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Bach: The Art of the Fugue [CD]

Glenn Gould Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: 4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Bach: The Art of the Fugue + Bach: The Goldberg Variations 1955
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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Sep 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony Music Classical
  • ASIN: B00006GOCO
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,410 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. "The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080"
2. "The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080"
3. "The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080"
4. "The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080"
5. Contrapunctus I
6. Contrapunctus II
7. Contrapunctus III
8. Contrapunctus IV
9. Contrapunctus V
10. "Contrapunctus VI (a 4, im Stile francese)"
11. "Contrapunctus VII (a 4, per Augmentationem et Diminutionem)"
12. Contrapunctus VIII (a 3)
13. "Contrapunctus IX (a 4, alla Duodecima)"
14. Contrapunctus I
15. Contrapunctus II
16. Contrapunctus IV
17. "Contrapunctus IX (a 4, alla Duodecima)"
18. Contrapunctus XI (a 4)
19. Contrapunctus XIII (a 3)
20. Contrapunctus XIV (Fuga a 3 Soggetti) unfinished
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
101 of 104 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The Church that Gould recorded the first nine works in Bach's seminal 'Art of the Fugue' burned down before he got round recording remaining pieces: a great shame given the masterful playing on this CD. People forget (or simply have no idea) that Gould studied organ alongside piano at Toronto Conservatory. He graduated in both instruments aged 12! Gould's mother was organist at a Toronto Anglican church, so not surprisingly organ playing was very much in Gould's blood and may go a long way to explaining his remarkable abilities in contrapuntal music.

Original reviews of this set (when it came out on LP) complained about the closeness of the recording, the microphones shoved close-up to the pipes. This was part of the Gould plan, and conceptually similar to the balances he preferred for his piano discs. I'm not an organist so I can't really comment on the style of his playing. As a listener I find this set thrilling. Above all Bach, Gould revered the Art of the Fugue. He plays the fugues with great erudition, judicious in his tempos, meticulous as ever in counterpoint, all lines emerging with total independence and clarity. There's a real thrill though in the music making, the fugues have tremendous energy and inner joy. A dry study in counterpoint this is not - its an affirmation.

The sound of the disc is a little unconventional in that the acoustic is quite dry, but I think the remastering has the balance about right. Gould wanted your to hear the counterpoint, it doesn't become subsumed in a cavernous acoustic. This disc is a real gem, some of the most thrilling playing and ecstatic Bach ever recorded. Its such a shame he didn't manage to finish this project, but we can be grateful for what he did record!
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111 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE VERY SOUL OF MUSIC 7 Sep 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
What you will find on this disc is A) contrapunctus I-IX played on two different organs in 1962; B) contrapunctus I II & IV from a1981 TV broadcast; C) contrapunctus IX XI & XIII in mono from a radio broadcast in 1967; D) the unfinished contrapunctus XIV from what may or may not be the same TV broadcast as B); and as a final filler E) a prelude and fugue on the name BACH from a studio recording in 1980. Items B)-E) are given on the piano.

Gould's organ renderings ran into critical flak at the time, and whether for that reason or because organ-playing aggravated a shoulder condition that the maestro suffered from he never completed the project. The sound of the piano is a little below standard in C), with some background hiss and a slightly emaciated tone, but even it is not really bad, B) and D) are better, and E) better still sound-wise. The sound of the organs has been criticised, but I do not criticise it and indeed it suits me very well. Nothing in the sound-quality from start to finish interferes in any way with my appreciation of Gould's wonderful, visionary and unique Bach-playing.

This disc does not offer you the complete Art of Fugue, so anyone who wants what's here is going to want it for something special in the performance. Gould is always special I guess, but not special in ways that suit everyone. My feeling is that if you are of the school that wants the Art of Fugue played 'expressively' you can probably leave this offering alone. Once Gould sets a tempo he sticks to it unflinchingly without rubato, and except for some build-up in the tone as D) progresses there is a very restricted range of dynamics within each piece, although the individual pieces are strongly contrasted in respect of both volume-level and pace.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Mind of GG 29 Nov 2008
By Scriabinmahler TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This is definitely one of my favourite GG Edition CDs. As with all of his Bach recordings, I'm struck by the brilliant mind of Glenn Gould, listening to the amazing clarity and freedom of his playing which makes this wonderfully complex music sound as if coming directly from his mind. What a shame he did not record complete piano version of the work! Highly recommendable not just to fans, but anyone who loves Art of Fugue, alongside koroliov's enthralling complete recording.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very unusual recording. 16 May 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I know that there is a huge debate about Glenn Gould and his playing style, not least his tendency to hum during his performances. However, I fall firmly into the camp that thinks he was little short of a genius. This particular recording of the art of fugue on the organ had not only the critics of the time but his closest friends and colleagues pretty much damning it as "unmusical". One even likened it to seals playing God Save The Queen on car horns! Gould insisted that the microphones were placed on the wind chests close to the pipes. I my view the critics got this one wrong - not Gould. As a once amteur organist I can say that this is the only recording I have (of many) where the clarity of the instrument (warts and all) is such that the impression of being in the organ loft is quite overwhelming. To my ear there is an intimacy seldom heard in organ music recordings and it is yet further confirmation to me that this man was indeed a genius. He ignored the 'advice' from his producer and left us with an unusual approach to recording the Art of Fugue on the organ. By the way the piano recordings on the CD (to my ears) are excellent too. For the more than reasonable price of this CD, I can only suggest that you try it for yourself. Will you love it or hate it?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly compelling and - like all his hum along recordings - it's as...
Just fascinating. Utterly compelling and - like all his hum along recordings - it's as if he's in the room with you.
Published 26 days ago by matthew salisbury
4.0 out of 5 stars Personal opinions about Gould's playing and vocalising will determine...
I thought that this CD might be a good entry into Gould’s idiosyncratic playing. I do not mind his oral accompaniment as much as some people and this characteristic should come as... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr R
5.0 out of 5 stars Review
The CD met my expectations. The quality is excellent.
I would recommend it to all Bach lovers.
Glen Gould superb!
Published 16 months ago by Anne Eastman
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 geniouses in one
a wonderful album mixing organ and piano! with this combination of talents what else is left to say? simply divine
Published 21 months ago by Karavan Yael
2.0 out of 5 stars I don't feel this is Gould at his '(wonderful ) best.
I find the performace very bland - strange for Gould who usually I like very much and rate highly - see the Goldbergs etc..
Published 22 months ago by Mrs. D. A. Franklin-White
4.0 out of 5 stars Shame about the missing bits
I bought this because I heard part of it on BBC Radio 3 without knowing who the organist was. From the colourful, piquant registration, the moderate size of the instrument and the... Read more
Published on 4 Sep 2011 by Galtee More
3.0 out of 5 stars bach with Glen Gould
I bought this disk because I've already got an Orchestral version which does not impress. Neither can I say that the first sections played on the organ are better than average; to... Read more
Published on 19 Aug 2009 by Peter R. Smith
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware
The CD packaging (and the second image on this listing page which shows the packaging) is misleading. Read more
Published on 30 July 2009 by maximus
1.0 out of 5 stars A very bad buy
The playing is terrible, the disc is half empty - a real waste of money.
Published on 10 Jun 2009 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Ho Hum!!!!
Excellent keyboard mastery.

Organ work superb. Piano pieces totally ruined by Gould's incessant humming!!! Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2009 by NEL
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