Ensemble Vivant with Adrian Bent

Ensemble Vivant’s iFUGUE ~ A World of Fugues album pays homage to Johann Sebastian Bach. It features masterful fugues from around the world by Astor Piazzolla (Argentina); Heitor Villa-Lobos (Brazil); Aldemaro Romero (Venezuela); John Burke and Michael Coghlan (Canada); Dmitri Shostakovich (Russia); Antonio Vivaldi (Italy); César Franck (France); and of course, the King of the Fugue himself, Johann Sebastian Bach (Germany).

Two of Bach’s Preludes and Fugues from Volume 1 of his Well-Tempered Clavier are included on this recording: No. 9 in E Major, which I perform for solo piano (Track 5), and No. 13 in F Sharp Major (Track 2) to which John Burke ingeniously added the wonderful strings of Ensemble Vivant.

When the great, now late Canadian composer John Burke heard Antonio Vivaldi’s fugue in e minor (from Sinfonia in e minor for strings and continuo), he immediately knew it would be a perfect complement to our fugue project. I was thrilled when he presented this delightful fugue which he arranged and gifted to Ensemble Vivant. It was John who cleverly coined this ‘iFUGUE’ which fittingly leads off this album.

The idea for this album was sparked when I discovered the wonderful fugues of Argentine Tango master Astor Piazzolla. Ensemble Vivant was preparing for our Homage to Astor Piazzolla recording and the introduction to some of Piazzolla’s fugues inspired me to seek out masterful fugues written by other composers from different cultures around the world. Like so many composers, Piazzolla revered the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and he fervently studied Bach’s contrapuntal writing, especially the fugues.

Ensemble Vivant’s recordings on the Opening Day Entertainment Group label (ODEG) are heard on radio around the world. iFUGUE ~ A World of Fugues is the group’s 15th album.

iFugue, A World of Fugues CD



  1. iFugue (fugue in e minor from Antonio Vivaldi’s Sinfonia in e minor for strings and continuo)1
  2. Prelude & Fugue in F Sharp Major No. 13, BK 1 WTC, J.S. Bach1
  3. Fuga del Sur, John Burke, World Premiere
  4. Fugata, Astor Piazzolla2
  5. Prelude & Fugue in E Major No. 9, BK 1 WTC, John Burke, Solo Piano
  6. Prelude & Fugue in A Major No. 7, OP. 87, Dmitri Shostakovich1
  7. Fugue for Fireflies, Michael Coghlan, Solo Piano, World Premiere
  8. Fuga con Pajarillo, Aldemaro Romero2
  9. Fugue in G Major, J.S. Bach (cello & piano)
  10. Fugue & Variations (From Prelude, Fugue and Variations, Op. 18) César Franck2
  11. Fuga Y Misterio, Astor Piazzolla2
  12. Fugue in G Minor, J.S. Bach/ Robert Schumann (violin & piano)
  13. Peregrine Riffs, Michael Coghlan (piano, violin & bass), World Premiere
  14. Fugue in G Minor (Little Fugue), J.S. Bach3
  15. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1 Fuga (Conversa), Heitor Villa-Lobos2
  1. arr for Ensemble Vivant by John Burke
  2. arr for Ensemble Vivant by Julien Labro
  3. arr for Ensemble Vivant by Rick Wilkins


Catherine Wilson, Piano/Artistic Director

Corey Gemmel, Violin

Norman Hathaway, Viola

Tom Mueller, Cello

George Koller, Bass

With Special Guests:

Don Thompson, O.C., Vibraphone (Track 4)

Adrian Bent, Drums (Track 1)

Jim Vivian, Bass (Tracks 4,11,15)

Juan Carlos Medrano, Percussion (Track 8)

Sybil Shanahan, Cello (Tracks 4,11,15)

Juan Carlos Medrano, Percussion (Track 8)

Jeremy Smith, Maracas (Track 8)

The WholeNote iFugue CD Review

…an imaginative exploration of fugues from around the world and across the centuries, this album is beaming with creative sonic adventures.. each with a message and a beauty of its own… Read the full reviewThe WholeNote

Ivana Popovic

The WholeNote

iFugue CD Review

La Scena Musicale iFugue CD Review

This disc is not only a fine listen, but one to revisit again and again—if only to experience that sudden shift away from the baroque stylings in that last piece to the very Cartesian compositional approach including daringly dissonant sounds of contemporary music. Read the full reviewLa Scena Musicale – English | French

Justin Bernard

La Scena Musicale

iFugue CD Review

Artsforum Magazine iFugue CD Review

You can always count on Ensemble Vivant, led by pianist and artistic director Catherine Wilson, for music of the very highest quality. Here, nine musicians turn their ample talents to fugues by nine composers from eight countries, headlined by the form’s exemplar, J.S. Bach. Read the full reviewArtsforum Magazine

John Arkelian

Artsforum Magazine

iFugue CD Review

Vittorio Mezza iFugue CD Review

(George) Thank you very much for sending your beautiful new CD iFugue ~ A World of Fugues. Congratulations for the great sound and deep emotions that Ensemble Vivant communicates to the listener!!

Vittorio Mezza

composer, arranger, recording artist, Professor of Music, Rome, Italy

iFugue CD Review

Patricia Parr, O.C. iFugue CD Review

Just listened to your excellent CD. I enjoyed it even more on the third hearing. What a brilliant idea! The arrangement of the Vivaldi (Fugue #1) grabs your attention immediately on a strong and positive note! They are imaginatively arranged, with much contrast, and beautifully performed throughout.
Congratulations! You all should be proud.

Patricia Parr, O.C.

Concert Pianist

iFugue CD Review

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