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Bach: The Art of Fugue


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Audio CD, February 1, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

2CDs for the price of 1. Bach's Art of Fugue is a great musical enigma; left strangely unfinished, it is thought perhaps to have been intended not for performance but as a definitive guide to the writing of fugues, or a personal musical message meant as the composer's greatest legacy in any event it is a supreme masterpiece and here is given a brilliant and individual interpretation, in which Diana Boyle (whose Metier CD of the 48 Preludes and Fugues, Book II is also highly praised) brings out classical-style emphasis and phrasing, bring the music alive more than in traditional dry and academic accounts. The recording omits the optional 'canons' but includes the 'Inversus' sections of Contrapuncti 12 and 13.

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


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus I 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus II 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus III 4:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus IV 4:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus V 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus VI a 4 in Stylo Francese 5:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus VII a 4 per Augmentationem et Diminutionem 7:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Die Kunst Der Fuge (The Art Of Fugue), Bwv 1080: Contrapunctus VIII A 3 8:00Album Only
listen  9. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus IX a 4 alla Duodecima 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus X a 4 alla Decima 6:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus XI a 4 7:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus XIIa a 4, rectus 6:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus XIIb a 4, inversus 5:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Die Kunst Der Fuge (The Art Of Fugue), Bwv 1080: Contrapunctus Xiiia A 3, Rectus 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Die Kunst Der Fuge (The Art Of Fugue), Bwv 1080: Contrapunctus Xiiib A 3, Inversus 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Fuga a 3 Soggetti (Contrapunctus XIV)12:08Album Only

Product Details

  • Conductor: .
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (February 1, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Divine Art
  • ASIN: B004FUPAU6
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,301,984 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 16, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
There is no questioning Diana Boyle's technical finesse nor whether she has thought long and hard about how to play Bach's Art of Fugue. However, her approach to this work is, for me, shocking and unsettling. She plays with such mooning and and taffy-pulling of phrases and such disparities of touch and dynamics that I had trouble making myself listen through to the end. Such sudden sforzato notes emerge without warning out of a soft dynamic that one wonders if something fell on the piano keyboard. Often her unnecessary accenting of Bach's fugue theme makes a mockery of the work's subtleties, as if she is shouting, 'Here it is again!'. Ends of phrases tend to be tapered in hyperromantic fashion. At times, for no apparent reason, a musical line will subside into near inaudibility only to emerge at an equally odd moment back to its former dynamic. This is clearly not a fault of the engineering -- indeed, the audio engineering is one of this two-CD set's laudable qualities -- but a choice made by the pianist. She has left out the four canons, playing only the contrapuncti, but she does play the right-side-up and upside-down versions of contrapunctus XIII, back-to-back. She leaves the last contrapunctus unfinished just as Bach did.

I had the thought along the way that the spirit of that eccentric of the piano, Vladimir de Pachmann, had been reincarnated. De Pachmann played in such a way as to command unwavering attention because one never knew what strangeness he would commit next. The same applies here. There are those who love 'romanticized' or high individualized Bach and perhaps this set will appeal to them. But I suspect they are in the minority, even including those who love the idiosyncrasies of Glenn Gould's playing.

No recommendation here.

Scott Morrison
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