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Bach: Art of Fugue for String Quartet

Johann Sebastian Bach , Emerson String Quartet Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Price: $14.46 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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MP3 Music, 22 Songs, 2003 $11.49  
Audio CD, 2003 $14.46  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus IEmerson String Quartet 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 2Emerson String Quartet 2:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 3Emerson String Quartet 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 4Emerson String Quartet 3:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 5Emerson String Quartet 2:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 6Emerson String Quartet 4:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 7Emerson String Quartet 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 8Lawrence Dutton 4:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 9Emerson String Quartet 2:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 10Emerson String Quartet 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 11Emerson String Quartet 4:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 14a: Canon per Augmentationem in contrario motuEugene Drucker 5:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 12aEmerson String Quartet 1:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 12bEmerson String Quartet 1:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Canon alla OttavaLawrence Dutton 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Canona alla Decima, in Contrapunto alla TerzaLawrence Dutton 3:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Canon alla Duodecima in Contrapunto alla QuintaPhilip Setzer 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 13aLawrence Dutton 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 13bLawrence Dutton 2:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 14: Canon per Augmentationem in contrario motuPhilip Setzer 6:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 14(18): Fuga a 3 SoggettiEmerson String Quartet 8:06Album Only
listen22. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Chorale: Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten seinEmerson String Quartet 3:16$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Bach: Art of Fugue for String Quartet + Mozart: String Quartets K. 465 "Dissonance", K. 458 "The Hunt", K. 421 + Beethoven: The Late String Quartets
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Emerson String Quartet
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (August 12, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: UMVD Labels
  • ASIN: B00008O8B3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,028 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
116 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Art of Perfection December 4, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Bach's ultimate composition has so often been described as cerebral that it's inclined to put a casual listener off. Much as I admire Charles Rosen's piano recording, for example, I find it's not uncommon for the mind to wander off somewhere around the halfway mark. Perhaps it's the strings' ability to project a lyrical line, but I find the Emerson Quartet gripping from beginning to premature end, and after living with this CD for a while, the work makes more sense to me. The Art of Fugue is a monumental piece of art: like a great sculpture, it simply exists, and as a listener you may bring to it as much or as little as you like without affecting its integrity. Unlike, say, a Mahler symphony, it does not demand complete emotional commitment (except from the performers, which it definitely gets here)- and yet, when the music just stops mid-stream at the point where Bach supposedly died, the shock is greater than any number of Mahlerian hammer blows.

Beautifully recorded, sensitively played and, to descend to earth for a moment, I notice it's also discounted. Perfect.
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jet Age Fugues August 13, 2008
By Paul D.
Format:Audio CD
The Emerson Quartet are the last word is modern, slick string quartet groups. Their extremely streamlined sound works very well sometimes, othertimes not. Their recording are usually worth a listen, and usually rank high with the Gramophone, Penguin & BBC critics, but I often find I enjoy other quartets more in given works, and have often traded in for different versions. Too often, they're just too slick. In this case, that slickness works in just the right way.
My other string quartet version is a magnificent one by The Juilliard Quartet, their approach being completely different from the present set. The Juilliard perform this work, solemnly, deeply, and slowly, as if played in a cloister, or the medieval room at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It seems as if they've tried to make their quartet have the aural identity of a combo of viols (which is another good choice for this work, see the album by Fretwork, or parts of Jordi Savall's conception). If you're in the right frame of mind, and see this work as primarily a communion with the higher power, or a last throwback to the days of Sainte Columbe and Marin Marais, it would be hard to top this. I think one of this quartets best records.

