Author Topic: The Art of Fugue  (Read 93698 times)

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Offline Marc

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #100 on: March 21, 2011, 11:38:32 AM »
[....]
Aimard´s version gets rather hectic and "hammering" during the course of the work, as the counterpoint gets more dense. I do not think his way suits the work. Your countryman Ivo Janssen is much to prefer to Aimard. But most (on the piano) I prefer Hans Petermandl (Gramola) and Walter Riemer (ORF). Both are noble and balanced accounts.

Yes, I agree that listening to Aimard with headpones on can be a violent expierence.
But if you're in the mood of letting it all out his interpretation can be helpful. ;)

You know: Bach's music can get you anywhere!

I might consider buying (or borrowing) another piano version, but, as you know, Bach on the piano is not entirely my Bach. Therefore it's more likely I'll hunt for other harpsichord or organ versions in the future.

Btw: it's Bach's 326th birthday today!
For that reason I've changed my listening habits tonight, to have a go at .... :P
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #101 on: March 21, 2011, 12:34:29 PM »
Yes, I agree that listening to Aimard with headpones on can be a violent expierence.
But if you're in the mood of letting it all out his interpretation can be helpful. ;)

Yes, but if I am interpreting you correctly, I do not listen to Bach, when I am in that mood.
It must be added, that I listen much to Bach, so you may conclude, that I am not often in that mood.

Quote from: Marc
I might consider buying (or borrowing) another piano version, but, as you know, Bach on the piano is not entirely my Bach. Therefore it's more likely I'll hunt for other harpsichord or organ versions in the future.

Point taken.  :)   As they say : I understand where you are coming from.

Quote from: Marc
Btw: it's Bach's 326th birthday today!
For that reason I've changed my listening habits tonight, to have a go at .... :P

Yes, congratulations to him. Unfortunately I am ill at the moment, suffering acute bronchitis (I must add that I never smoke) and rather much prostration, so I am "indisposed" these days. :(
Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #102 on: March 21, 2011, 12:43:42 PM »

 Unfortunately I am ill at the moment, suffering acute bronchitis (I must add that I never smoke) and rather much prostration, so I am "indisposed" these days. :(

That's very nasty. I hope you get better soon.

If you're better on the 31st you can always celebrate his birthday new calendar style!
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 12:45:26 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Marc

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #103 on: March 21, 2011, 01:11:36 PM »
Yes, congratulations to him. Unfortunately I am ill at the moment, suffering acute bronchitis (I must add that I never smoke) and rather much prostration, so I am "indisposed" these days. :(

Hey Premo.... errr Aulos: I wish you a quick recovery!
Thanks to Mandryka you've got something to look forward to! ;)

Later!
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #104 on: March 21, 2011, 01:12:32 PM »
That's very nasty. I hope you get better soon.

Thanks  :)

Quote from: Mandryka
If you're better on the 31st you can always celebrate his birthday new calendar style!

I expect to be. Bach is the composer I celebrate whenever I can.
Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #105 on: March 21, 2011, 01:16:23 PM »
Hey Premo.... errr Aulos: I wish you a quick recovery!

Thanks to you too. My actual state is the reason why I have not listened to you-know-what more than once yet,
Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.

Antoine Marchand

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #106 on: March 22, 2011, 06:35:39 AM »
Unfortunately I am ill at the moment, suffering acute bronchitis (I must add that I never smoke) and rather much prostration, so I am "indisposed" these days. :(

I'm sorry to listen that, dear Premont. Definitely this was a hard winter for you. I hope you will be totally recovered very soon.  :)

Scarpia

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #107 on: March 22, 2011, 07:22:31 AM »
I'm sorry to listen that, dear Premont. Definitely this was a hard winter for you. I hope you will be totally recovered very soon.  :)

Aulos is Premont, had no idea. 

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #108 on: March 22, 2011, 08:08:01 AM »

  For the past couple of days I have been immersed in this recorinding:

 

  I find Bach's Art of Fugue one of the most difficult compositions in the classical music repertoire to absorb.  I try hard to identify the principal theme, then the counterpoint theme then the marriage of the two.  I have had a lot of success over the years with this technique but every once in a while I lose the train of thought and I find myslef having to start all over again. 

  The most elusive are : Contrapunctus 13 a 3 voix; rectus and Contrpunctus 13 a 3 voix; inversus. 

  Anyone here face similar difficultues with this work?  I would be interested in how you approach this work.

  marvin
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 07:57:30 AM by marvinbrown »

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #109 on: March 23, 2011, 08:05:54 AM »
  Ok I tried this on another thread (the Art of Fugue in the Great Recordings Section of GMG) with limited success.  Perhaps I can find a larger audience here??  Well it is worth a shot so here goes:

 
  For the past couple of days I have been immersed in this recorinding:

 

  I find Bach's Art of Fugue one of the most difficult compositions in the classical music repertoire to absorb.  I try hard to identify the principal theme, then the counterpoint theme then the marriage of the two.  I have had a lot of success over the years with this technique but every once in a while I lose the train of thought and I find myslef having to start all over again. 

  The most elusive are : Contrapunctus 13 a 3 voix; rectus and Contrpunctus 13 a 3 voix; inversus. 

