Bach: Die Kunst der Füge

November 27, 2001 | Format: MP3

$10.49
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
1
3:07
2
2:47
3
2:32
4
3:24
5
3:06
6
3:30
7
2:51
8
6:46
9
2:35
10
4:34
11
7:48
12
3:16
13
3:09
14
2:29
15
2:37
Disc 2
1
12:34
2
6:21
3
4:05
4
4:57
5
8:09
6
4:56
7
3:19
8
1:52
9
4:23
10
1:28
11
3:29


Product Details

  • Original Release Date: November 27, 2001
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: naďve
  • Copyright: 2001 naďve
  • Total Length: 1:50:04
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0036BGWX4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,721 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
His playing has great energy and control, with enlivening dynamics that highlight the uniqueness of each fugue.
Linda N. McLeod
He has those magic fingers that are so fine and powerful, graceful and passionate, forever changing, just like life, with its joys and sorrows.
carol France
He plays Bach on the piano and . . . and . . . and . . . the feeble minded are attracted to his keyboard antics.
Bernard Michael O'Hanlon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Linda N. McLeod on January 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Scholars have disputed the intended instrumentation of Bach's Der Kunst der Fuge for years. Many performers have cast this work for string quartet or organ, even woodwind instruments or orchestra. In my opinion, no recording has made as great a stance for the performance of these fugues on piano as this one by Grigory Sokolov. His playing has great energy and control, with enlivening dynamics that highlight the uniqueness of each fugue. In the mirror fugues, for example, he contrasts each "side of the mirror" by varying the volume and mood. What I especially enjoy about Sokolov's performance is his ability to seperate out the four different voices in the fugues. Usually this would be the chief problem with playing such a dense work as the Art of Fugue on piano, but Sokolov manages to highlight every single entrance of the theme or themes, meaning you won't be listening awestruck to just a mesh of unmelodious sound. Sokolov reveals the secrets of fugue with the clarity one would typically expect only from a performance played on multiple instruments. In the final unfinished fugue especially, the three different presented themes stand out in wonderful counterpoint without requiring any deliberate attentive listening. Also, the addition of Bach's Partita No.2 on disc 2 provides a great way to unwind after having listened to the entirety this german master's last great masterpiece.
Those of you who would normally prefer The Art of Fugue performed by an ensemble should consider this stunning performance on piano!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Max Berglund on December 14, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Albeit not a technically perfect recording, Sokolov's 1982 reindition of the Art of Fugue is on par with Nikolayeva's and in some areas even surpasses hers. Sokolov has a better drive in many of the fugues -- e.g. contrapunctus #4 and #9 -- and he also has an ability of separating the different voices in an almost uncanny manner. The somewhat stacatto playing might not appeal to everyone, though I think it's used with sense and only when called for: to chisel out themes which easily get jumbled on the piano where it's not as easy for the ear to keep the many different lines apart compared to recordings of the Art of Fuge on other instruments as for example string quartett. Sokolov has a very humble and sensitive approach towards the closing unfinished fugue; it stays tranquil and personal, which is not the case of Nikolayeva who to me comes out a bit too bold, majestic and alien. If you want to listen to the Art of Fugue on the piano, get both this and Nikolayeva -- they're both extremely good and won't disappoint anyone. The "bonus" 2nd partita is played a tad harsh, but the last movement, the cappricio, is not to be missed: exact and powerful without losing grace and beauty.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 12, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Grigory Sokolov is not as well known as he might be owing to his dislike of recording. In this, he is like another great Russian pianist, whom to my ears he most resembles: Richter. They both exude authority and commitment and are sometimes accused of being heavy-handed and percussive; indeed, I pity both the piano and its tuner once Sokolov has finished battering it into submission, yet you could never say he lacks finesse or control. His technique is quite astonishing; he knows exactly what he wants to do and does it. His liberal use of a certain staccato pointedness might for some become a mannerism but he is by no means as wilful as Gould and that clarity is especially suited to bringing out the "voices" in Bach and avoiding any Romantic soupiness. He is able to play this unfinished masterpiece as if it were an animated conversation amongst four mighty intellects and his tone is unfailingly round and beautiful.

I had previously belonged to the camp convinced that the most palatable way to hear this music was in arrangements of the kind Marriner gave us years ago on Philips, employing a variety of instruments, but I am now a convert to the purity and unity conferred on this mighty work by so persuasive anadvocate for its performance on the modern piano as Sokolov. He does not seem to me to admit any ego in to his interpretation; this is as close as it gets to a performer sounding a like a channel for Bach's spirit yet it is no more anonymous than it is obtrusive.

The 1982 digital sound is very acceptable. The fluid, refined Partita is a lovely bonus - an ideal companion piece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Dorter on June 29, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Sokolov's playing is individual and expressive in ways that make his interpretation interesting in an unusual way. It sounds less baroque and more modern than other performances. The oddest thing about it is that the unfinished fugue (contrapunctus 19) is played not at the end, where Bach's death left it incomplete, but about three-quarters of the way into the piece, followed by the four canons that normally precede it, as if they were written by Bach's ghost or zombie. Sokolov evidently intends them as a kind of epitaph to give the piece a completion, but others have done this more naturally by concluding with Bach's posthumous chorale (BVW 668a) which was published as an appendix to the Kunst der Fuge. Another approach is that of Davitt Moroney (on harpsichord) who also plays the four canons after the unfinished fugue but then follows them with his convincing completion of the fugue. Because of its idiosyncrasies I wouldn't recommend the Sokolov performance as a first choice (for piano I recommend Nikolayeva, Tribukait on organ is also very good) but it makes a refreshing alternative.
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