthé--a style of music that influenced music of all kinds in the baroque period. Both BWV 998 and BWV 999 can be played on the lute, but also sound superb on the harpsichord, clavichord and lautenwerck.
Double manual harpsichord by John Phillips, after Johann Heinrich Gräbner, Dresden, 1722.
About the harpsichord made by John Phillips:
Throughout his long career, J. S. Bach would have been intimately familiar with the so-called “middle German” harpsichords made locally in Thuringia and Saxony. Three of these instruments survive which were made during Bach’s lifetime, and, of these, two instruments were built by members of the Gräbner family in Dresden, who for five generations from the 17th through the 19th centuries built and repaired organs, harpsichords, clavichords, and eventually pianos.
The instrument used in tonight’s concert is based on the 1722 Johann Heinrich Gräbner preserved in the Villa Bertramka in Prague; this instrument is the earliest of four surviving Gräbner harpsichords: the 1722 Gräbner is a very good example of the large, middle-German style from Bach’s time. It is even possible that Bach met J. H. Gräbner, as the latter was the official court tuner when Bach journeyed to Dresden to match musical skills with Louis Marchand in 1717. One of Gräbner’s sons, Christian Heinrich, later studied organ with Bach in Leipzig.
Special thanks to Peter and Cynthia Hibbard for the use of the harpsichord in our Bach concert.
Harpsichordist JungHae Kim’s playing has been described as “gallant and regal” (La Folia), “supple…impressive” (New York Arts), emotionally exquisite, warm, and inviting. Ms. Kim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Harpsichord Performance from Peabody Conservatory, and a Master’s Degree in Historical Performance (Harpsichord) from Oberlin Conservatory. She completed her studies with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam on a Haskell Scholarship, and holds an Advanced Degree in Harpsichord Performance from Amsterdam’s Sweelinck Conservatorium. Ms. Kim has performed in concert throughout United States, Europe and in Asia as a soloist and with numerous fine historical instrument ensembles including American Baroque, Brandywine Baroque, Musica Angelica, Music’s ReCreation, Musica Glorifica, and Ensemble Mirable. Visit JungHae's website at:

💬 Comments
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Underrated instrument. I wish there were more harpsichord content out there.

Author — Barbecue Sauce

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That's a particularly beautiful sounding harpsichord

Author — Tim Mallette

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When I was a kid, I loved this sound so much but never knew what instrument it was

Author — 紫苑

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this is what i call turning the black keys inti white keys

Author — nina

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After listening to other versions out there, I say : Finally! A good rythm and flow ! I believe this piece has to be like a wheel churning into clear waters! Bravo !

Author — Zia Nina

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I love the harpsichord, and I grew up listening to Bach, thanks to my dad. This music is wonderful.

Author — ericandsarahsmom1000

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Beautiful instrument. I get the impression this is the sound Wanda Landowska and her Pleyel machine were dreaming of, not to mention the wonderful rendition of the piece by JungHae Kim. (I'm still marvelled at how many Chinese, Korean anf Japanese native musicians got so well into the spirit of western classical music).

Author — Carlos Nogués

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Fantastique and beautiful play! Love this version :>

Author — 박한비

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A beautiful of Bach's unique prelude style highlighted on a superb instrument!

Author — Christopher Hodges

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Such poetical sounding harpsichord.... and a brilliant performer.... Gorgeous !! Thanks !! 👏👏👏💐🌹💐

Author — Sigurd Malfait

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The amount of key change is incredible. So smooth and deep

Author — johannsebastienbach

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I love this Prelude, and have just learned playing it from Jason Vieaux Guitarschool. Now I'm playing together with your beautiful performance on Youtube - thank you !

Author — Tom Johnsen - Music

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Thank you, JungHae Kim, for inspiring me to buy and restore the action on a modest Zuckermann Flemish single harpsichord. After a half century love affair with the grand piano, which I still love, I have taken a keyboard
mistress, and am playing Bach on the instrument for which it was intended.

Author — Matt Mackensen

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Beautiful phrasing of one of my favorite preludes.

Author — Hal Jalikakick

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loved the long pause! I never thought to extend the tension so much

Author — John Eyre Guitar

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I used to have a very frequent dream that I was playing a harpsichord; it recurred over and over until I was about 35 years old.
In the dream I played okay but not fantastic but I loved it!
That makes me wonder about past lives.
Underrated instrument. I love it.

Author — Nancy

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Wonderful to hear you. What a great performance.

Author — David M Dyer

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Well! No ornamentation required, it’s all in the pace, the space, and the phrasing (yes i know, baroque music is ornamented!....). And at 1:56, made me gasp. Thankyou.

Author — Lorentz Lossius

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Oh so wonderful. Simply magnificent music.

Author — Michajeru

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simply beautiful in every sense... thanks

Author — Noriega