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Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV542

composer

 
It is not known when the fantasia from the Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV542 became associated with the loosely constructed virtuoso pedal fugue which tradition has it Bach played to Buxtehude’s contemporary Reincken in Hamburg in 1720; its tuneful subject, very similar to a Dutch folktune, was used as a test in extempore fugal playing in the same city five years later. ‘The best of Bach’s pedal pieces’, wrote an early copyist at the end of it, and few could quarrel with his enthusiasm. The splendour of the fantasia, both aural and intellectual, would seem to indicate that it was written a good deal later; certainly the two contrasted ideas—mighty chords and rhetorical flourishes, and expressive, thoughtful counterpoint—are executed with masterly ease.

from notes by Robin Langley © 1993

On ne sait pas quand la Fantaisie et Fugue en sol mineur, BWV542 commença à être associée à la fugue pour pédale virtuose très librement construite que, selon la tradition, Bach joua, à Hambourg en 1720, devant le contemporain de Buxtehude, Reincken; son sujet mélodieux, très similaire à un chant populaire hollandais, fut utilisé comme un test d’interprétation impromptue de fugue, dans la même ville, cinq ans plus tard. «Le meilleur des morceaux pour pédale de Bach», écrivit un des premiers copistes, à la fin de celui-ci, et son enthousiasme est généralement partagé. La splendeur de la fantaisie, à la fois pour l’oreille et pour l’intellect, semblerait indiquer qu’elle fut composée bien plus tard; les deux idées contrastées—de puissants accords et des fioritures rhétoriques, et un contrepoint expressif, pensif sont certainement exécutées avec une maestria parfaite.

extrait des notes rédigées par Robin Langley © 1993
Français: Alain Midoux

Es ist nicht bekannt, wann die Verbindung zwischen der Fantasie und Fuge in g-Moll, BWV542 und der locker konstruierten virtuosen Pedalfuge entstand, die Bach der Überlieferung zufolge 1720 in Hamburg Buxtehudes Zeitgenossen Reincken vorgespielt haben soll. Ihr melodiöses Subjekt, das große Ähnlichkeiten mit einer holländischen Volksweise aufweist, wurde fünf Jahre später ebenfalls in Hamburg zur Prüfung der Fähigkeit zum fugalen Extemporespiel eingesetzt. Es sei das beste von Bachs Pedalwerken, vermerkte ein Notenschreiber unter einer frühen Kopie, und kaum jemand würde bestreiten, daß seine Begeisterung begründet war. Die akustische wie intellektuelle Vortrefflichkeit der Fantasie scheint darauf hinzudeuten, daß sie wesentlich später komponiert wurde; auf jeden Fall sind die zwei voneinander abgehobenen Themen—mächtige Akkorde, rhetorische Schnörkel und eindrucksvoller, wohlüberlegter Kontrapunkt—meisterhaft ausgeführt.

aus dem Begleittext von Robin Langley © 1993
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller

Recordings

Liszt: Complete Piano Music
CDS44501/9899CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Bach: Great Fantasias, Preludes & Fugues
CDD220622CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 13 – À la Chapelle Sixtine
CDA66438
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 56 – Rarities, Curiosities, Album Leaves and Fragments
CDA67414/74CDs for the price of 3 — Last few CD copies remainingDownload currently discounted
Percy Grainger – The complete 78-rpm solo recordings
APR7501Download only
Bach: The Complete Organ Works
CDS44121/3616CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted

Details

Complete: Fantasia and Fugue
arranger
published 1863; with revisions 1872; second version

Track 3 on APR7501 CD3 [11'52] Download only
Movement 1: Fantasia
Track 1 on CDD22062 CD1 [6'03] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Track 1 on CDS44121/36 CD2 [6'03] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted
Movement 1: Fantasie
arranger
published 1863; with revisions 1872; second version

Track 14 on CDA66438 [5'15]
arranger
circa 1861; first version

Track 2 on CDA67414/7 CD1 [5'53] 4CDs for the price of 3 — Last few CD copies remaining
arranger
published 1863; with revisions 1872; second version

Track 14 on CDS44501/98 CD50 [5'15] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
arranger
circa 1861; first version

Track 2 on CDS44501/98 CD85 [5'53] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Movement 2: Fuge
arranger
published 1863; with revisions 1872; second version

Track 15 on CDA66438 [5'35]
arranger
circa 1861; first version

Track 3 on CDA67414/7 CD1 [5'31] 4CDs for the price of 3 — Last few CD copies remaining
arranger
published 1863; with revisions 1872; second version

Track 15 on CDS44501/98 CD50 [5'35] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
arranger
circa 1861; first version

Track 3 on CDS44501/98 CD85 [5'31] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Movement 2: Fugue
Track 2 on CDD22062 CD1 [5'55] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Track 2 on CDS44121/36 CD2 [5'55] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted

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