Bach’s last work has long been shrouded in mystery. The manuscript of its final fugue is incomplete, its last few notes followed by a terse report of the composer’s death added by his son Carl Philipp Emanuel. The instrumental forces for which it was intended remain a matter of speculation. There is a view that it was not even intended for performance but for contemplation, an abstract demonstration of musical theory.
Paul Binski and Anne Page discuss the many questions surrounding Bach’s last masterpiece and come to some surprising conclusions. The Dutch connection will be explored through references the Art of Fugue makes to the legacy of Amsterdam organist J.P. Sweelinck and his North German students. Paul Binski talks about his own completion of the final fugue which will be performed in its entirety on the organ of the Dutch Church.
About our guest speakers and performers
Professor Paul Binski is a Fellow of Caius College Cambridge and a Fellow of the British Academy. Anne Page enjoys a career as a recitalist and recording artist and is one of the organists of the Dutch Church.
Their joint presentation on the Art of Fugue has been given on the South Bank when Anne performed the entire work at the Royal Festival Hall in 2017.
18:30 – Doors open
19:00 – Talk and performance
20:30 – Drinks
21:00 – End of event