J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Art of Fugue

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Jordi Savall
Accompaniment/Orchestra:Hesperion XX
Viola da Gamba
Individual Works:Art of Fugue, BWV 1080
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Astrée-Auvidis
Catalog Number:E 2001
Year Released/Recorded:1986/1998
Total Playing Time:92'05"
Comments:Shaul Lerman said:

Although this recording is an AAD recording only, it is very unique since the Hesperion XX group uses authentic baroque instruments. I think this performance is excellent. The sound is very clear and authentic, and I tend to agree with Savall's opinion that this work was written for strings.

Gilles Chaumel:

This is the most profound and spiritual interpretation of the Art of The Fugue. Savall and his colleagues use instrumentation of XVIIth century, from the time of the gambas consorts, when music gave a direct acces to God. For Savall, Bach has composed his greatest work in this way. The great one recording to have!

Jan Hanford said:

This is the most beautiful interpretation of an orchestrated version of the Art of Fugue I've heard. The unusual instrumentation adds tonal variety that enhances the various movements and the evolving complexity of the fugues. I don't agree that this work was written for strings; there's too much evidence to the contrary. But the fact that it can be performed by an ensemble reveals the depth and musical importance of this work. I prefer it to any harpsichord or organ performance. It's profoundly beautiful and highly recommended.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Shaul Lerman
  • Gilles Chaumel
And from the collection of Jan Hanford.
Date First Submitted:03/30/1997