Author Topic: The Art of Fugue  (Read 103398 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #260 on: April 27, 2012, 10:56:43 PM »
Your comment here surprised me.  "Jubilant" might apply to a degree to Cpt IV, but I don't hear it with II and III which are quite severe except for infrequent (and astounding) rays of light.

The images that II conjured up are definately to do with jubilation -- jubilation after a battle maybe, or better, jubilation in anticipation of victory before a battle.

But more generally, and more interestingly (to me)  I think that when you're faced with something as innovative as Rubsam's AoF, you've got to find a way of making sense of what he's doing. It seemed clear to me that he's telling an emotional story with the whole thing == that it was a single work with some sort of narrative which has something something very transcendental and serene and full or awe towards the end, and has periods of extreme turbulence and severity in the central sections. It's a sort of musical pilgrim's progress.

I'm listening to this on spotify so I don't have the booklet. Has he written anything about the recording?

It's his only record of AoF isn't it?
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 11:02:32 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Opus106

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #261 on: April 27, 2012, 11:19:52 PM »
The notes to Rübsam's recording is available at Naxos' website: http://www.naxos.com/mainsite/blurbs_reviews.asp?item_code=8.550703&catNum=550703&filetype=About%20this%20Recording&language=English#, but they are not attributed to him.
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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #262 on: April 28, 2012, 05:23:07 AM »
The idea of playing the four canons between the groups of contrapuncti in the sequence of growing complexity (all ottava, all decima, all duodecima and in contrario motu) is not Rübsam´s. This has been done by many other performers. Nor is the idea of putting the contrapunctus VIII just before contrapunctus XI new, and stems from the fact, that they are "paired" in this way in the earlier (looked at in the retrospectroscope incomplete) manuscript version (autographe) of the work. They also have got the variation of the main subject as well as the most important countersubject in common.

Well, Rübsams Naxos AoF is certainly special - actually the most special of the 41 organ versions I know, with the possible exception of the version by Jens E Christensen. I am not as happy with some of Rübsam´s registrations as you are, - in these ears they disturb the equilibrium. And like Sammy I can not recognise the jubilant quality you mention in cpt.s II and III.

Rubsam recorded the AoF in 1978 just after completing his first Bach integral (Philips). The AoF was subsequently released separately (on LP), but when Philips rereleased the integral on CD, they included this recording of the AoF. It is very different from the Naxos - as are the two Bach integrals. Some time ago Marc published a link to a website from where the first integral including the AoF might be downloaded.
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Antoine Marchand

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #263 on: April 28, 2012, 05:53:25 AM »
It is very different from the Naxos - as are the two Bach integrals. Some time ago Marc published a link to a website from where the first integral including the AoF might be downloaded.

A legal downloading, I guess.  ;D

BTW, some days ago I was listening to the AoF on Naxos, and I highly enjoyed it. I supposse Rübsam "late style" is some kind of acquired taste because I really hated it some years ago.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 05:56:20 AM by Antoine Marchand »

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #264 on: April 28, 2012, 08:32:49 AM »
A legal downloading, I guess.  ;D

Don´t know. I was just stating a fact. 8)

Quote from: Antoine Marchand
BTW, some days ago I was listening to the AoF on Naxos, and I highly enjoyed it. I supposse Rübsam "late style" is some kind of acquired taste because I really hated it some years ago.

I have never hated Rübsam´s late style as such, because most of the Naxos cycle is very impressive, f.i. the recordings from St. Martini Kerk, Groningen and from the Freiburger Dom.  It is  just the AoF and a few other things I think differ a bit from his late style as otherwise represented, but still I find these items interesting at least. 
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #265 on: April 28, 2012, 08:44:31 AM »
Don´t know. I was just stating a fact. 8)

I have never hated Rübsam´s late style as such, because most of the Naxos cycle is very impressive, f.i. the recordings from St. Martini Kerk, Groningen and from the Freiburger Dom.  It is  just the AoF and a few other things I think differ a bit from his late style as otherwise represented, but still I find these items interesting at least.

That's CU3 and the Trio Sonatas -- is there more?

