Some restorative Bach for Sunday afternoon
The late, great Glenn Gould dissects one of my favourite fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Fugue no. 9 from Book II.
As Glenn Gould says, at the conclusion of his discussion with biographer Bruno Monsaingeon:
It’s rudimentary material, but it makes for one of the most gloriously fulfilled codas he [Bach] ever wrote, I think.
True. Unlike the brisk and rather superficial version of this fugue in Gould’s complete recording of the WTC, here he takes it at a funereal pace, allowing each voice to truly sing on its own. The slow, steady accumulative effect of Bach’s ingeniously weaved, achingly unresolved theme makes the incredible catharsis of the final coda all the greater.
Here is the complete performance:
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Wise choice, Sam! Bach is a composer I admire, but regrettably will never be able to love. But what a GIANT he was. One of the three or four mighty intellects of Western music!!
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