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  • Bach: The Art of the Fugue (Anniversary Edition)
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Bach: The Art of the Fugue (Anniversary Edition) Limited Edition, Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered, September 3, 2002
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Frequently Bought Together

Bach: The Art of the Fugue (Anniversary Edition) + Glenn Gould: A State of Wonder - The Complete Goldberg Variations 1955 & 1981 + Plays Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Books I & II
Price for all three: $44.01

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Product Details

  • Performer: Glenn Gould
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (September 3, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00006FI8C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,829 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 1
2. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 2
3. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 3
4. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 4
5. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 5
6. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 6 (a 4, im Stile francese)
7. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 7 (a 4, per Augmentationem et
8. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 8 (a 3)
9. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 9 (a 4, alla Duodecima)
10. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 1
11. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 2
12. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 4
13. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 9 (a 4, alla Duodecima)
14. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 11 (a 4)
15. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 13 (a 3)
16. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 14 (Fuga a 3 Soggetti) unfini
17. Prelude and Fugue on the name of 'B-A-C-H,' for keyboard in B flat major (doubtful; perhaps by J.C. Kittel), BWV 898

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

I absolutely love all the works played by Glenn Gould.
Emil Khekoyan
The combination of Gould on the organ playing Art of Fugue makes this a force of nature in all it's varieties--beautiful, powerful, delicate, searching.
Avraham
I only heard the humming on the tracks with piano and found that Gould was really into Bach.
Willie C. Burnside Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Lily's pet human on August 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a partial performance on organ paired with a partial performance on piano. I didn't care too much for the organ (although Gould's very "un-organistic" articulation does work with these pieces, I miss the unique expression of his piano playing). Some of the piano recordings sound like somebody surreptitiously taped them on a concealed tape recorder.

If you want a complete Art of Fugue on piano that's as close to Gould as it gets, go with Tatiana Nikolayeva's stellar 2 CD-recording on Hyperion (CDA66631/2). I have 9 AoF performances in my collection (piano, organ, string quartet, Hermann Scherchen's orchestral arrangement), and Nikolayeva's set is my favorite by far. (It also includes the two Ricercars from The Musical Offering BWV1079 and the four Duets BWV 802-805, originally for organ.)

However, if you're as much of a Bach nut as I am, the Gould CD is worth getting just for Gould's incredible performance of Contrapunctus XIV (the final unfinished fugue).
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON VINE VOICE on September 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
What you will find on this disc is A) contrapunctus I-IX played on two different organs in 1962; B) contrapunctus I II & IV from a1981 TV broadcast; C) contrapunctus IX XI & XIII in mono from a radio broadcast in 1967; D) the unfinished contrapunctus XIV from what may or may not be the same TV broadcast as B); and as a final filler E) a prelude and fugue on the name BACH from a studio recording in 1980. Items B)-E) are given on the piano.

Gould's organ renderings ran into critical flak at the time, and whether for that reason or because organ-playing aggravated a shoulder condition that the maestro suffered from he never completed the project. The sound of the piano is a little below standard in C), with some background hiss and a slightly emaciated tone, but even it is not really bad, B) and D) are better, and E) better still sound-wise. The sound of the organs has been criticised, but I do not criticise it and indeed it suits me very well. Nothing in the sound-quality from start to finish interferes in any way with my appreciation of Gould's wonderful, visionary and unique Bach-playing.

This disc does not offer you the complete Art of Fugue, so anyone who wants what's here is going to want it for something special in the performance. Gould is always special I guess, but not special in ways that suit everyone. My feeling is that if you are of the school that wants the Art of Fugue played `expressively' you can probably leave this offering alone. Once Gould sets a tempo he sticks to it unflinchingly without rubato, and except for some build-up in the tone as D) progresses there is a very restricted range of dynamics within each piece, although the individual pieces are strongly contrasted in respect of both volume-level and pace.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Toomey on December 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I must admit hearing Gould's staccatto playing of the organ first left me cold; but on the second hearing, the clarity of counterpoint came vividly to life. The piano fugues are all very moving albeit occasionally eccentric. The inclusion of BWV 898, a rarity, very doubtful and very Beethovenian is an additional pleasure. Whoever wrote it, it is an excellent piece of music.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Willie C. Burnside Jr. on March 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is my first Glenn Gould CD. At first, I was surprised by his staccato organ playing, but I soon began to really enjoy the CD. Some may find Mr. Gould's humming annoying, but I found it amusing (it doesn't bother me much). I only heard the humming on the tracks with piano and found that Gould was really into Bach. I have heard Glenn Gould's playing on the radio and must say that he is truly a master of Bach's keyboard music. The sound quality is good and the jewel case is very nice. I highly recommend this item if you like Bach, Gould, or both.
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87 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Emil Khekoyan on November 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I absolutely love all the works played by Glenn Gould. Why 3 stars then? For a long time I have loved every work that Gould brought to life and I still absolutely love them. However, "The Art of the Fugue" really made me see some of Glenn's dark side. The flaw is that his high speeds have absolutely no excuse on this marvelous piece of creation. It is true that Gould is the best pianist when it comes to playing Bach, but to understand what I mean, go and listen to Contrapunctus IV by some other performer who plays it much slower than Glenn. I personally recommend especially the trumpet version. It will blow your mind and convince you that Gould's performance of this piece was really hiding its magnificent beauty and drama. It is simply not possible to express something so breathtakingly dramatic by playing it staccato and also too fast. Have you ever seen someone who had a great loss crying by short stops and very fast? I don't suppose so. And the comparison is very fair because all the instruments, especially the piano, were created to resemble the human voice. `Art of the Fugue' is nothing like the Goldberg Variations where Gould's touch made the music beautiful, especially the first slow movement (which he actually plays very slowly and hence compensates for the staccato). It is much more dramatic and the performer's first goal must be to convey the drama to the listener.

Who am I to judge Glenn? I just have had the privilege to listen closely to titans like S. Richter, E. Gilels, A. Rubinstein, A.Schnabel, S. Rachmaninoff, V. Horowitz, and many others. Not to mention that so far I have listened to the complete works of over 40 composers.
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