Album: Akademie Fur Alte Musik Berlin, Bach: Die Kunst der Fuge (Harmonia Mundi)

Andy Gill
Friday 07 January 2011 01:00 GMT

Bach's great unfinished work has been subjected to many realisations, the original keyboard exercises applied to recorder, saxophone, woodwind and string interpretations, and even an electronic rock version by Laibach.

But most arrangements stick to one section of the orchestral palette, an approach rejected by this German early-music ensemble, who imbue the methodical counterpoints with new life by sharing them between strings and wind, and by sequencing the series for maximum contrast, switching between strings, harpsichord and wind in turn. Whatever the sequence, it's the vivid way in which the Akademie realise Bach's ingenious structures that makes the recording so compelling.

DOWNLOAD THIS Contrapunctus 4; Kanon 15; Kanon 14; Contrapunctus 18

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