A beautiful rendition of a classic work!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the opinion of many people, The Art Of Fugue is on of Bach's most classic and legendary works. This was one of Bach's final projects before his death, an in fact, was never completed. The entire work is performed, right up to the final notes written in the last fugue. Also included is Bach's final work, a choral piece,that when loosely translated from German, means "I step to your throne with this." A timeless piece played by a timeless ensamble."
Midas'd: Or, a Touch of Gould
Robert P. Inverarity | Silicon Valley, California, United States | 10/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a unique and interesting performance of Die Kunst der Fuge. The Canadian Brass consulted with Glenn Gould before recording, and it shows: as his were in his organ recording of the work, the tempi they use are breathtakingly fast. While their performance is more... er... nuanced than his, the speed sometimes seems to steamroll over the musical development of some of the pieces.
To put this in context: in my favorite version of the work, Jordi Savall and Hesperion XX develop it over more than 120 minutes, on two discs. Neville Marriner and the ASMF take around 90 minutes in their interestingly orchestrated but rather mediocre interpretation. This disc, though, is *56* minutes long -- including the 4+ minute choral prelude! Granted, the Canadian Brass, like Gould, do not perform the "completed" 14th contrapunctus, but rather the original unfinished version. Nevertheless, the tempi are very, very fast.
I must say, though, that for a fair number of the exercises, it works. The mirror fugues are particularly stunning with the brass instrumentation and blazing speed, and the final fugue is memorable. The choral prelude, another of Bach's final works, is a worthy addition to the disc, but after the mathematical rigor of what came before it, the transition is a little jarring.
While I can't recommend this as an introduction to the work, it's an excellent second or third recording and complements a slower, more reflective version nicely."
A brass blast with Bach
Stephen J. Snyder | Lancaster, Texas United States | 10/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a uptempo version of Art of Fugue, no doubt about that. Yet, contrary to one other reviewer, there are other versions that fit the length of one CD, albeit still taking more than 60 minutes. (Fretwork's version for a consort of viols comes in just under the 80-minute mark, for example.)
That said, at this speed, some movements just don't "breathe" enough, even if Bach may have had fast tempos in his own time. But, the sounds of brass quintet on a piece like this, in addition to the tempos, make this a welcome addition to a collections of multiple Arts."