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  • Bach, J.S.: The Art of Fugue - Emerson String Quartet
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Bach, J.S.: The Art of Fugue - Emerson String Quartet CD


Price: £9.87 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Bach, J.S.: The Art of Fugue - Emerson String Quartet + Bach: Art Of Fugue [Angela Hewitt] [Hyperion: CDA67980]
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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Oct. 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00008O8B3
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,927 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus IEmerson String Quartet 3:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 2Emerson String Quartet 2:44£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 3Emerson String Quartet 2:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 4Emerson String Quartet 3:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 5Emerson String Quartet 2:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 6Emerson String Quartet 4:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 7Emerson String Quartet 3:07£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 8Lawrence Dutton 4:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 9Emerson String Quartet 2:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 10Emerson String Quartet 3:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 11Emerson String Quartet 4:43£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 14a: Canon per Augmentationem in contrario motuEugene Drucker 5:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 12aEmerson String Quartet 1:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 12bEmerson String Quartet 1:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Canon alla OttavaLawrence Dutton 4:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Canona alla Decima, in Contrapunto alla TerzaLawrence Dutton 3:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Canon alla Duodecima in Contrapunto alla QuintaPhilip Setzer 4:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 13aLawrence Dutton 2:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen19. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 13bLawrence Dutton 2:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen20. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 14: Canon per Augmentationem in contrario motuPhilip Setzer 6:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen21. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Contrapunctus 14(18): Fuga a 3 SoggettiEmerson String Quartet 8:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen22. J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 - Version for String Quartet - Chorale: Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten seinEmerson String Quartet 3:15£0.79  Buy MP3 

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dermot Elworthy on 9 Jun. 2008
Format: Audio CD
The number of reviews given here makes another from me superfluous but I should like to take issue with David Bryson's acerbic judgment on the ending of the work.

Essentially, the Art of Fugue is a cerebral exercise which can be produced on most keyboards or combinations of instruments. On the other hand, it's workings can be fully realised from the score without recourse to any instruments at all. Generally speaking, I am in accord with Mr Bryson regarding "emotion" - it has no place in the consideration of this work. Nevertheless, in this particular instance I feel an exception is required in respect of the ending (although it does not concern the music, per se).

I am not a particular fan of this quartet but having enjoyed this disc for several years, I consider that the Emersons play the AoF to perfection on this really excellent DG recording. Bach did not expire across the table during the writing of Contrapunctus XIV but their breaking off to leave it in its unfinished state with the BACH motif seemingly floating in some ghostly finality, to my mind at least, is musically acceptable in an historical sense, emotionally poignant and a thoroughly effective device. Perhaps I might feel differently if I was convinced of the rightness of any of the alternative endings subsequently put forward by others. For me, this version is just fine and I think the empty chairs in the cover photo is a clever allusion - assuming that it is . . .

However, I do agree with Bryson's views of the liner notes; these are unhelpfully pretentious.

Otherwise, this is a first class production; the un-coloured timbre evidently characteristic of the modern instruments used in this recording seems most appropriate.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Rees on 17 April 2007
Format: Audio CD
Bach's "Art of Fugue" occupies an important position in his overall output representing his most structured exploration of counterpoint, one of Bach's key preoccupations. The collection opens with a simple fugue the theme of which is subsequently reworked again and again employing ever more sophisticated contrapuntal devices. This is deep and stiring music with much beauty which relieves the possibility of austerity.

The Art of Fugue is not scored for any stated instrument but fits well on keyboard where almost all of the pieces are playable as written; keyboard versions, therefore predominated in recording. However, the string quartet setting delivers the sense of the music very powerfully and I have to declare myself a fan of this approach though I do play these pieces at the harpsichord myself. The key advantage of the string quartet setting is that each instrument can follow the voice through with optimum phrasing and fluency - somthing that not even the best keyboard player can master given the complex fingering that fugues demand. From a listening point of view therefore I would argue that the quartet is superior. There is also a warmth in the music that is very appealing.

The Emerson Quartet delivers an inspiring and engaging rendition of this important work. Timing, phrasing and touch are exemplary thoughout and the overall impression is of a serene and confident progression through one of the most important pieces of music ever written.

Indispensable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. E. M. Goulder on 13 Nov. 2014
Format: Audio CD
I recently spent much time studying three versions of the Art of Fugue, being enough irritated with a harpsichord version that I went out and bought Aimard on piano and the Emerson Quartet doing it on four string instruments. These add to the old vinyls I had from years ago of a chamber orchestral arrangement and the lean, intellectual playing of Charles Rosen on the piano, long out of the catalogue. So now I have five versions, plus the score itself, a fair portion of which I play in my own semi-competent way.

Of the five, I think Aimard and the Emerson win pretty easily.

There’s no doubt that the four string players bring out the individual voice lines far more effectively than could ever be possible on a keyboard, so, in music that is fundamentally and supremely contrapuntal, this really is the answer. The Emerson also do a lovely job of it, although I regret their acquiescing in a sentimental tradition of playing a completely irrelevant chorale at the end. They’re particularly good in the bigger fugues, and bring the unfinished one to its open end really effectively.

But I put Aimard up alongside them because he is so musical. He brings a delightful variety of touch and mood, winning me over especially to some of the canons which I had never taken too seriously – he makes the long slow one sound a counterpart to the transcendent 25th Goldberg variation, which pays a high compliment to the music. He also shapes the conclusions to the fugues handsomely, using precisely paced ritardandi to great effect when Bach himself sometimes falls a little short in preparing for the final bars.

I am unimpressed by Davitt Moroney’s harpsichord version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By hillbank68 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am no great expert on this music, but the string quartet in which I play is planning to make its way through it, section by section, and having begun the process, I find it exceedingly fulfilling and satisfying. I bought this highly-regarded CD to have a point of reference for this project, and I find it in every respect beautiful, thoughtful and worthy of the music. The players are expert, the sound is glorious, the approach highly musical and the balance and recording state-of-the-art. As time goes on I'll get to know it and appreciate it more fully and deeply - and I look forward to that - and I have no doubt that this CD will play a valuable part in that process.
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