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Die Kunst der Fugue BWV 1080
Phantasm (Viol Quartet)
Bach from Phantasm

A-1

J.S. Bach: Art of Fugue / Mozart-Bach: Fugues

 

Die Kunst der Fuge BWV 1080, arranged for viol consort [50:32]
Bach-W.A. Mozart: 5 Fugues from WTC 2, arranged for quartet, K. 405 [1:53, 1:28, 3:09, 2:30, 1:49]
W.A. Mozart: Fugue in G minor, K. 401 [3:58]

Phantasm (Viol Quartet)

Laurence Dreyfus (Treble Viol); Wendy Gillespie (Treble Viol); Jonathan Manson (Tenor Viol); Markku Luolajan-Mikkola (Bass Viol)

Simax PSC-1135
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Aug 19-23, 1997

CD / TT: 65:25
MP3 / TT: 65:17

Recorded at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Oxford (Suffolk), England.
Review: Bach from Phantasm
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Bach from Phantasm

Donald Satz wrote (March 30, 1999):
I recently acquired another version of Bach's Art of the Fugue performed by the group "Phantasm" on the Simax label. It is performed as consort music and is therefore similar to another recent version by the Keller Quartet on ECM.

Some listeners will likely not care for the "consort" approach, feeling that it does not allow for sufficient variety and becomes rather bland. Anyone who might have this view should sample before buying.

In a comparison between the Phantasm and Keller discs, I found the Kellers to offer a greater degree of dynamic shading and variety within the consort environment. Also, Phantasm did not provide sufficient inflection with those sections of the work that I love most.

Both recordings have excellent sound reproduction. Concerning cover art, I much prefer the ECM disc. It shows our performers trudging through white snow. The Simax disc shows a few bowls; I never have seen the appeal of looking at bowls, fruit, etc. Naturally, my wife loves that stuff.

Overall, I give the nod to the Keller Quartet. With Phantasm, I wanted to tell the performers to rise out of their slumber and show more life. I do want to point out that every review of the Phantasm disc I read has been highly favorable. Also, Phantasm has received excellent reviews of other recordings they made including one of the Purcell Fantasias.

Where does that leave you? If you tend to agree with my recommendations, go with the Keller Quartet. If not, take the Phantasm or just skip the whole thing. My favorite version is still Gilbert on Archiv, even more expressive than the Keller Quartet.

 

Die Kunst der Fugue BWV 1080: Details
Recordings:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019
Comparative Review:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Reviews of Individual Recordings:
AOF - E. Aldwell | AOF - R. Alessandrini | AOF - M.v. Delft | AOF - J. MacGregor | AOF - Phantasm | AOF - G. Ritchie | AOF - H. Scherchen | AOF - P. Taussig
General Discussions:
Part 1 | MD: The Art of Fugue
Discussions of Individual Recordings:
AOF - T. Koopman
Articles:
The Art of Fugue: Expanding the Limits! [E. Demeyere]

Laurence Dreyfus: Short Biography | Phantasm | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Bach from Phantasm
Books:
Bach’s Continuo Group | Bach and the Patterns of Invention

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Last update: ýFebruary 17, 2013 ý17:27:07