So You Want to Write a Fugue?

A Celebration Of / Hommage à Glenn Gould

2008
Centrediscs / Centredisques

Composers from Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Max Reger to Hanns Eisler, Walter Piston and Nino Rota have all celebrated Bach’s genius with works based upon the letters of his name: B-A-C-H (Note: in German, B = B flat; and H = B natural.)

In this spirit, CBC Radio 2 commissioned eleven Canadian composers, from coast to coast, each to write a prelude and fugue for piano based upon the available letters in Glenn Gould's name (G-E-G-D). The result is a pleasant surprise of range and diversity of approaches.

The title for this festive feast of fugal fecundity is taken from one of Glenn Gould’s own compositions: a light-hearted conversation piece in which Gould asks, incredulously, “So You Want to Write a Fugue?” This work, scored for four solo voices (SATB) and string quartet, was composed in 1963 for a CBC television programme called The Anatomy of the Fugue.

JOCELYN MORLOCK
1-2. Prelude & Fugue

CHAN KA NIN
3-4. Glenn Gould Gala: Fantasia & Fugue

KATI AGÓCS
5. Nostalgia for Airs Unheard

ANA SOKOLOVIC
6-7. Prelude and Fugue for gg

DIANA MCINTOSH
8-9. A Mir Prelude and Fugue

ANDREW PAUL MACDONALD
10. Tocatta e Fuga in memoriam Glenn Gould

HEATHER SCHMIDT
11. Twelve for Ten

MALCOLM FORSYTH
12-13. Preludio e Fuga sul Nome di Glenn Gould

STEWART GOODYEAR
14. Prelude & Fugue

ANDRÉ RISTIC
15-16. Prélude et Fugue

GARY KULESHA
17. Fugue and Postlude

American Record Guide

"The 12 composers are consistently playful and inventive...I enjoyed the whole program pretty much from start to finish."

- Mark Lehman, American Record Guide

Showtime Magazine
"The creativity on this disk is astonishing for the variety of treatments of a single subject. The musicians are of the highest possible level."

- Stanley Fefferman, Showtime Magazine
Toronto Star
"...few would have predicted the sheer beauty of most of the 17 pieces...this has to be the most exciting disc of new Canadian music in years. It overflows with invention, and most compositions find that elusive balance between being easy on the ears and being thought-provoking...There are no duds on this magnificently potent tribute to Gould's legacy."

- John Terauds, Toronto Star
CBC Radio 2
"In searching for a manner in which CBC Radio 2 could pay tribute to pianist Glenn Gould on what would have been his 75th birthday (September 25, 2007), I was reminded of the means by which composers throughout history have honoured the memory of Johann Sebastian Bach – the composer most associated with Glenn Gould. Composers from Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Max Reger to Hanns Eisler, Walter Piston and Nino Rota have all celebrated Bach’s genius with works based upon the letters of his name: B-A-C-H (Note: in German, B = B flat; and H = B natural.)

In this spirit, CBC Radio 2 commissioned eleven composers, from coast to coast, each to write a prelude and fugue for piano based upon the available letters in Glenn Gould's name (G-E-G-D). I think that you will be pleasantly surprised by the range and diversity of approaches that our composers have taken in realizing their individual commissions.

The title for this festive feast of fugal fecundity is taken from one of Glenn Gould’s own compositions: a light-hearted conversation piece in which Gould asks, incredulously, “So You Want to Write a Fugue?” This work, scored for four solo voices (SATB) and string quartet, was composed in 1963 for a CBC television programme called The Anatomy of the Fugue."

- Neil Crory, Senior Music Producer, CBC Radio 2