The Art of Fugue

JSB the Art of Fugue cover

Anyone who takes a closer look at The Art of Fugue quickly notices that the work raises a multitude of questions. To what end did Bach compose The Art of Fugue? And why did Bach completely rework the manuscript and expand on it when a printed version was being made? In what order did he intend the twenty component parts to be played? And what was he hoping to achieve with the unfinished last fugue? Theo Nederpelt answers all these questions by approaching them from a perspective of human development and characteristics. This makes this book interesting and understandable for both readers with and without a musical background. 

Part I discusses Bach’s intentions with The Art of Fugue, the work’s title and the titles of the separate fugues, what numbers meant to Bach, and how the work is to be performed.

In Part II each fugue is discussed separately and a number of flawed views on the work are debunked and re-examined.

The unique mirror fugues, in which completely different musical pieces were created by horizontally mirroring the notes, are presented in their entirety. They are listed one below the other so as to facilitate easy comparison.

With admiration I read this book on Bach’s masterpiece The Art of Fugue by pianist Theo Nederpelt.
Ton Koopman, conductor, organist, harpsichordist

Through this book and his vision on this piece’s meaning, Theo Nederpelt has made a valuable contribution to this body of work.
Ivo Janssen, pianist

Calefax was so taken with the ending composed by Theo Nederpelt that we perfomed it repeatedly and with satisfaction.
Raaf Hekkema, saxophonist from Calefax Reed Quintet

Order here The Art of Fugue