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Art of Fugue
Bach has fascinated many – from performers to composers alike. His last work, left unfinished at his death; The Art of Fugue, has remained an enigma to date. It led to a Bach revival of sorts in the romantic era starting with Beethoven, who often introduced elaborate fugal themes into his late piano works. His Op. 133 Grand Fugue, originally intended as final movement for his Op. 130 String Quartet but later published separately for sake of overall ‘balance’ of the quartet (Grand Fugue was disproportionately longer and contained material much heavier than movements preceding it), remains one of the most elaborate tribute to the master.

I often find myself turning to Bach these days - at times for most unflattering reason of cutting myself off from the worldly noises, but usually for sheer delight of his works. I recently stumbled upon an unusual recording of the Art of Fugue by Glenn Gould. It is unusual not only because of Gould’s choice of instrument – A Church Organ, but also because of his ‘half-staccato’ playing. I won’t rate it as a fine rendition; on the contrary it might in fact offend sensibilities of a Bach puritan (so would Murray Periah replacing harpsichord with piano in his recording of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 - yes even I have a problem with that! What next? Paganini on electric guitar anyone?). Still it is to be heard con brio – as one man’s highly personal and passionate treatment of the work.
posted: 18.6.05

7 Comments

Hey Deepak, if you like Glenn Gould's rendition of the Brandenburg Concertos, you should contrast the recordings he made when he was younger versus the ones he made when he was older.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18.6.05  



Ther are actually two people interested in this!!! amazing.

-Anony

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19.6.05  



Hi Anonymons - I am unable to locate recording of Brandenburg Concertos by Glenn Gould. I tried both ArkiveMusic and Amazon without any luck (they have everything else from Preludes and Fugues to Partitas and Toccatas, but no Brandebburg Concertos. Here is where I am looking:http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=4641&name_role1=2&bcorder=2&name_id=527&name_role=1

Would you have a link from where I could procure the works you mention?


Well Anony, considering that you cared to leave a comment, it makes it the three of us. And since you've come so far, you are welcome to the club!

By Blogger Deepak, at 19.6.05  



Planet M, Brigade Road used to have it - I got my copy from there.

They may still have have Andre Isoir's 15CD set of Bach's organ music - I picked this up 2 months ago for around Rs 3500/-

Virgin Records Link: Notice the price UKP84/- after a 15% discount!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20.6.05  



I see strong French elements in your book and music diet:-)

By Blogger Geetanjali, at 21.6.05  



Hey Anonymous, which record label are the Brandenburg concerto recordings on?

:-) French?

German/Austrian composers, Canadian Performer, French taste :)?

By Blogger Deepak, at 22.6.05  



How about GG's Goldberg? Or 48? Mad, maddening, sometimes downright wrong - but often exhilirating. Nice to see all these music (as in MUSIC) freaks out for a walk.

By Blogger granny p, at 22.6.05  


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