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Alan Feinberg: Fugue State

C. Michael Bailey By

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American classical pianist Alan Feinberg has made a career of cleverly conceived and produced recordings of the classical piano repertoire. He began his career with three fine Argo offerings on American themes: The American Romantic (1990); The American Virtuoso (1992); and The American Innovator (1993) focusing on Gottschalk, Beach, MacDowall, and Grainger. Feinberg has been a champion of the music of Milton Babbitt and Charles Wuorinen, having recorded many pieces by each composer.

Feinberg's previous recording, Basically Bull (Steinway & Sons, 2013) focused on the music of British Renaissance composer John Bull (1562—1628). To say that Feinberg's repertoire taste is eclectic would be to miss the point. He has shined more light on underappreciated composers than his next five contemporaries. His Taste is impeccable and his CD programming is always thoughtful and entertaining. Which brings us to the present recording Fugue State.

And, yes, there is a theme here. Feinberg riffs off of the clever title pun and performs a recital of 14 fugue compositions from the late Baroque and early Classical periods. Well represent is the fugue master himself, Johann Sebastian Bach, whose "Ricercara a 3" and "icercar a 6" from The Musical Offering open and close the disc, respectively. In between are fugues by both Scarlattis, Buxtehude, Handel, and Froberger. Feinman's playing is highly personal and uniquely original. Always an amiable performer, Feinberg makes a celebration of this old musical form, shining a 21st Century light squarely on it.

Track Listing: Musikalisches Opfer, BWV 1079: no 1, Johann Sebastian Bach; Fugue in F minor Alessandro Scarlatti; Fugue for Organ in C major, BuxWV 174 "Gigue" Dietrich Buxtehude; Fugues or Voluntaries (6) for Organ: no 3 in B flat major, HWV 607 George Frideric Handel; Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 417/L 462 Domenico Scarlatti; Libro secondo di toccate: Canzona no 2 in G minor Johann Jacob Froberger; Fugue for Organ in G major, BuxWV 175 Dietrich Buxtehude; Fugue on a theme by Albinoni in B minor, BWV 951 Johann Sebastian Bach; Fugue in C major, BWV 953 Johann Sebastian Bach; Fugues or Voluntaries (6) for Organ: no 5 in A minor, HWV 609 George Frideric Handel; Fugue in A major, BWV 949 Johann Sebastian Bach; Sonata for Harpsichord in G minor, K 30/L 499 "The Cat's Fugue" Domenico Scarlatti; Sonata for Harpsichord in C minor, K 58/L 158 Domenico Scarlatti; Musikalisches Opfer, BWV 1079: no 5, Ricercar a 6 by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Personnel: Alan Feinberg: piano.

Title: Fugue State | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Steinway & Sons

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