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The fact that Bach may have been working on Die Kunst der Fuge up until the point that he died and the fact that the work’s concluding contrapunctus may have been left incomplete are just two factors which have subsequently allowed posterity’s imagination to operate in full flight. When Bach passed away, without further delay his sons busied themselves preparing this score work for printing and were the first in nurturing the legend that Bach, incapable of completing the final contrapunctus, dictated a four-part chorale on his deathbed in order to compensate for the contrapunctus’ abrupt end and as a way of saying farewell… In any case, what we are left with is a unique composition which for a great deal of time has been considered as a purely theoretical exercise and one which was not intended to be performed. Nowadays, however, many experts think otherwise and among them is Fabio Bonizzoni, who is convinced that this is music written for a keyboard instrument, and very likely for a harpsichord. Our musician, who hails from Milan, has opted with his recording for the structure of Bach’s first autograph version, the so-called P200 manuscript, making use of an additional harpsichord for four of the contrapuncti, something which was suggested by Bach himself in that manuscript.
Fabio Bonizzoni, whose artistry is currently particularly being appreciated on account of his memorable series of recordings of Handel’s Italian cantatas, presents with this album one of his own most personal projects; but one which also acts as a punctuation point prior to Bonizzoni embarking upon a new set of adventures with his ensemble La Risonanza.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080
Contrapunctus IX a 4 alla Duodecima
Contrapunctus a 4 , BWV1080/10
Contrapunctus VI a 4 in Stylo Francese
Contrapunctus VII a 4 per Augmentationem et Diminutionem
Canon II, alla Ottava
Contrapunctus VIII a 3
Contrapunctus XI a 4
Canon I, per Augmentationem in Contrario Motu
Contrapunctus XIIa a 4, rectus
Contrapunctus XIIb a 4, inversus
Contrapunctus XIIIb a 3, inversus
Contrapunctus XIIIa a 3, rectus
Fuga a 3 Soggetti (Contrapunctus XIV)
“Like his compatriot Sergio Vartolo, Bonizzoni is fond of agogic stresses, tempo fluctuations and elaborate ornaments, yet projects these traits in less fussy and more organically fluid interpretations...In all, a worth contender in a crowded field.”
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