Filippo Gorini - Bach: The Art of Fugue - BBC Music Magazine

Performance: 4*
Recording: 5*

Here’s another fine recording. Filippo Gorini’s has lovely poise throughout, sometimes as though with bated breath, other times with driving propulsion, and occasionally exploding with pure joie de vivre. He never pushes the pace, letting Bach’s complex patterns unfold with grave deliberation, while always keeping the multiple voices distinct.

And he, too, presents the work as a riddle: in place of musicological liner notes he offers us sonnets of his own devising interspersed with home-made haikus. And if the literary tone of his poetry recalls that of TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, that is intentional: in Gorini’s view the two works inhabit the same mystical world. Moreover, this recording is only phase one of a larger project designed to reflect the work’s relevance to our contemporary culture: drawing on Gorini’s interviews with luminaries including Alfred Brendel and Mitsuko Uchida, architect Frank Gehry and mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, podcasts will exponentially expand the argument.

BBC Music Magazine
01 October 2021