  Anyone here face similar difficultues with this work?  I would be interested in how you approach this work.


  marvin

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #110 on: March 23, 2011, 08:11:04 AM »
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Scarpia

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #111 on: March 23, 2011, 08:18:29 AM »
Are you just listening, or do you have a score in front of you?  If you are familiar with musical notation, following along in the score makes a huge difference with contrapuntal works.


Offline marvinbrown

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #112 on: March 23, 2011, 10:52:17 AM »
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

  Ok but you have not answered my question: How have you handled this work?  Can you honestly say that you can identify the various themes in each contrapunctus and Bach's skill in weaving them togther? Or do you find that your concentration "slips" every now and then?

  @ Scarpia: I can not read scores well unfortunately  :(.

  marvin
 


 

Scarpia

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #113 on: March 23, 2011, 10:58:37 AM »
@ Scarpia: I can not read scores well unfortunately  :(.

Well, me neither.  Reading a score means looking at it and hearing how it sounds in your head.  But if you can read musical notation at all, following along as you listen can still help, since you can see which voice is which, and can pick up on when a motif or theme is introduced, even if it is concealed in a thick texture.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #114 on: March 23, 2011, 12:06:37 PM »
  For the past couple of days I have been immersed in this recorinding:

 

Have you tried other recordings? For this work in particular, a different range of approaches, utilizing the range of colors ensembles of various types can provide, might be a winning approach, by keeping your ears refreshed through timbral variety. There's a whole bunch of different scorings of this thing (orchestra, string orchestra, brass quintet, saxophone quartet, string quartet, etc). Personally I would not want to listen to such a concentrated piece strictly on a harpsichord.

Also, don't listen to it straight through, the way you would to a symphony or sonata. Break your listening into pieces to make concentration easier.

That said, I don't consider that I've cracked the secrets of this work myself. But I have made some progress.
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"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Bulldog

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #115 on: March 23, 2011, 12:07:26 PM »
I find Bach's Art of Fugue one of the most difficult compositions in the classical music repertoire to absorb.  I try hard to identify the principal theme, then the counterpoint theme then the marriage of the two.  I have had a lot of success over the years with this technique but every once in a while I lose the train of thought and I find myslef having to start all over again. 

The most elusive are : Contrapunctus 13 a 3 voix; rectus and Contrpunctus 13 a 3 voix; inversus. 

Anyone here face similar difficultues with this work?  I would be interested in how you approach this work.


marvin

I just listen and enjoy the work, not forcing any listening strategy.  Once that's done, it's easy to identify the myriad of themes.

Offline Marc

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #116 on: March 24, 2011, 02:07:17 AM »
[....]
  I find Bach's Art of Fugue one of the most difficult compositions in the classical music repertoire to absorb.  I try hard to identify the principal theme, then the counterpoint theme then the marriage of the two.  I have had a lot of success over the years with this technique but every once in a while I lose the train of thought and I find myslef having to start all over again. 

  The most elusive are : Contrapunctus 13 a 3 voix; rectus and Contrpunctus 13 a 3 voix; inversus. 

  Anyone here face similar difficultues with this work?  I would be interested in how you approach this work.

Maybe you should give up the absorbing bit?

Your difficulties are well-known among other listeners, as some earlier comments in this thread proved. Personally, I gave up this 'trying to understand' part (it's not my 'profession' anyway) and just enjoyed the composition as plain music.
Now I listen to all those movements as beautiful Variations in a skilled contrapuntal manner and I can't get enough of them! :)
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #117 on: March 24, 2011, 03:12:37 AM »
  I find Bach's Art of Fugue one of the most difficult compositions in the classical music repertoire to absorb.  I try hard to identify the principal theme, then the counterpoint theme then the marriage of the two.  I have had a lot of success over the years with this technique but every once in a while I lose the train of thought and I find myslef having to start all over again. 

  The most elusive are : Contrapunctus 13 a 3 voix; rectus and Contrpunctus 13 a 3 voix; inversus. 

  Anyone here face similar difficultues with this work?  I would be interested in how you approach this work.

  marvin
Doing this along with the music in hand would make it much easier I would think. This piece was actually the first Bach in my collection (the one with the Canadian Brass) and it is not so hard if you just sit back and enjoy it. As you listen to it, you'll get better at picking out all the details. But the best way is with a score in hand - you would save time and get more out of it I would think. If you don't read music, you could probably learn the basics fairly quickly and this would help with all future pieces.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #118 on: March 24, 2011, 02:56:54 PM »
I find the main difficulty with this work is the lack of an ending. If Bach had been able to complete it we would know what the music was driving towards and that is always a great help in understanding  a musical process.
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Scarpia

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #119 on: March 24, 2011, 03:18:16 PM »
I find the main difficulty with this work is the lack of an ending. If Bach had been able to complete it we would know what the music was driving towards and that is always a great help in understanding  a musical process.

There is a lot of mythology about this piece, but sensible people claim there is no strong reason to believe it is unfinished.  IIRC, the "Fuga a 3 Soggetti" does not contain the Kunst der Fuge theme and may not have been intended as part of the work.  In any case, the manuscript for the Fuga a 3 Soggetti was clearly written in Bach's hand before his vision deteriorated, which means he likely hadn't worked on it for two years before he died.  Die Kunst der Fuge was a collection of compositions on one theme that wasn't necessarily driving towards anything.

In any case, I find it a wonderful piece, but I don't feel the need to listen to it in any particular order to appreciate it.


 

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