His 4th Trio sonata gives me a lot of trouble -- basically I really really appreciate what he does with movement 2 and 3, but I just can't get my head round what he does with movement 1. I mean the slow tempo for the vivace (is that Bach's own tempo indication?)

The 4th Trio sonata is one of my favourite pieces by Bach so I always check this out when I listen to someone's recordings.

By the way, thanks for the information about cpt VIII. I'll think aboiut what you said about the registrations. I'm quite curious to try the first AoF, especially if there are some of the bold registrations which I've sometimes found in the Philips set.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 08:49:37 AM by Mandryka »
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Antoine Marchand

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #266 on: April 28, 2012, 09:21:39 AM »
I have never hated Rübsam´s late style as such, because most of the Naxos cycle is very impressive, f.i. the recordings from St. Martini Kerk, Groningen and from the Freiburger Dom.  It is  just the AoF and a few other things I think differ a bit from his late style as otherwise represented, but still I find these items interesting at least.

Yes, in the last time, I have started to enjoy his deliberate style; but as a matter of fact, for instance, Vartolo's slowness and deliberate playing in Frescobaldi, it's almost a "baby" compared to some Rübsam in his second Bach cycle. 

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #267 on: April 28, 2012, 09:22:06 AM »
That's CU3 and the Trio Sonatas -- is there more?

Yes, the CD with most of the "great" preludes and fugues, Bwv 544, 546 et.c.

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-Pr%E4l-Fugen-BWV-536541542544546/hnum/6554284

Quote from: Mandryka
His 4th Trio sonata gives me a lot of trouble -- basically I really really appreciate what he does with movement 2 and 3, but I just can't get my head round what he does with movement 1. I mean the slow tempo for the vivace (is that Bach's own tempo indication?)

The first four bars in the first movement are marked Adagio. Obviously Bach thought of them as a kind of introduction.
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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #268 on: April 28, 2012, 09:26:58 AM »
Yes, in the last time, I have started to enjoy his deliberate style; but as a matter of fact, for instance, Vartolo's slowness and deliberate playing in Frescobaldi, it's almost a "baby" compared to some Rübsam in his second Bach cycle.

I have had similar thoughts before. Maybe Rübsam can learn me to appreciate Vartolo´s AoF a bit more.  :)
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Antoine Marchand

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #269 on: April 28, 2012, 09:30:16 AM »
I have had similar thoughts before. Maybe Rübsam can learn me to appreciate Vartolo´s AoF a bit more.  :)

... although, apparently, that already happened regarding his Frescobaldi, if I'm not wrong.  :)

Offline Marc

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #270 on: April 28, 2012, 09:34:54 AM »
[....] Rubsam recorded the AoF in 1978 just after completing his first Bach integral (Philips). The AoF was subsequently released separately (on LP), but when Philips rereleased the integral on CD, they included this recording of the AoF. It is very different from the Naxos - as are the two Bach integrals. Some time ago Marc published a link to a website from where the first integral including the AoF might be downloaded.

I once mentioned a link with a download (mp3) possibility for the OOP Philips Bach Rübsam integral, but AFAIK that link, legal or not :P, has gone.

Universal should re-release this interesting issue!!
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Antoine Marchand

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #271 on: April 28, 2012, 09:37:41 AM »
... but AFAIK that link, legal or not :P, has gone.

Universal should re-release this interesting issue!!

I won't say anymore, but the key word is "boxset".  ;D

... after all it's totally OOP.  :)

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #272 on: April 28, 2012, 09:45:12 AM »
... although, apparently, that already happened regarding his Frescobaldi, if I'm not wrong.  :)

You are right.
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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #273 on: April 28, 2012, 09:49:16 AM »
I once mentioned a link with a download (mp3) possibility for the OOP Philips Bach Rübsam integral, but AFAIK that link, legal or not :P, has gone.

Universal should re-release this interesting issue!!

Certainly.

Might it be, that Rübsam himself does not want it reissued, considering the change in his style - and why does Universal not reissue his Buxtehude integral. Philips once owned the right to the recordings.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #274 on: April 28, 2012, 09:55:17 AM »
I have the Rubsam AoF 1 now -- someone just sent it to me.

