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Mozart: Adagios & Fugues (After Bach) / AAM Berlin

Mozart / Akademie Fur Alte Musik Berlin
Release Date: 04/08/2014 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 902159   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 51 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Make no mistake, this is a lovely disc. It would be both interesting and enjoyable to hear arrangements of Bach fugues dating from the turn of the nineteenth century, although that is not quite what we are getting on this program. Mozart made five such arrangements, for string quartet (K. 405), and was evidently inspired to compose his own such works, the Fugue for Two Keyboards K. 426 and the famous Adagio and Fugue in C minor K. 546, both of which are included here.

As for the rest, it is deceptive to describe any of this as “by Mozart,” or indeed as having much if anything to do with him at all. In the first place, the preludes that precede the fugues are neither by Bach nor by Mozart, but are rather the work of various
Read more anonymous arrangers whose efforts were documented in certain manuscript sources used as the basis for this particular recording. Second, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin has re-scored the three pieces included here from K.405 that Mozart did arrange. This makes for a more attractive and ear-catching program for continuous listening, unquestionably, but it effectively de-Mozartifies K. 405.

So what we are left with is a fifty-one minute CD containing approximately ten minutes of authentic Mozart, followed by various wholly modern Bach arrangements having little to do with Mozart save for the fact that once upon a time he did something similar which is not contained on this alleged “Mozart does Bach” CD. I have no hesitation in recommending this disc for what it is–excellently played and recorded arrangements of Bach on period instruments, made especially for this project, plus two possibly Bach-inspired works by Mozart. Don’t believe that it contains anything else.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fugues (5) for String Quartet after J. S. Bach, K 405: no 4 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 6 Minutes 9 Secs. 
2.
Fugues (5) for String Quartet after J. S. Bach, K 405: no 5 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Length: 4 Minutes 51 Secs. 
3.
Adagio and Fugue in A minor [after J. S. Bach, BWV 867 in B flat minor] by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Length: 6 Minutes 2 Secs. 
4.
Allegro in C minor, K Anh. 44 / Fuga a due Cembali, K 426 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Length: 4 Minutes 38 Secs. 
5.
Work(s): Adagio cantabile & Fugue in E flat major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Period: Classical 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
6.
Adagio and Fugue for Strings in C minor, K 546 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 6 Minutes 37 Secs. 
7.
Fugues (5) for String Quartet after J. S. Bach, K 405: no 3 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 14 Secs. 
8.
Work(s): Adagio & Fugue in B minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Period: Classical 
Length: 6 Minutes 13 Secs. 
9.
Work(s): Adagio & Fugue in D minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Period: Classical 
Length: 7 Minutes 28 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Prelude & Fugue in D Minor K405/4, after J.S. Bach, BWV 877 (The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II)
Larghetto cantabile in D Major & Fugue K405/5, after J.S. Bach, BWV 874 (The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II)
Adagio & Fugue in A Minor, after J.S. Bach, BWV 867 (The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I)
Allegro in C Minor, K Anh 44 & Fuga a due Cembali, K426
Adagio cantabile & Fugue in E Flat Major, after J.S. Bach, BWV 876 (The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II)
Adagio & Fugue in C Minor, K546
Adagio & Fugue in E Major, K405/3, after J.S. Bach, BWV 878 (The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II)
Adagio & Fugue in B Minor, after J.S. Bach, BWV 849 (The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I)
Adagio & Fugue in D Minor, after J.S. Bach, BWV 849 (The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I)

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