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Головна » 2010 » Лютий » 6 » Bach - The Art of the Fugue, Davitt Moroney (harpsichord)
Bach - The Art of the Fugue, Davitt Moroney (harpsichord)

Bach - The Art of the Fugue, Davitt Moroney (harpsichord)
Classical | FLAC + log + cue | 2 CD | Covers + Notes | 740 Mb | Harmonia Mundi | Rapidshare

Die Kunst der Fuge, 'The Art of Fugue', BWV1080
Davitt Moroney, harpsichord (John Philips)

It is easier, perhaps, to stress the beauty of Bach's The Art of Fugue in prose than to discover it in performance. Davitt Moroney succeeds in both, successfully avoiding the purely didactic reading which can all too often characterize interpretations of the performer-scholar. He has a mature understanding of the complexity of the work and is therefore able to emphasize the grandeur of Bach's designs and to bring out what is all too often missing—the beauty of the music. There are, of course, details and points of view with which listeners will not be in full agreement; there will be many, I think, who will regret the absence of Bach's two harpsichord arrangements of the three-part mirror fugue (No. 13) if only because they are simply marvellous pieces and as yet seldom performed out of their traditional context. But for me this album is of absorbing interest; a particularly fruitful blend of sensible thinking, fine practical musicianship and an ability to convey aural beauty through an understanding of the shape and proportions which give The Art of Fugue its visual beauty. Exemplary presentation, effective recorded sound and silent pressings only serve to enhance a fine achievement.'
Nicholas Anderson

A further word is also necessary concerning my completion of fugue 14. Out of respect for Bach's last work, I have first recorded it as he left it, incomplete, and in its rightful place following fugue 13. However, here again as with almost all the problems associated with the Art of Fugue - Bach's intentions can be deduced and the fugue can befinished without much difficulty. I have therefore recorded it a second time, with my completion, at the very end of the cycle, after the canons. Nottebohm was the first to propose that, although the fugue has three subjects and was given (by C.P.E. Bach ?) the title "Fuga a 3 Soggetti" in the first edition, the completion planned by Bach would almost certainly have introduced the Art of Fugue motto theme. This idea has been attacked as often as it has been defended, but Jam inclined to side with him (and with Tovry, and many others) for reasons which cannot be dwelt on here. Since we now know that this fugue was indeed intended to follow fugue 13, the completion must contain the motto theme. (The original title, with its reference to "3 themes", is probably not by Bach himself; Bach's titles are generally in Latin - hence his use of the word "Contrapunctus" (following Buxtehude) instead of fugue" - while those which seem to be added by his sons are generally in Italian. The title cannot therefore be used as an argument against introducing a fourth theme.) Tovry's remark that the motto theme supplies the missing rhythmic link when allthe themes are combined together (the quavers of the motto filling the vacuum in an otherwise seamless flow of quavers) shows afar deeper understanding of
Bach's art than the unconvincing claims that the opening theme of the fugue resembles (or may perhaps be derived from) the motto.
Since Gregory Butler has shown that Bach allowed six pages for the fugue, and the surviving portion already occupies five, Bach's planned completion cannot have been going to contain more than about 40 bars at most (assuming the sixth page to have been full). I have constructed my 30-bar completion around the only two usable statements of the final combination of all four themes: the first (in C minor) gives the Art of Fugue motto theme in the soprano, while the second (in the tonic) gives Bach's own name in the soprano, since he seems to have wished to sign the whole work with his name. I have linked these two eight-bar statements with a three-part stretto on the BACH theme; this triple stretto has not yet been used by Bach, but he was without any doubt aware of it, and must have been saving it specifically for the climax. The music of these three portions of my completion (20 bars) can therefore be said, without undue exaggeration, to be more than mere speculation. The cement I have added around these three bricks is designed to maintain the wild impetus of chromaticism which Bach himself unleashed with his signature. I have refrained from indulging in a final tonic pedal, following the example of Nos. 8 and ii, the longest complete fugues in the cycle (and my last bar is a deliberate reference to fugue); comparison with the six-part ricercar, itself one of Bach's grandest fugal constructions, is also to the point here. By 1750, Bach was more interested in concision than in lengthy perorations.
For Bach, fugue and canon were two of the most wonderful ways of writing beautiful music; they were the foundation of his music. It is not for nothing that his two choral preludes Dies sind die heil'gen zehn Gebot' (These are the holy ten commandments), published in the third volume of Clavierubung, are cast respectively in the form of a strict canon and a fugue (with ten entries of the theme, of course). Fugue and canon were for him the musical equivalent of the Law, the Old Testament. My initial analogy with Michelangelo's design for St Peter's brings to mind a more intimate, more human, work by Michelangelo. the great figure of Moses holding the Ten Commandments. The statue at first seems a little stern and forbidding, but closer acquaintance reveals the tremendous depth of warmth and beauty. The face of the Art of Fugue can at first be a little stern, but if the fugues are taken one by one, the individual beauty of each is astonishing, and the whole work of great emotional unity and
expressive power is gradually revealed.

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