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Ottavio Dantone|Bach: The Art of Fugue

Bach: The Art of Fugue

Ottavio Dantone - Accademia Bizantina

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Bach's The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080, was apparently his final work, breaking off unfinished in what would have been a monumental final section. It is written in open score, with no indication of instrumentation, which has given rise to various solutions: performances exist for organ, harpsichord, orchestra, small ensemble, and even piano, an instrument Bach is known to have encountered in his last years. But there is no recording like this one, which takes the open score as an invitation to realize the work with further creative effort, arrangement even. From the total ensemble of two violins, viola, cello, organ, and harpsichord, harpsichordist and director Ottavio Dantone and his always unconventional Accademia Bizantina deploy different combinations of instruments in the 20 fugues and canons that make up the work. Accademia Bizantina is a period-instrument group, but it can't be called a historical-performance ensemble. There's no indication that The Art of the Fugue was ever played this way (the intermittent combination of organ and harpsichord is particularly ahistorical), and Dantone offers an abstract, expressive justification for his forces rather than a historical one: he writes of an "art of hidden emotions." There is no question that playing the work this way diminishes its abstract, study-like quality (it has been argued that Bach intended it as a kind of compendium of technique, not as a work for performance) and increases its expressive qualities. Each fugue sounds different. Whether Dantone succeeds in maintaining the work's coherence will be up to the ears of the individual listener, but the procession of sounds is anything but dull: the rocking and rolling sounds of the Accademia Bizantina strings, with a trio sonata-like texture, make a compelling contrast with the keyboard settings of some of the more elaborate fugues, and Dantone's punchy harpsichord makes a further contrast with the more cerebral organ. This is a bold experiment with one of the intellectual landmarks of classical music, and there will be listeners who are not disposed toward something like that. But try it -- you might really like it.
© TiVo

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Bach: The Art of Fugue

Ottavio Dantone

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Die Kunst der Fuge, BWV 1080 - Arr. for Chamber Orchestra (Johann Sebastian Bach)

1
1. Contrapunctus 1
Accademia Bizantina
00:02:57

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

2
2. Contrapunctus 2
Accademia Bizantina
00:02:51

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

3
3. Contrapunctus 3
Accademia Bizantina
00:03:07

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

4
4. Contrapunctus 4
Accademia Bizantina
00:04:17

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

5
5. Contrapunctus 5
Accademia Bizantina
00:02:54

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

6
6. Contrapunctus 6 a 4, im Stile francese
Accademia Bizantina
00:04:03

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

7
7. Contrapunctus 7 a 4, per Augment et Diminut
Accademia Bizantina
00:04:07

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

8
8. Contrapunctus 8 a 3
Accademia Bizantina
00:07:30

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

9
9. Contrapunctus 9 a 4, alla Duodecima
Accademia Bizantina
00:02:30

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

10
10. Contrapunctus 10 a 4, alla Decima
Accademia Bizantina
00:04:44

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

11
11. Contrapunctus 11 a 4
Accademia Bizantina
00:07:40

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

12
12. Contrapunctus 12 a 4 (Rectus)
Accademia Bizantina
00:01:39

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

13
13. Contrapunctus 12 a 4 (Inversus)
Accademia Bizantina
00:01:31

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

14
14. Contrapunctus a 3 (Inversus)
Accademia Bizantina
00:02:10

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

15
15. Fuga a 2 Clav. (Rectus del Contrapunctus a 3)
Accademia Bizantina
00:02:13

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

16
16. Canon per Augmentationem in Contrario Motu
Accademia Bizantina
00:05:24

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

17
17. Canon in Hypodiapason
Accademia Bizantina
00:02:19

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

18
18. Canon alla Decima, Contrappunto alla Terza
Accademia Bizantina
00:04:40

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

19
19. Canon alla Duodecima, in Contrappunto alla Quinta
Accademia Bizantina
00:02:24

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

20
20. Fuga a 3 Soggetti
Accademia Bizantina
00:07:46

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Roberto Chinellato, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fabio Framba, Producer, Recording Producer - Accademia Bizantina, Orchestra, MainArtist - Ottavio Dantone, Conductor, MainArtist - Hermann Diener, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2017 Accademia Bizantina

Album Description

Bach's The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080, was apparently his final work, breaking off unfinished in what would have been a monumental final section. It is written in open score, with no indication of instrumentation, which has given rise to various solutions: performances exist for organ, harpsichord, orchestra, small ensemble, and even piano, an instrument Bach is known to have encountered in his last years. But there is no recording like this one, which takes the open score as an invitation to realize the work with further creative effort, arrangement even. From the total ensemble of two violins, viola, cello, organ, and harpsichord, harpsichordist and director Ottavio Dantone and his always unconventional Accademia Bizantina deploy different combinations of instruments in the 20 fugues and canons that make up the work. Accademia Bizantina is a period-instrument group, but it can't be called a historical-performance ensemble. There's no indication that The Art of the Fugue was ever played this way (the intermittent combination of organ and harpsichord is particularly ahistorical), and Dantone offers an abstract, expressive justification for his forces rather than a historical one: he writes of an "art of hidden emotions." There is no question that playing the work this way diminishes its abstract, study-like quality (it has been argued that Bach intended it as a kind of compendium of technique, not as a work for performance) and increases its expressive qualities. Each fugue sounds different. Whether Dantone succeeds in maintaining the work's coherence will be up to the ears of the individual listener, but the procession of sounds is anything but dull: the rocking and rolling sounds of the Accademia Bizantina strings, with a trio sonata-like texture, make a compelling contrast with the keyboard settings of some of the more elaborate fugues, and Dantone's punchy harpsichord makes a further contrast with the more cerebral organ. This is a bold experiment with one of the intellectual landmarks of classical music, and there will be listeners who are not disposed toward something like that. But try it -- you might really like it.
© TiVo

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