1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2014
Quite simply, this is the best recording of Bach's The Art of Fugue that I have heard. There is great clarity and precision and Munchinger and his players seem to get to the heart of the music. The performance is rigorous but never cold. This is not a historically informed performance but it took account of the scholarship of the time. Above all, it seems to capture the spirit of Bach. The Musical Offering is of similar quality. There are countless fine solos from players such as Mischa Frey (cello) , Robert Dohn(flute)and George Baynov(violin). The recording quality is as good as you would expect from the Decca golden period and exceptional for recordings now between 40 -50 years old.
The personality of the conductor comes through in both pieces - serious but thoroughly musical.
Munchinger is dedicated to tonal beauty but never for its own sake and the music always has a strong forward impulse. Like another fine conductor, Karl Richter, his Bach was often seen as suspect to following generations but his recordings seem to stand outside time and fashion. This is astonishing music that reveals new depths each time you hear it. Highly recommended. ( There is an interesting film of Munchinger and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra playing The Art of Fugue at the Colmar Festival on YouTube.)