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Classical Music

Fugues


Beethoven: Sonata, Op.27, No.2 Moonlight / Franck: Prelude, choral et fugue / Brahms: Variations on a Theme Paganini Op. 35

Beethoven: Sonata, Op.27, No.2 Moonlight / Franck: Prelude, choral et fugue / Brahms: Variations on a Theme Paganini Op. 35 Lowest new price: $4.77
Lowest used price: $0.74
Model: 2026234

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A wizard of technical control since his prodigy days, Kissin simply uses this as a foundation to probe the depths of such core repertory items as the ones on this collection. It takes a truly subtle musicality and grasp to make the endlessly recorded Moonlight sound fresh, but Kissin has the goods, pulling the carpet from underneath and making you really notice, with his unsentimental, steady tempo, how unsettling Beethoven's harmonic fluctuations are in a first movement of startling inwardness. Kissin allows the middle minuet to blossom within the sonata's larger nightscape, while he pushes the finale's cri de coeur to its heaven-storming edge. He likewise traces the late-19th-century gothic labyrinth of Franck's Prelude, Choral et Fugue with an absorbing blend of delicacy and power. But the real highlight of this disc is the gloriously brilliant intensity Kissin brings to the Brahms Paganini Variations. Listen to how he parades a dizzying, dazzling series of moods--from caressing introspection and bone-crunching, steely chords to the giddy cross-rhythms of Book II, Variation 7--to match Brahms's magnitude of invention. This is pianism of the first order. --Thomas May

Features:

  • Beethoven: Sonata, Op.27, No.2 Moonlight / Franck: Prelude, choral et fugue / Brahms: Variations on a Theme Paganini Op. 35 (1998-03-10)

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Bach: The Art of Fugue

Bach: The Art of Fugue Lowest new price: $32.15
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Bach never specified what instrument or instruments he wanted The Art of Fugue played on; nor did he finish it. Fretwork, a group of six superb viol players, leave the work incomplete, stopping in mid-phrase--the effect is persuasive rather than unsatisfying. The sound of the six different-sized viols is just right for listening to the way Bach intermingles the multiple lines through and around one another--we can learn what counterpoint is just by listening to this CD. Some find the work severe and difficult, and played on a single instrument, like a harpsichord, it can be. But Fretwork manage to vary their tones sufficiently to turn the work into entertainment, albeit intellectual entertainment. You may not come away humming, but you'll be fascinated. --Robert Levine

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Bach: Toccata & Fugue / Passacaglia & Fugue / Pastorale / Preludes & Fugues (Essential Classics)

Bach: Toccata & Fugue / Passacaglia & Fugue / Pastorale / Preludes & Fugues (Essential Classics) Lowest new price: $9.98
Lowest used price: $0.85

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Bernstein Conducts and Plays Bernstein (Symphonies: Jeremiah/The Age of Anxiety/Kaddish; Serenade; Chichester Psalms; Prelude, Fugue and Riffs) (Leonard Berstein, A Portrait)

Bernstein Conducts and Plays Bernstein (Symphonies: Jeremiah/The Age of Anxiety/Kaddish; Serenade; Chichester Psalms; Prelude, Fugue and Riffs) (Leonard Berstein, A Portrait) Lowest used price: $25.33


Schubert: String Quintet in C Major, D 956 (Op. post 163) / Mozart: Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K.546

Schubert: String Quintet in C Major, D 956 (Op. post 163) / Mozart: Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K.546 Lowest new price: $10.98
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Brand: Deutsche Grammophon

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J. S. Bach: Toccata & Fugue in D Minor

J. S. Bach: Toccata & Fugue in D Minor Lowest new price: $39.97
Lowest used price: $9.90

Everyone should own a disc of Leopold Stokowski's Bach transcriptions. Since his death they have actually gained in popularity, owing to their sheer color and sense of fun. The most famous of them--the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor--was the one that appeared at the beginning of the film Fanstasia, and Stokowski himself conducted and recorded it about 10 million times over the course of a very long career. General critical consensus places these live recordings as among the best Stokowski ever made of his Bach arrangements. He had a world-class orchestra playing their collective hearts out for him, and it was all captured in immediate, multi-miked stereo sound. Cool! --David Hurwitz


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart-Complete Works

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart-Complete Works Lowest new price: $315.47
Lowest used price: $119.52

170 CD set!

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Bach, J.S.: Toccatas & Fugues; Passacaglia in C minor

Bach, J.S.: Toccatas & Fugues; Passacaglia in C minor Lowest new price: $8.03
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Model: 15837608

All the works recorded here, except the probably earlier Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV565, originated in Bach's Weimar years (1708-17), although at least some of them may have been revised even after his arrival in Leipzig in 1723. At Weimar he had the greatest opportunities of his career as an organist, with a supportive patron and fine instruments at his disposal. Within this small group of works it is easy to see the extent to which Bach assimilated, enriched and synthesized the formal antecedents and national styles which fell under his gaze. Bach's architectural grasp is so intuitive that, given a near-consistent metric pulse throughout, a close and cumulative relationship between the sections is realized, which far transcends the seeming inconsequence of much toccata writing of his time. The complexity of Bach's canonic writing and richness of harmony combine in a seemingly effortless intellectual and musical tour de force.


Switched-On Bach

Switched-On Bach Lowest new price: $83.09
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Wendy Carlos's Switched-On Bach is one of those rare novelty recordings that never gets boring. In the capable hands of Carlos, Bach's keyboard masterpieces sound like they were made for the otherworldly blurps, farts, and chimes of a Moog synthesizer. And, in a sense, they were. Bach's inventive music doesn't lose any of its contrapuntal punch in these complicated arrangements and, novelties aside, the playing is great on this Grammy Award-winning classic. Whether performing Bach's "Two-Part Inventions," "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," or "Wachet Auf," Carlos offers one-of-a-kind interpretations, her synthesizers still sounding as otherworldly as they did in 1968. This is one of those weird and wonderful classical releases that anyone--classical scholar or pop enthusiast--can enjoy. A Switched-On box set exists, capturing most of Carlos's baroque-gone-berserk output, but this is the disc that started it all. In a word, fun. --Jason Verlinde

Features:

  • Switched-On Bach

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Dupré: Works for Organ, Vol. 1: 24 Inventions / Chorales / 4 Modal Fugues (The Organ Encyclopedia)

Dupré: Works for Organ, Vol. 1: 24 Inventions / Chorales / 4 Modal Fugues (The Organ Encyclopedia) Lowest new price: $5.25
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24 Inventions, op.50 - 6 Chorales, op.28... / James Biery, orgue

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