Magazine article Gramophone

JS Bach: Die Kunst der Fuge

Magazine article Gramophone

JS Bach: Die Kunst der Fuge

Article excerpt

JS Bach

Die Kunst der Fuge, BWV1080

Cedric Pescia pf

Aeon [M] [2] AECD1333 (99' * DDD)

In his debut Goldberg Variations (Claves, 5/05), Cedric Pescia's pianistically oriented Bach-playing was vital and direct. It's now self-aware and pretentious. One telltale sign in Die Kunst der Fuge concerns Pescia's habit of beginning or ending specific lines after the beat behind the other voices. He plays Contrapunctus l's opening subject slowly but picks up the tempo a little bit as the other voices enter. No 2's dotted rhythms are too rigidly articulated to march forwards effectively. Pescia italicises No 3's slithery chromaticisms with sighing tenutos and oily legatos. By contrast, the brisk and crisply shaped No 4 begins softly and builds to a gradual, uplifting climax. A fast, driving and arguably glib Canon at the Octave follows. No 5 is slow and spongy, in contrast to Charles Rosen's austere inner strength. Pescia's double-dotting in the No 6 'French overture' causes the music to bog down and stagnate. …

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