J.S. Bach & Reinhard Febel: 18 Studies on 'The Art of Fugue' Tal & Groethuysen

Cover J.S. Bach & Reinhard Febel: 18 Studies on 'The Art of Fugue'

Album info



Label: Sony Classical

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Instrumental

Artist: Tal & Groethuysen

Composer: Reinhard Febel (1952), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • Reinhard Febel (b. 1952), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750): Studies for 2 Pianos on "The Art of Fugue", BWV 1080 by J.S. Bach:
  • 1Studie 1: Nicht zu langsam (Contrapunctus 1)05:35
  • 2Studie 2: Sehr schnell (Contrapunctus 2)02:25
  • 3Studie 3: Leicht schwebend, nicht zu langsam (Contrapunctus 3)04:00
  • 4Studie 4: Nicht zu langsam (Contrapunctus 4)03:34
  • 5Studie 5: Langsam (Contrapunctus 5)04:25
  • 6Studie 6: Langsam (Contrapunctus 6 per Diminutionem in Stylo Francese)07:04
  • 7Studie 7: Nicht zu schnell (Contrapunctus 7 per Augmentationem et Diminutionem)03:15
  • 8Studie 8: Nicht zu langsam (Contrapunctus 8)05:29
  • 9Studie 9: Sehr schnell (Contrapunctus 9 alla Duodecima)02:28
  • 10Studie 10: Schnell (Contrapunctus 10 alla Decima)04:41
  • 11Studie 11: Prestissimo possibile (Contrapunctus 11)03:14
  • 12Studie 12: Langsam (Contrapunctus 12 Rectus+Inversus)04:16
  • 13Studie 12a: Nicht zu langsam (Contrapunctus 12 Rectus+Inversus)02:53
  • 14Studie 13: Prestissimo possibile (Contrapunctus 13 Rectus+Inversus)02:01
  • 15Studie 13a: Schnell (Contrapunctus 13 Rectus+Inversus)02:06
  • 16Studie 14: Nicht zu langsam (Canon in Hypodiatesseron per Augmentationem in Contrario Motu)08:53
  • 17Studie 15: Schnell (Canon in Hypodiapason - Canon alla Ottava)03:41
  • 18Studie 16: Nicht zu schnell (Canon alla Decima. Contrapunto alla Terza)05:16
  • 19Studie 17: Presto feroce (Canon alla Duodecima in Contrapunto alla Quinta)02:41
  • 20Studie 18: Maestoso, ma molto calmo (Fuga a 3 (4) Soggetti)15:11
  • Total Runtime01:33:08

Info for J.S. Bach & Reinhard Febel: 18 Studies on 'The Art of Fugue'

With its fourteen fugues and four canons, all of which are derived from the same thematic germ cell, J. S. Bach’s "The Art of Fugue" contains within it a veritable cornucopia of constructional variants. In his own Studies, Reinhard Febel takes apart the constituent elements of Bach’s work and reassembles them in completely new ways, occasionally opening up the musical material and allowing it to range over the entire keyboard. With their refined and extremely complex “manipulations”, these Studies produce a brilliant and occasionally even dramatically expressive undertow. They were commissioned by the Duo Tal & Groethuysen, who have now recorded them for the present world-premiere release. In composing the fugues and canons that make up "The Art of Fugue", Bach was presumably thinking of the sound world of a keyboard instrument, although he never specified this unambiguously. As a result, this has legitimized a whole range of disparate versions for different combinations of instruments. Yaara Tal and Andreas Groethuysen – both of them well known as outstanding pianists – were drawn to the idea of interpreting the work as a piano duet. The term “study” stresses the idea of exploring and experimenting with different compositional possibilities and in that way finds its counterpart in Bach’s conception of the word “contrapunctus”. The Art of Fugue was not primarily intended for performance but was designed as a compendium of the possibilities of contrapuntal composition at a time when the golden age of this art already lay in the past. Yet Alban Berg was only one of many commentators to observe that a work regarded by many as based on pure mathematics has a uniquely profound musical depth to it. Bach maintains an impressive balance between academically abstract composition and the art of sensual expression. And the same is true for Febel’s Studies.

Yaara Tal, piano
Andreas Groethuysen, piano

Yaara Tal & Andreas Groethuysen
The Israeli pianist Yaara Tal and her German partner Andreas Groethuysen are one of the world´s leading piano duos and perform regularly at such prominent venues as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Philharmonies Berlin, Cologne and Munich, Teatro alla Scala Milano, Musikhalle Hamburg, Hongkong Arts Festival, Lucerne Festival, Frick Collection New York, Forbidden City Concert Hall Peking, Piano-Festival La Roque d´Anthéron, Salzburger Festspiele, Musikverein Vienna, Tonhalle Zürich - to name only a few.

Besides an unsurpassed homogenity and spontanity in their playing, the duo displays great creativity in their recital programmes which feature unjustly neglected musical treasures in addition to the standard repertoire.

The exclusive cooperation with the record company SONY CLASSICAL makes up an important part of their international success: The Duo Tal & Groethuysen has released numerous recordings of piano music for four hands (largely world première recordings e.g. of pieces by Carl Czerny, Reinhard Febel, Theodore Gouvy, Charles Koechlin, Felix Mendelssohn, Max Reger, Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner) which have brought them great acclaim from critics and the public alike.

Their CD's have won the coveted “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” no less than nine times, while the German Phono Academy has awarded its “Echo Klassik”-Prize to five of their recordings, including the complete recordings of Schubert´s music for four hands and the complete Mozart piano duos. Other awards from outside Germany, such as the “Cannes Classical Award“,“Editor´s Choice“ by Gramophone and the “Supersonic Award“ reflect their high international reputation.

The latest releases included in 2013 'Götterdämmerung', with two-piano transcriptions of Wagner's operas ('Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik' 2013), in 2014 the double concerto by Mozart combined with the rarely performed concerto for four-hand piano and orchestra by Carl Czerny, and Rossini's 'Petite messe solennelle' together with the choir of the Bavarian Radio under Peter Dijkstra.

Booklet for J.S. Bach & Reinhard Febel: 18 Studies on 'The Art of Fugue'

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