BACH Johann Sebastian, The Art of Fugue Contrapunctus 14

Bach specified no instrumentation for The Art of Fugue and ever since its publication in 1751, there has been a lively discussion about the scoring Bach might have had in mind. Some (including Gustav Leonhardt) has argued that it was intended for the keyboard (harpsichord or organ) while others have performed versions for instrumental ensembles (the very first recording, made in 1934, used a transcription for string quartet by the American composer Roy Harris). Donald Francis Tovey believed that such arrangements of The Art of Fugue ‘succeeded in demonstrating its beauty’. Hans-Eberhard Dentler is a medical doctor and also a cello pupil of Pierre Fournier. His fascination with The Art of Fugue goes back many years and his intention in this arrangement was to change as little as possible of what Bach left and to ensure transparent textures. His express intention has been to avoid any intervention by the arranger apart from selecting appropriate instruments.


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