J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Art of Fugue

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Soloists:Richard Campbell
Julia Hodgson
Wendy Gillespie
William Hunt
Susanna Pell
Richard Boothby
Individual Works:Art of Fugue, BWV 1080

1 Contrapunctus 1
2 Contrapunctus 3
3 Contrapunctus 2
4 Contrapunctus 4
5 Canon alla Ottava
6 Contrapunctus 5
7 Contrapunctus 6
8 Contrapunctus 7
9 Canon alla Duodecima in Contrapunto alla Quinta
10 Contrapunctus 9
11 Contrapunctus 10
12 Canon alla decima [in] Contrapunto alla Terza
13 Contrapunctus 8
14 Contrapunctus 11
15 Contrapunctus 12 rectus
16 Contrapunctus 12 inversus
17 Contrapunctus [13] rectus
18 Contrapunctus [13] inversus
19 Canon per Augmentationem in Contrario Motu
20 Fuga a 3 Soggetti

Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Harmonia Mundi
Catalog Number:HMU 907296
Year Released/Recorded:2002
Total Playing Time:76:13
Related Web Site:http://www.fretwork.co.uk
Comments:Jan Hanford said:

Fretwork is an excellent ensemble and their recording of the Art of Fugue is outstanding. While not as sublime as the version by Phantasm (although Wendy Gilespie is a member of both ensembles), this is still a stunning performance.

The Art of Fugue was neglected for many years and now we suddenly have a burst of recordings on various instruments from solo keyboard to multi-instrumental ensemble. Here we have 6 viols. Fretwork's source is the original manuscript and the 1751 edition. The combination of the viols is mesmerizing. The tone is uniform but never dull, the lines weave around eachother, the different voices are clear and the result is truly lovely. I am always moved when the unfinished fugue stops and find the whole thing quite emotional.

A remarkable performance that I will return to frequently.

Acknowledgements:From the collection of Jan Hanford.
Date First Submitted:11/30/2002