J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Art of Fugue

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Glenn Gould
Individual Works:The Art of the Fugue selections, BWV 1080
(Contrapuncti 1-9, 11,13,14)
Prelude and Fugue, BWV 898
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Sony
Catalog Number:52595
Year Released/Recorded:1967 '83
Total Playing Time:69'36
Comments:John Stone said:

Despite louder humming than perhaps any other recording, Gould's Art of the Fugue is often inspired and brilliant. He chooses to play the organ without legato which may upset some listeners (it is the most "anti-organist" organ playing around, but I find it well-suited for the fugues-- one can better hear the separate voices. The quality of the piano recordings is quite bad, but for a fan of this music (or this
performer), the disc is indispensible.

Paul Johnson said:

The one thing that defines this recording, whatever your opinion of Gould, is his recording of the great, and unfinished, contrapunctus XIV. The slow pace, the highly civilised ordering, the uncamparable understanding, of this, the greatest of Bachian counterpoint, brings out the full dynamic of this piece. Say what you like about Gould, NO ONE plays it this good.

Corin Stuart said:

...ahem... apart from the abrupt changes in already eccentric tempi as he gets charmingly carried away with himself and finally snaps into the grove of the piece. Worth hearing.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • John Stone
  • Paul Johnson
  • Corin Stuart
Date First Submitted:03/16/1997