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The Emerson String Quartet have an interesting take on Bach's fugues. Fine playing – but really for pundits or controversialists.
Artists: Emerson String Quartet
Label: DG 474 495-2
There’s no absolute reason why Bach’s profound and abstract masterwork (which mostly, if not entirely, has the feel of keyboard music) won’t work when played by a modern-style string quartet. But this version is only partly convincing. The more period-style viola resists blending with the other instruments, and the air-between-each-note phrasing of many of the musical lines is bizarre. The two-part Canons come off best.