Fuguettaboutit

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

As most listeners know by now, WQXR has declared November Beethoven Awareness Month. Over the past few weeks All Ears has explored Beethoven, first as a revolutionary, and later as a folk troubadour. This week Terrance McKnight explores a crucial musical form preceding Beethoven and its influence on him: the fugue.

Opening this week's show we hear fugue-master J.S. Bach's Fugue in D Minor from the Well-Tempered Clavier Vol. I, BWV 851. Beethoven was often criticized for his fugue and counterpoint. In his day, many questioned the composer's contrapuntal foundation. Towards the end of his life Beethoven relied more heavily on this concept, and in 1820 he composed his Große Fuge. Notorious for its technical demands, the work was rejected by critics in his day. Yet in of all of this, it emerged as one of the composer's treasured masterworks. We hear the work performed by Quartetto Italiano.

But our fugal celebration doesn't stop there. Brahms who long lived in fear of meeting the standards set by Beethoven also composed fugues. We hear organist Kevin Bower performing Brahms's Fugue in A Flat Minor. Also on this week's show we hear fugal works by Cesar Frank, Leonard Bernstein and much more.

Playlist:

Well-Tempered Clavier Vol. I, BWV 851: Fugue in D Minor
Johann Sebastian Bach
Andrei Vieru, piano
Alpha
 
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
Johann Sebastian Bach
Andrew Manze, violin
Harmonia Mundi
 
"So You Want To Write a Fugue?"
Glenn Gould
Juilliard String Quartet
Vladimir Golschmann, conductor
CBS/Sony
 
Piano Sonata No. 12 in A-flat, Op. 26, "Funeral March"
Ludwig van Beethoven
Annie Fischer, piano
Hungaroton
 
Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K. 546

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Quartetto Italiano
Amadeus
 
Alleluia and Fugue for String Orchestra
Alan Hovhaness
Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Gerard Schwarz, conductor
Delos
 
Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs
Leonard Bernstein
Columbia Jazz Combo
Leonard Bernstein, conductor
Benny Goodman, clarinet
 
Fugue in a-flat
Johannes Brahms
Kevin Bowyer, organ
Nimbus
 
Prelude, Fugue, and Variation, Op. 18
Cesar Franck
Paul Crossley, piano
CBS/Sony
 
String Quartet in B-flat, Op. 133, "Grosse Fugue"

Ludwig van Beethoven
Quartetto Italiano
Amadeus
 
33 Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli

Ludwig van Beethoven
Rudolf Buchbinder, piano
Teldec
 
Cello Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 5/2

Ludwig van Beethoven
Pieter Wispelwey, cello; Paul Komen, pianoforte
Channel Classics

Comments [5]

Jason from Queens

What a treat

Nov. 19 2011 11:55 PM
Monroe Scherer from BROOKLYN, NY

Eartha Kitt is the voice, where does it go????

Nov. 19 2011 10:48 PM
Monroe Scherer from BROOKLYN, NY

Where, oh where do I enter your "contest" to NAME THAT VOICE on WQXR. com?
EARTHA KITT.

Nov. 19 2011 10:45 PM
Michael Meltzer

WQXR is to be complimented on PROCEEDING with the erratum correction.

Nov. 19 2011 04:34 PM
Michael Meltzer

On the home page lead-in, do you mean to say PRECEDING the composer?
I've always complained that you people are journalists, not musicians, now I'm not even sure of that !

Nov. 19 2011 08:51 AM

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