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  • Bach: Art of the Fugue (1965)
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Bach: Art of the Fugue (1965)


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Audio CD, November 25, 1997
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Disc: 1
1. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Repetition En Anglais
2. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Annonce
3. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint I, 1st Fugue Simple (Rectus)
4. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint II, 2nd Fugue Simple (Inverdsus)
5. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint III, 3rd Fugue Simple (Rectus)
6. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint IV, 4th Fugue Simple (Inversus)
7. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint V, 1st Fugue En Movt Contraire
8. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint VI, 1st Double Fugue
9. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint VII, 2nd Double Fugue
10. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint, VIII, 2nd Fugue En Movt Contraire Avec Dimonution...
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint X, 1st Triple Fugue A Trois Voix
2. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint XI, Fugue Avec Inversion Par Diminution Et Augmentation...
3. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint Xii, 2nd Triple Fugue
4. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint XIII, Fugue A Canon, A L' Octave A 2 Voix - Kenneth Gilbert
5. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint XIV A/B, Fugue/Miroir A 3 Voix
6. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint XV, Fugue A Canon (Canon Alla Decima In Contrappunto Alla... - Kenneth Gilbert
7. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint XVI, A/B, Fufue Miroir A 4 Voix
8. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint XVII, Fugue A Canon (Canon Alla Duodecima In Contrappunto... - Kenneth Gilbert
9. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Contrepoint XVIII, Quadruple Fugue Inachevee
10. L'Art De La Fugue BWV1080: Annonce De Fin

Product Details

  • Orchestra: CBC Toronto Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Hermann Scherchen
  • Composer: J.S. Bach
  • Audio CD (November 25, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Tahra France
  • ASIN: B000003O6K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,159,605 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Thomas F. Bertonneau on October 11, 2000
After performing and recording at least one other orchestral adaptation of Bach's "The Art of the Fugue," Hermann Scherchen (1891-1966) at last made his own transcription of that work and performed it with the CBC Chamber Orchestra, in a Toronto studio, in 1965; the concert was recorded for broadcast (we hear the announcer at beginning and end) and Tahra has released it. Anyone who has stumbled across my remarks on the recent Sony and Chandos releases of Bach transcriptions for orchestra will know that amplifications of the contrapuntal keyboard works appeal deeply to me - as I have confessed - in an atavistic way. So it's unsurprising (I'd guess) that Scherchen's adaptation of this greatest of all expressions of the fugal style should receive my high marks. Scherchen (let it be said) certainly does not follow the path taken by an older generation of Bach-arrangers; he avoids romantic excess and cultivates a rather spare style. There is thus no brass, but only strings and woodwind (with some support from harpsichord) in Scherchen's realization. Such a conception, however, addresses the music appropriately, and I would rate it above a strings-only or a string quartet version of the score. What's the point of arranging Bach's monochromatic polyphony, after all, if not to add color to it? But (this is how Scherchen saw it), not too much color. The tints must be subdued because there is something solemn, something sacred even, in this seemingly abstract exercise in pitting a single theme against itself in various combinations and permutations. The notes quote Scherchen as saying that all of music commences with "The Art of the Fugue," as though it were akin to the "word" that God breathed into the chaos at the beginning of time in order to make the world.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Damir Janigro on April 17, 2006
The Master of Bach, and the love of his daughter

Maestro Scherchen was one of the greatest conductors of the twentieth century, and only because of a significant mismanagement by recording companies coupled by appearance and success of cookie-cutter conductors has his impressive discography been mostly unavailable. It is now thanks to his daughter's effort that his work is again available to the public. These remastered LP's are of excellent technical quality, not that I really care about these details but I know many do. It is the MUSIC that is unbelievable, though. Bach was not a control freak and his work has been rewritten and instrumented in many forms and shapes. This rendition of the Art of the Fugue is unique by all means: this is not the midsummer's dream of someone who wants to "play (giocare a) Bach" but the work of a true musical genius who spent years thinking and conducting, changing and improving, looking at every detail with passion and superb musicality. You will never hear an Art of Fugue like this! And thanks to Myriam Scherchen, you can now access many more of these true gems. I only wish his writings would also become available again, perhaps translated in English.
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It doesn't get much better than this. Maestro Scherchen conducts a sensitive, heartfelt and heart-rending performance of Bach's immortal masterwork, Die Kunst der Fuge. Roger Vuataz's instrumentation emerges magnificently and Scherchen brings all the contrapuntal lines to vivid life.

The audio remastering from an archival, historic performance is well done. The musicians pick up on the conductor's sensitivity and execute every note with the deepest feeling. A rendering of this triumphal work that is truly for the ages.

At last a performance to match Bach's work of sublime perfection.
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