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Art Of Fugue / Ernst Kovacic, Nfm Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra

Bach / Mozart / Schumann,R / Reinecke / Kovacic
Release Date: 01/31/2012 
Label:  Cd Accord   Catalog #: 168  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachWolfgang Amadeus MozartRobert SchumannCarl Reinecke,   ... 
Conductor:  Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NFM Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



THE ART OF FUGUE Ernst Kovacic, cond; Warsaw CO ACCORD ACD 168-2 (69:21)


Selections by BACH, MOZART, SCHUMANN, REINECKE, EISLER, BRITTEN, PURCELL, VILLA-LOBOS, HONEGGER, ZEISL, MOSZKOWSKI


A number of years ago some researchers undertook to measure the degrees of consonance and dissonance one encountered in the organ works of Bach and Mendelssohn. A computer run of the harmonies involved revealed, as we would all suppose, a tremendous similarity in the Read more formal construction of the various contrapuntal effects employed by the two composers. It also equally demonstrated what one would expect from the century that had passed between the death of Bach and that of Mendelssohn—namely that more and more dissonances would be found in the recent composer’s use of the old forms.


Listening to this CD amounts to something of a lesson in the harmonic progress of music over time. Ernst Kovacic has arranged his program of fugues in nearly chronological order (although, for purposes of contrast, we do wind up with Purcell after Britten and Moszkowski after Zeisl). But the effect on the listener is of witnessing the opening up of musical harmony over the centuries. The strictures of fugal form, seemingly severe and studious, reveal themselves remarkably adaptable to ever more modern harmonies, and the increasing tendency of composers such as Mozart, Honegger, and Britten to precede fugues with a contrasting movement of some emotional depth, assists the old format in achieving full emotional expression in the romantic and postromantic eras.


Perhaps the most fascinating feature of this journey is the discovery of how personal and individual a fugal piece can be. You’d never mistake Schumann’s fugue for Bach. Somehow Schumann manages to weave into his fugal texture the strutting toddlers and childlike innocence familiar to us from his piano suites. Similarly, it is no surprise to say that Honegger manages to sound ominous and Hitchcockian, or that Villa-Lobos hovers on the edge of the bossa nova . The Zeisl is a nice discovery, conveying some of the lightness of a piece like the Hugo Wolf serenade. And Britten, as so often, can frequently appear a bit too virtuosic for his own good. His fugue sounds like an anxiety attack with a feather duster.


The Warsaw Chamber Orchestra under Kovacic is lively and on top of all this, and the Leopoldinum acoustic is everything one could wish for. Earlier works in the chronological sequence here are performed with the usual early-music twang, but the manner of phrasing evolves into modern delivery as the chronology proceeds. Program notes for the CD are detailed and useful. And the didactic nature of the undertaking is belied by the attractive nature of the performances.


FANFARE: Steven Kruger
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Works on This Recording

1.
The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 1 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NFM Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1745-1750; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Adagio and Fugue for Strings in C minor, K 546 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NFM Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Fugues (6) for Organ on B-A-C-H, Op. 60: no 5, Lebhaft by Robert Schumann
Conductor:  Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NFM Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Germany 
4.
Serenade in G minor, Op. 242: Fughetta giocosa by Carl Reinecke
Conductor:  Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NFM Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum
5.
Das Vorbild: Fugue by Hanns Eisler
Conductor:  Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NFM Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; Germany 
6.
Prelude and Fugue for 18-part String Orchestra, Op. 29 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NFM Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
7.
Fantasia upon One Note in F major, Z 745 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NFM Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
8.
Bachianas brasileiras no 9 for String Orchestra by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Conductor:  Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NFM Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; Brazil 
9.
Prelude, Arioso and Fughetta on B-A-C-H by Arthur Honegger
Conductor:  Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NFM Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; France 
10.
Scherzo and Fugue for String Orchestra by Eric Zeisl
Conductor:  Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NFM Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936-1937 
11.
Prelude and Fugue, Op. 85 by Moritz Moszkowski
Conductor:  Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NFM Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum

Sound Samples

Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080 (arr. for string orchestra): Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 1 (arr. for string orchestra)
Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546: Adagio
Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546: Fugue: Allegro
6 Fugues on B-A-C-H, Op. 60: No. 5. in F major (arr. P. Angerer for string orchestra)
Serenade in G minor, Op. 242: V. Fughetta giojosa
Das Vorbild: Einleitung und Fugue
Prelude and Fugue, Op. 29: Prelude: Grave
Prelude and Fugue, Op. 29: Fugue: Allegro energico
Fantasia a 5 in F major, Z. 745, "Upon 1 Note": Fantasia a 5 in F, Z. 745, "Upon 1 Note"
Bachianas brasileiras No. 9: I. Prelude: Vagaroso e mistico
Bachianas brasileiras No. 9: II. Fugue: Poco apressado
Prelude, arioso et fughette sur le nom de Bach (arr. A. Hoeree for string orchestra): Prelude
Prelude, arioso et fughette sur le nom de Bach (arr. A. Hoeree for string orchestra): Arioso
Prelude, arioso et fughette sur le nom de Bach (arr. A. Hoeree for string orchestra): Fughette
Scherzo und Fuge: Scherzo in A minor
Scherzo und Fuge: Fugue in D major
Prelude and Fugue, Op. 85: Prelude
Prelude and Fugue, Op. 85: Fugue

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