Posts tagged ‘Fugue’

February 5, 2017

2017-02-05 Notes from the Bench


“Fugue in A Minor” (BWV 543) by Johann Sebastian Bach

A commentary on this week’s music by Dr. James T. Gerber, Music Associate

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was the great master of contrapuntal composition; his works represent the synthesis of German, French, and Italian writing styles of the era and the culmination of the baroque style. Since the time of Bach, musicians have studied his works in great depth and composers have applied and adapted many of the compositional techniques Bach perfected within their own works. Bach continues to be one of the most influential composers of all time.

Among the types of compositions Bach is best-known for is the fugue. The English and French term “fugue” (fuge in German, fuga in Italian) is derived from the Latin word, “fuga” which is related to the words “fugere,” which means “to flee,” and “fugare,” “to chase.” Fugues are typically associated with the organ or clavier, however, there have been numerous fugues written for instrumental and vocal ensembles. A fugue often demonstrates a composer’s skill in crafting a contrapuntal composition. Bach was undoubtedly the master of the fugal composition; his final work, “Der Kunst der Fuge” (The Art of Fugue), explores in depth the possibilities of fugal and contrapuntal writing.



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