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Fugue State / Alan Feinberg

Release Date: 07/10/2015
Label: Steinway & Sons Catalog #: 30034 Spars Code: DDD
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach ,  Alessandro Scarlatti ,  Dietrich Buxtehude ,  George Frideric Handel  ...  Performer:  Alan Feinberg Number of Discs: 1
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins.

Fugue State features music of two generations of composers from the era of the High Baroque. While the composers each have unique and intriguingly personal styles, they share a compelling range of compositional techniques and musical ideas. They influenced each other in ways rarely presented in the piano world. This recording features some of the links and musical cross-pollination of these composers. And while fugues are generally not designed to surrender their secrets easily, there are many connections to be enjoyed by the avid listener. Alan Feinberg

"A champion of contemporary music, this American pianist has won acclaim for adventurous programs pairing old and new works. This recording is an adventure of another
Read more kind. He play 14 fugues by composers from two generations of the high Baroque... Surprising cross-generational similarities come through between the masterly Bach fugues and and the intricate earlier ones of Froberger and Buxtehude. Heard in this context, Handel's ingenious fugues sound wonderfully clearheaded and uncluttered... The playing throughout has elegance, color and clarity. These diverse fugues come across like character pieces, which is, as Mr. Feinberg writes in his liner notes, the way he thinks of them." -- Anthony Tommasini, NEW YORK TIMES

Pianist Alan Feinberg recorded expressionistic versions of John Bull's unconventional English Renaissance keyboard piece several years before releasing this utterly, by modern standards, iconoclastic collection of fugues by various composers of the 17th and 18th centuries. Unashamedly pianistic, these readings rely on the idea that, in Feinberg's words, "[e]ach fugue can be thought of as a character piece, each with its own personality, scope, level of complexity, and affect." There is little or no support for this view in the Baroque literature, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing: Feinberg puts it across. The program concludes chronologically with Bach and Handel, who surely do exhibit contrasting interior and exterior characteristics even in fugues. The program is filled out with works by Bach's model Buxtehude, whose opposite number is the more brilliant Froberger, and there are some little-known keyboard fugues by both Domenico and Alessandro Scarlatti. Feinberg's recital will not win any awards for historical accuracy, but nobody has done anything like it before, and it's highly listenable. Excellent sound from Virginia's Sono Luminus studio, emerging as a leading U.S. studio venue for high-end audio, is a major attraction. -- James Manheim, All Music Guide

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