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Bach: The Art of Fugue / Andrew Rangell, piano

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

In the last decade of his life Bach joyfully and purposefully immersed himself in the culmination of a life's work - intending to place his own indelible stamp on the vanishing art of pure counterpoint. The Art of Fugue is Bach's final major instrumental composition, a prodigious demonstration of contrapuntal craft. This new recording features Andrew Rangell, one of the truly distinguished Bach interpreters of the present day. The Steinway label is establishing a reputation for capturing the sound of their instruments, the finest in the world, in these exceptional audiophile recordings.

American Record Guide, January/February 2013
Here is a sensitive and intelligent account of Bach's Art of Fugue. Rangell is a humble artist. He explains his decision to leave Contrapunctus 14 in its unfinished state in the liner notes: "Because I have neither the skills nor the disposition to attempt such a completion, I have opted (as many others have) to preserve Bach's poignant silence."

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusett (12/19/2011-12/21/2011).


Well played and well recorded example of BWV1080
The Art of Fugue consists of fourteen fugues and 4 canons. The fugues themselves can be considered as a set of variations, as indicated in Mr. Rangellís illustrative liner notes. However, there is more here than just intellectual exercise. Under Mr. Rangellís touch, it is clear that while some of the material is certainly slated to serve as material for the serious student, it is also evident that there is playfulness and (particularly in the case of the unfinished Contrapunctus 14) some sense of emotional closure at work. Bach has something to say in the music, and what is communicated is very human, warm, and satisfying.

As for the four canons, each of which is also a variation on the same theme, the particularly virtuosic Canon alla ottava is a treat to listen to Ė it is equal parts energetic, intellectually stimulating, driven, and fun. Mr. Rangell demonstrates that he is up to the challenge brought about both here and in the single, double, and triple fugues that make up the work as a whole.

I enjoyed this recording very much, and do indeed recommend it for the Bach fugue lover.

Submitted on 01/02/13 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080
  • Performer: Andrew Rangell (Piano)
  • Notes: Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts (12/19/2011-12/21/2011)
  • Running Time: 63 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: by 1742