Bach: The Art of Fugue

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Catalogue No: DDA 25097
EAN/UPC: 809730509728
Artists:
Composers:
Release Date: February 2011
Genres: ,
Periods:
Discs: 2
Sample: Contrapunctus IV (extract)

Bach’s Art of Fugue is a great musical enigma; left strangely unfinished, it is thought perhaps to have been intended not for performance but as a definitive guide to the writing of fugues, or a personal musical message meant as the composer’s greatest legacy … in any event it is a supreme masterpiece and here is given a brilliant and individual interpretation, in which Diana Boyle (whose Metier CD of the 48 Preludes and Fugues, Book II is also highly praised) brings out classical-style emphasis and phrasing, bring the music alive more than in traditional dry and academic accounts. The recording omits the optional ‘canons’ but includes the ‘Inversus’ sections of Contrapuncti 12 and 13.

Track Listing

    Johann Sebastian Bach:

  1. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus I (4:23)
  2. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus II (3:48)
  3. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrpunctus III (4:32)
  4. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus IV (4:45)
  5. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus V (5:26)
  6. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus VI (5:10)
  7. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus VII (7:02)
  8. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus VIII (8:00)
  9. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus IX (3:39)
  10. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus X (6:48)
  11. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus XI (7:20)
  12. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus XII Rectus (6:03)
  13. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus XII Inversus (5:49)
  14. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus XIII Rectus (2:57)
  15. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus XIII Inversus (2:52)
  16. The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 − Contrapunctus XV (12:08)

Reviews

Amazon

Absolutely compelling. This is musical architecture at its highest, and Diana Boyle reads it very personally and with profound feeling and sincerity, while at the same time faithfully conserving the music’s universal quality. It is one of the most exciting and technically excellent interpretations I know.

” —Nigel McG
North London News

This riveting, intelligently thought-through reading by the talented Diana Boyle includes the fourteen Contrapuncti and the Inversus sections of Contrapuncti 12 and 13, but not the optional Canons. Lovers of Bach’s keyboard music will find it competitive.

” —Barry Forshaw
Fanfare

Boyle plays … in a slow, lyrical manner closer in feeling to the French Impressionists … genial, relaxed approach. Overall her performances have a relaxing, hypnotic, almost Zen feeling about them. I find myself completely engrossed in Boyle’s playing.

” —Lynn Rene Bayley
MusicWeb

Any listener who has become fascinated by {this work] is likely to want a selection which can be enjoyed in different ways. It is good to hear a performance that is above all determined to capture the changing musical character of the work rather than simply to demonstrate the complexity and ingenuity of the fugal writing. I must note that Ms Boyle produces some very beautiful sounds and textures, and her speeds are well chosen. It may indeed appeal to anyone who has been put off the music previously because of its reputation or unsympathetic performances. I cannot deny the beauty and character that is given to the music – rather than extracted from it. At the right time and in the right mood you may find this irresistible – I can see it becoming a cult version in some circles.

” —John Sheppard
Dianaboyle.Com

Diana Boyle’s recording of Bach’s Art of Fugue is extraordinarily wonderful…also shocking, revelatory. More than anything, I had the feeling of history flowing backwards, as if Bach’s music had been waiting for later musical evolution to reveal its hidden nature. Her playing seems not so much an art of interpretation as a new creation. The […]

” —Robin Ireland
Music And Vision

Pianist Diana Boyle well understands Bach’s sixteen Contrapuncti which step by step created The Art of Fugue as music beyond belief. She has made a very good performance and understands the nature of the music, but most of all, she is genuine.

” —George Balcombe
Jagan-Nath

A supreme masterpiece and here is given a brilliant and individual interpretation, in which Diana brings out classical-style emphasis and phrasing, to bring the music alive more than in traditional dry and academic accounts.

” —Jagan Nath Khalsa