Friday night beauty: J. S. Bach, Contrapunctus XIV from The Art of Fugue, BWV1080

Below is Glenn Gould in a mesmerizing performance of the final, unfinished fugue of Bach’s The Art of Fugue. The tale, spun by his son C. P. E. Bach, that J. S. Bach died while trying to finish the fugue has been discredited by modern scholarship, but is a classic example of “se non e vero, e bene trovato” (if it ain’t true, it’s well invented).

For technical reasons, the video is split into two segments: the split is made at the point the third fugue subject (based on the letters B-A-C-H “spelled out” by the notes they stand for by their German names) is introduced.  Enjoy!

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