I wonder if anyone else has heard Vartolo's Scarlatti CD -- that for me was a real acquired taste. I liked the Frescobaldi straight away. Now I'm starting to enjoy the Scarlatti more with repeated listening.

A friend of mine who is a Vartolo fan rates the Trabaci recordings very highly.
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Offline Sammy

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #275 on: April 28, 2012, 11:13:09 AM »
A friend of mine who is a Vartolo fan rates the Trabaci recordings very highly.

I've had those two Trabaci sets for a few years now; quite good.  Trabaci isn't quite in Cabezon's league.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #276 on: May 05, 2012, 07:30:24 AM »
Your comment here surprised me.  "Jubilant" might apply to a degree to Cpt IV, but I don't hear it with II and III which are quite severe except for infrequent (and astounding) rays of light.

Koroliov is extremely jubilant in Cpt 4 I think -- I also think it's a wonderful performance in its own rights, whether or not it's true to Bach's music or not.

By comparison with Vartolo, Rubsam sounds quite conventional in Cpt 4. I love Vartolo's AoF partly because it's so challenging. I don't know any performance of cpt 4 which is more dramatic or colourful or turbulent or spiky, on harpsichord or organ or piano.

In his notes on AoF Vartolo says that he deliberately avoided a sort of monochromatic baroque style which he suggests has become the default of period Bach performances -- he suggests that it has its main origin in a knee jerk reaction to the way Landowska played, and has little to do with what we can read about authentic Bach performance.

My guess is he's taking a pop at Leonhardt in the notes to AoF. Certainly Leonhardt's DHM cpt 4 is extremely serene. Jubilant wouldn't be the word to describe it. You can't compare what Leonhardt and Zacher do with what Vartolo does: chalk and cheese. Incommensurables. Leonhatrdt's  North and Vartolo's  South. Leonhardt's Apollo and Vartolo's Dionyssus.

I listened to Leonhardt's and Vartolo's one after the other and my thought was that Leonhardt's was beautiful . . . too beautiful maybe.

Leonhardt's DHM cpt 4 is also slow -- I can't stop myself thinking that, in terms of tempo, Leonhardt stands in the same relation to AoF as Vartolo stands to Frescobaldi's toccatas.

By the way, why does Robert Hill leave out cpt 4? And why does he play the music in such a strange order? I'm listening on spotify, so maybe that has something to do with it.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 07:49:50 AM by Mandryka »
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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #277 on: May 05, 2012, 08:26:23 AM »
By the way, why does Robert Hill leave out cpt 4? And why does he play the music in such a strange order? I'm listening on spotify, so maybe that has something to do with it.

You must be listening to Hill´s first recording (Music and Arts IIRC), which is a recording of the manuscript version (1743), which leaves out among others cpt.IV (probably it wasn´t composed yet), and also has got another sequence of the cpt.´s than the posthumously printed version.

Hill´s second recording (Haenssler) uses the printed version and adds some of the stuff from the manuscript version as appendix as does Menno van Delft´s version.

BTW strange sequences in recordings are not unusual, f.i. David Lively opens the work with the four part mirror fugues.
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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #278 on: May 05, 2012, 08:34:55 AM »
In his notes on AoF Vartolo says that he deliberately avoided a sort of monochromatic baroque style which he suggests has become the default of period Bach performances -- he suggests that it has its main origin in a knee jerk reaction to the way Landowska played, and has little to do with what we can read about authentic Bach performance.

I heartily disagree. One can call the so-called preauthentic modern style (f.i. Neville Marriner, Karl Richter and Martin Galling representing this) monochromatic, but certainly not the later historically informed style. I wonder whom Vartolo thinks of.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Art of Fugue
« Reply #279 on: June 08, 2012, 10:06:51 PM »
I heartily disagree. One can call the so-called preauthentic modern style (f.i. Neville Marriner, Karl Richter and Martin Galling representing this) monochromatic, but certainly not the later historically informed style. I wonder whom Vartolo thinks of.

Hard to say of course.

You know, it's not as if Varolo loads each piece in AoF with registration changes, far from it.

But I find him very memorable when he is  colourful -- in cpt 3 for example.

« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 12:00:59 PM by Mandryka »
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