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Bach: Die Kunst der Fuge

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Aus tiefer Not schrei'ich zu dir, BWV 1099
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Since Bach was more than cryptic in indicating the instrumentation of what is often regarded as his musical testament, The Art of Fugue has been subjected to an infinite variety of arrangements for all sorts of instruments. This recording follows a series of performances in which the musicians of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin tested a highly unusual concept: rather than play uniformly one after the other the contrapuncti and canons that Bach left us, they have made great efforts to diversify both the instrumentarium and the macrostructure to the point where we end up, to our delight, experiencing their interpretation as an exciting musical game for several players.

"A fresh look at one of Bach's most elusive masterpieces proves that this is far more than paper music. The lively Berlin early music group make the sometimes dry counterpoint burst with inventiveness and life...their scintillating responsiveness to Bach's complex structures is a continual delight."-The Observer

"[They] imbue the methodical counterpoints with new life by sharing them between strings and wind, and by sequencing the series for maximum contrast...Whatever the sequence, it's the vivid way in which the Akademie realise Bach's ingenious structures that makes the recording so compelling."-The Independent

"the mix of sounds from this crack Berlin ensemble is particularly lively. Whether in solos, trios, quartets or a combined mass of 22, the players beaver away on strings, winds and harpsichord, illuminating the interwoven threads and adding useful spice to music that plays for more than an hour in the same key."-The Times

Gramophone Magazine
An unusually dramatic exploration of linear and textural variation...the incremental effect is both studied and often strikingly effective.

The Guardian
It's usually assumed now that it was conceived for a keyboard instrument, but the layout of the score does not preclude a much more varied instrumentation. That is what the Akademie für Alte Musik has adopted, preserving the overall musical shape of the sequence, but regularly sharpening the contrasts between successive numbers and varying the orchestrations as widely as possible.

Classic FM Magazine
Beautifully conceived and executed: superb clarity, attention to detail and absolute conviction. More fun, too, than plain keyboard versions.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Teldex Studio Berlin (10/2009).


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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Aus tiefer Not schrei'ich zu dir, BWV 1099
  • Performer: Raphael Alpermann (Organ)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: by 1710

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080
  • Performers: Sabine Fehlandt (Viola); Bernhard Forck (Violin); Dorte Wetzel (Violin); Antje Geusen (Cello)
  • Running Time: 64 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: by 1742