George Ritchie follows up his recordings of the complete Bach organ works with this magisterial performance of Bach’s late contrapuntal masterpiece The Art of Fugue.
The CD recording is accompanied by a generous selection of bonus tracks and, on the DVD, by a feature-length documentary and a detailed filmed lecture.
'Desert Fugue' (90 minutes)
Historian Christoph Wolff, the Bach scholar of our time, and performer George Ritchie discuss Bach’s Art of Fugue and how it fits into the broader tradition of western music.
Organ builders Ralph Richards and Bruce Fowkes join the discussion when the subject turns to its suitability for the organ and the sort of instrument that Bach may have written his organ music for. The final section of the film is devoted to the Art of Fugue and Bach’s legacy.
'The Art of Fugue: Documentary Introduction' (111 minutes)
George Ritchie gives a detailed introduction to all twenty movements of the Art of Fugue, discussing fugal techniques and playing dozens of musical examples, all illustrated with quotes from the Peter’s Edition of the score.
“Ritchie offers up such an intensely focused and directly communicative performance that it's hard to think what any visual element could contribute...[yet] the contents of the DVD are a worthy accessory to the two CDs...for me, the finest recording of Bach's Art of Fugue irrespective of media or instrument.”
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