J S Bach Fugue No. 1 in C major, BWV 846, from Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier

 

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The Fuga is one of the most complex and original compositions of J.S. Bach. This genre is characterized by the imitation where voices enter like a “relay race”. We can find in it the exposition in the first 6 bars, the counter-exposition at bars 7-10, the six Stretti, a tonic pedal at bars 24-27 and a final coda at three last bars. This Fugue has a “real” answer so it is a “real” Fugue and the particular is that It has no counter-subject. The order in which the voices enter in the Exposition is unusual, as the Subject and Answer do not regularly alternate, but follow one another in the following order: Subject, Answer, Answer, Subject. The Fugue has three complete and three incomplete Stretti. The Stretti at bar 7, Bar 10, and at bars 24-25 are incomplete because all the voices do not take part in them. The complete Stretti in which all the voices take part are in bars 14-15, 16-18, and 19-21.

Bibliography:

The forty-eight preludes and fugues of John Sebastian Bach analysed for the use of students wrote by Frederick Iliffe edited by Sir John Stainer and Sir. C. Hubert and H. Parry, London Novello and Company, 203 pp.

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