Album info



Label: Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Artist: Richard Tognetti & Australian Chamber Orchestra

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Album including Album cover

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  • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750): Contrapunctus 1 - 4 (Live):
  • 1Contrapunctus 1 (Live In Sydney / 2016)02:33
  • 2Contrapunctus 2 (Live In Sydney / 2016)02:38
  • 3Contrapunctus 3 (Live In Sydney / 2016)02:24
  • 4Contrapunctus 4 (Live In Sydney / 2016)03:59
  • Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827): String Quartet In B Flat, Op.130 (Live):
  • 51. Adagio ma non troppo - Allegro (Live In Sydney / 2016)13:32
  • 62. Presto (Live In Sydney / 2016)01:59
  • 73. Andante con moto ma non troppo. Poco scherzando (Live In Sydney / 2016)06:53
  • 84. Alla danza tedesca (Allegro assai) (Live In Sydney / 2016)02:55
  • 95. Cavatina (Adagio molto espressivo) (Live In Sydney / 2016)07:53
  • 106. Grosse Fuge In B-flat Major, Op. 133 (Live In Sydney / 2016)16:23
  • Total Runtime01:01:09

Info for Bach / Beethoven: Fugue

Following the recent Mozart’s Last Symphonies recording, Richard Tognetti an the ACO are releasing a new album showcasing two works of genius by two of the greatest composers of all time exploring fugues as musical artifice.

The fugue is a form in which a single musical theme repeats and weaves around itself.

Tognetti describes Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge as a “hyper-controlled cacophony, rousing responses ranging from rapture to despair”, a genre moving away from salon music, and originally conceived as the final movement to his last string quartet. The piece is presented in an arrangement for string orchestra by Tognetti which, in his words, is “careful not to exploit the greater dynamic capabilities at the expense of the innerlich heart of Beethoven’s uniquely powerful music”.

The Art of Fugue is a mysterious unfinished fugue written by Bach at the end of his life. It is unclear for which instrument it was originally written.

Hot on the heels of their ARIA-nominated recording of Mozart’s Last Symphonies, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Richard Tognetti showcase two works of genius by Beethoven and Bach. Recorded live in concert, these seminal works are given a new lease of life, opening up new soundworlds through the vitality and virtuosity for which the ACO has become globally renowned.

Both Bach and Beethoven wrote these pieces towards the end of their lives. Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge was originally conceived as the final movement to his last string quartet; in it, the genre moves away from salon music into what Tognetti describes as “hyper-controlled cacophony, rousing responses ranging from rapture to despair”. This was too much for Beethoven’s contemporaries, and the quartet was soon given a more orthodox ending. In this album the Grosse Fuge is returned to its original place, and is presented in an arrangement for string orchestra by Tognetti which, in his words, is “careful not to exploit the greater dynamic capabilities at the expense of the innerlich heart of Beethoven’s uniquely powerful music”.

Bach’s The Art of Fugue was left unfinished at his death, and is a work shrouded in mystery: it is unclear for what instrument it was originally written. A masterclass in the fugue – a form in which a single musical theme repeats and weaves around itself – the first four movements are presented here using strings, winds and even the voices of the orchestra to bring out the polyphonal parts which, in Bach’s hands, speak as one.

Critical acclaim for the concerts at which this album was recorded include praise for the ACO’s “uncanny blend of muscularity and airiness” (The Daily Telegraph) and “restless dynamism” (Sydney Morning Herald).

Australian Chamber Orchestra
Richard Tognetti, conductor

Richard Tognetti
Australian violinist, conductor and composer, Richard Tognetti has established an international reputation for his compelling performances and artistic individualism. He studied at the Sydney Conservatorium with Alice Waten, in his home town of Wollongong with William Primrose, and at the Berne Conservatory (Switzerland) with Igor Ozim, where he was awarded the Tschumi Prize as the top graduate soloist in 1989. Later that year he was appointed Leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and subsequently became Artistic Director. He is also Artistic Director of the Maribor Festival in Slovenia and Creative Associate of Classical Music for Melbourne Festival.

Tognetti performs on period, modern and electric instruments. His numerous arrangements, compositions and transcriptions have expanded the chamber orchestra repertoire and been performed throughout the world.

As director or soloist, Tognetti has appeared with the Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), Hong Kong Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg,Tapiola Sinfonietta, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Nordic Chamber Orchestra and the Australian symphony orchestras. He conducted Mozart's Mitridate for the Sydney Festival and gave the Australian premiere of Ligeti’s Violin Concerto with the Sydney Symphony.

Tognetti has collaborated with colleagues from across various art forms and artistic styles, including Joseph Tawadros, Dawn Upshaw, James Crabb, Emmanuel Pahud, Jack Thompson, Katie Noonan, Neil Finn,Tim Freedman, Paul Capsis, Bill Henson and Michael Leunig.

In 2003, Tognetti was co-composer of the score for Peter Weir’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World; violin tutor for its star, Russell Crowe; and can also be heard performing on the award-winning soundtrack. In 2005, he co-composed the soundtrack to Tom Carroll’s surf film Horrorscopes and, in 2008, created The Red Tree, inspired by illustrator Shaun Tan’s book. He co-created and starred in the 2008 documentary film Musica Surfica, which has won best film awards at surf film festivals in the USA, Brazil, France and South Africa.

As well as directing numerous recordings by the ACO, Tognetti has recorded Bach’s solo violin repertoire for ABC Classics, winning three consecutive ARIA awards, and the Dvorak and Mozart Violin Concertos for BIS.

A passionate advocate for music education,Tognetti established the ACO’s Education and Emerging Artists programs in 2005.

Richard Tognetti was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2010. He holds honorary doctorates from three Australian universities and was made a National Living Treasure in 1999. He performs on a 1743 Guarneri del Gesù violin, lent to him by an anonymous Australian private benefactor.

This album contains no booklet.

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