Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Bach: Fugue in Bb Major
Now that we're all just fuguing around I thought I'd do one of the fugues we talked about today, at least I think this is the same one. This fugue has 3 voices and what I heard as 9 subjects (or 8, I can't decide if one of them is a true subject or not). The trouble with these is really finding a way to break them up, since we really lack concrete cadences until the very end. The subject lasts 4 measures and is introduced in the order of top, bottom, then finally middle voice. An interesting idea is how Bach takes basically 3 segments (the subject and 2 countersubjects) and weaves them in and out. Each voice picks up where the other left off, spreading up and down the voices, much like a waterwheel. This pattern is interupted twice however, in measures 19-22 the middle voice drops out entirely and the bass plays the first measure of the subject over and over again in a descending sequence. It's funny sounding, like the fugue is stuttering over lines, before coming back in to the subject and 2 countersubject pattern. This interruption happens again in measures 30-33 only inverted, as the top voice has the descending sequence of the opening measure. The subsequent measures confuse me, as it seems that the inner voice does have the subject, but it moves away towards the countersubject too soon. I want to call it a subject, especially listening to it, but since it doesn't have all 4 measures I guess I can't technically classify it. I really like the flowing nature of this fugue as it seemingly flows out effortlessly. We have a return of that stuttering motion at the very again, signaling out final cadence, a PAC.