In comparison, The Emersons provide a soundtrack for an art deco streamlined railway journey...their tempos are consistantly faster, with more sprite in their steps. The work certainly is EASIER to listen to this way, especially complete in one sitting. Their blend is smooth, they play wonderfully, but do lack the gravitas brought to the room by The Juilliards, or The Delme Quartet on Hyperion (in an edition prepared by Robert Simpson).
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76 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IN A WORD: "SMOOTH" July 15, 2004
Format:Audio CD
If one word could sum up this performance it would be "smooth." I have come late to the recordings of the Emerson String Quartet. This has to be among this very worthwhile group's best.
The Art of the Fugue is, if not my favorite piece by Bach, then certainly high on the short-list. This is music fully realized--with an almost mystic greatness. Les Violins du Roy and the Delme Quartet (in Robert Simpson's arrangement) have both done great chamber versions of the work.
This recording by the Emerson Quartet is well at ease in such lofty company.
This recording lets the music speak for itself. It does so brilliantly. The crystal clear sound quality works hand in hand with the performance.
Everything here is evenhanded and well judged. This is pulled off without any loss of the music's passion, fire, or insight. I cannot recommend this version of Bach's last great work highly enough.
If you are considering getting a copy, do not hesitate.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly Sublime January 1, 2005
Format:Audio CD
It's hard to express in words the emotional connection this recording makes. The extraordinary playing by the Emerson on this CD makes these works by Bach come alive in a way like I've never heard before. This is a moving and poetic recording, and you'll swear you can hear oboes and trumpets coming from only four string instruments. What can I say, I was completely blown away by this truly sublime and perfect recording. Emerson Quartet is just amazing.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond words. September 2, 2003
Format:Audio CD
In a catalogue flooded with realizations of "The Art of Fugue" on every keyboard instrument and for every other ensemble imaginable, including saxophone quartet, did we really need another string quartet version? For myself, I will be sending my other string quartet recordings of these pieces to the resale bin. The Emersons bring to this music, as they bring to Beethoven, Shostakovich, Webern, and Bartók (or anything else they touch), a quality in which they really do exceed the possible sum of their parts: impeccable technical skills, agile intelligence, warm heart, infectious energy, and a breathtaking sense of ensemble. Each individual voice breathes with an independence rarely achieved in performance of this work, and yet each seems somehow utterly inseparable from the others. Definitely a performance to shelve with the keepers - just like any other recording by this remarkable band of musical brothers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Restful and relaxing.
I don't listen to classical music often. Mainly I listen when I need to rest and relax. This album helps me in that area. Read more
Published 18 days ago by John McKown
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful music
Me likey. I bought this, it arrived, I listened to it and enjoyed it. I am fairly certain I will listen again.
Published 3 months ago by s2ndsight
5.0 out of 5 stars A very humane version of Bach's final cycle
For all those who hail Strawinsky's "music expresses nothing but itself" things don't get any better than Bach's final cycle. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Quinton Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
Master group playing some of the greatest music every written. There is not much more to say. I would recommend it highly to anyone who loves Bach.
Published 4 months ago by eleckh
5.0 out of 5 stars HEARD LIVE
I heard one of these fugues live recently and was so thrilled I instantly had to have them all. And I had the same reaction to
all of them as I had the one I heard. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Melvin Schuster
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite good
Good performance, the problem is I am not quite as fond of this set of pieces. That seems to color my rating.
Published 9 months ago by old dude
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach, the Art of the Fugue
Bach, the art of the fugue, is a recording that will amaze the listener by the clarity of recorded sound, superb playing by the highly regarded Emerson String Quartet, and, of... Read more
Published 10 months ago by art owen
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius
I love Bach. The reproduction is beautiful and the art of fugue vivaciously displayed. I would also recommend the other works such as the Goldberg variations by Perahia.
Published 18 months ago by M. A. Khakoo
3.0 out of 5 stars I like this CD very much but...
This is a very good CD the recording is excellant. However, the last 11 sec of track 21 is dead air the music stops as though the plug was pulled. Read more
Published 18 months ago by KrzSqurl
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Discovery
My favorite CD in years. Had never heard of Emerson String Quartet before (I'm a piano fan) but knew this set from several other performances such as Tatiana Nikolaeva & Glenn... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Roberto Vereza
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Topic From this Discussion
How to listen to this work?
I suggest just listening to the music. If you intend to digest the work as a whole, then certainly do it in order. However, Bach did not even specify instrumentation for this piece, so its performance by any means is already done with a bit of arbitrariness. If you like it, in part or in... Read More
Apr 14, 2007 by R. Valitutto |  See all 2 posts
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