Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bach JS - The Art of Fugue Fretwork






  • Release Date: January 14, 2003
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Composer: JS Bach 
  • Performer: Fretwork
  • cd info/ buy

Bach never specified what instrument or instruments he wanted The Art of Fugue played on; nor did he finish it. Fretwork, a group of six superb viol players, leave the work incomplete, stopping in mid-phrase--the effect is persuasive rather than unsatisfying. The sound of the six different-sizedcontrapunctus 14 viols is just right for listening to the way Bach intermingles the multiple lines through and around one another--we can learn what counterpoint is just by listening to this CD. Some find the work severe and difficult, and played on a single instrument, like a harpsichord, it can be. But Fretwork manage to vary their tones sufficiently to turn the work into entertainment, albeit intellectual entertainment. You may not come away humming, but you'll be fascinated. --Robert Levine



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