Public Lecture: Milestones in Music: The Art of Fugue: The Culminating Work of Bach's Final Decade

Date & time

3.30–4.30pm 20 April 2017


Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU School of Music


6125 5700

“The Art of Fugue preserves the purest spirit of the highest form of baroque art. The work is a philosophical breviary, every measure of which invites reflection and thought.” Paul Henry Lang

The Art of Fugue marks the conclusion of Bach’s compositional career. In this presentation Associate Professor Daniel Herscovitch from The University of Sydney's Conservatorium of Music discusses this work and its relationship to the other five major compositions of Bach’s final decade. He examines various issues raised by these works, including genre, the implications of their titles, the forms in which they have come down to us and their place within the performance practice of the time. This presentation will challenge some of the assumptions of received wisdom and conclude by discussing various issues to be addressed in preparing a performance of The Art of Fugue on the modern piano.

Daniel Herscovitch is one of Australia’s best-known pianists. His repertoire ranges from the 17th to the 21st centuries and his CDs have been released on ABC Classics, CSM, Tall Poppies, Continuum and Toccata Classics labels. His performances on four continents have included many world premieres, often of works composed for him. He has also given papers at national and international conferences on subjects ranging from Bach to Bartók, and he recently undertook his fourth visit to the United States where he performed and lectured on The Art of Fugue. A number of his students at Sydney University have themselves successfully launched their own international careers.

This presentation is intended as an introduction to his performance the following evening of The Art of Fugue.

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