The Art of Escape Revisited #1636
…an international array of soloists leads us through the magical intricacies of The Art of Fugue/Die Kunst der Fuge (S. 1080) by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Michael Ferguson’s completion of Bach’s unfinished Contrapunctus XIV is published and available.
About the program title: in France, the term ‘to make a fugue’ means ‘to take a trip away from where one usually lives, to run away’. Try asking a multi-lingual computer to translate L’Art de la Fugue and you could be led to a bed-and-breakfast, or something quite other, too. J In any event, listening to this magnum opus by Herr Bach is, without a doubt, its own special kind of trip. And where once there was only one available recording of The Art of Fugue, now multiple performers have added their personal views to the ongoing discourse.
Some years ago (2000), we devoted two previous broadcasts to The Art of Fugue, and while much of the commentary there will be replicated in this new program, the performances and instruments, there and here, differ almost entirely.
We invite you to explore our online resource which provides a thorough explanation of the background and substance to Bach’s remarkable creation, The Art of Fugue, with links to the composer’s manuscript, the original published score, and a more recent publication.
And if you are curious about the unfinished Contrapunctus XIV, check out these options:
Lionel Rogg, playing the incomplete original
Helmut Walcha, performing his completion