Sunday Baroque


Bach’s Kunst der Fuge is shrouded in mystery. We don’t know whether Bach intended the music as material for practice or performance. The order of the 18 sections is unclear as well and we don’t know whether the piece was ever completed.

Shunske Sato made his own instrumentation for the Netherlands Bach Society. “I wanted to bring out the many colours of the work and of my ensemble. Every fugue has its own character. On the basis of the rhythm, time and chromatic lines, etc., you can determine which instrument is most suitable. I’ve studied each part very carefully, in order to decide which instruments are best to use. I wanted the whole Netherlands Bach Society to be heard, so the singers are taking part as well. They sing without words, to vowel sounds. When you introduce singers to the Art of Fugue, you can hardly ignore the example of the Swingle Singers. The sung Contrapunctus 9 is intended as a tribute to their great recording.” – Netherlands Bach Society

Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash


  1. Tubularsock was worried at first. Tubularsock thought those singers were going to do the entire 1:29:04. So when they threw in the towel at 3:35 Tubularsock felt way better.

    But then just thinking of tapping Tubularsock’s foot for 1:29:04 is enough work for the day.

    But Back to Bach, Tubularsock would have thrown in some electric guitars and a “mad” drummer at about Contrapunctus 11.

    But all in all, no one from the Netherlands Bach Society would listen to Tubularsock’s suggestions anyway.

    Bottom line, Tubularsock as usual did enjoyed your post Decker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My brother, God or something rest his soul, would have agreed with you, Tube…100%. Throw in some electric guitars, and most especially the ‘mad’ drummer. It was indeed a very long, long piece. I myself listened in stages, and I’m the one who likes this stuff! But glad you did enjoy at least some of it. Thanks Tube! Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

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