Bach: The Art of Fugue - The Emerson String Quartet

The Emerson String Quartet have an interesting take on Bach's fugues. Fine playing – but really for pundits or controversialists.

Composer: Bach
Repertoire: Fugues
Artists: Emerson String Quartet
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Instrumental
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.