LAIBACHKUNSTDERFUGE

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Bach himself lived and worked in Leipzig from 1723 till the end of his life in 1750. In this period he also wrote Die Kunst der Fuge, one of his most mysterious and baffling works. The Art of Fugue is a collection of fugues and canons that display the full gamut of fugal transformational techniques, such as augmentation and diminution. The theory that the work was intended as an intellectual exercise rather than for performance is borne out by the fact that no instruments are specified in the score. But although the Art of Fugue (the title was not Bach’s own) reveals Bach in his most academic and puzzle-solving guise, it is no mere pedantry and there is much here of great energy and inspiration. Since Bach did not specify any instrumentation, the big question is: what instrument or instruments should the Art of Fugue be played on? There are many keyboard recordings, but versions are available for everything from saxophone quartet to orchestra. Since the work is very much based on mathematic algorithms, Laibach decided to use computer and computer program as the key »instrument«, providing a very special electronic interpretation and showing that J.S. Bach with his work could as well be understood as the pioneer of electronic, techno, computer music.

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