Contrapunctus I: Prelude and Fugue

Stephen Rumph

in Beethoven after Napoleon

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238558
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930124 | DOI:
Contrapunctus I: Prelude and Fugue

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This chapter explores the historical confrontation of the “art of fugue” according to three models from the contrapuntal past, prelude, fugue, and double fugue. It studies the first movements from the Piano Sonatas in E Major and C Minor, opp. 109 and 111; the first movements of the String Quartets in E-flat Major, A Minor, and B-flat Major, opp. 127, 132, and 130; and the finale of the String Quartet in C-sharp Minor, op. 131. These six eccentric sonata forms bear the scars of a conflict between two inimical styles, the one dynamic and dialectical, the other rooted in the more static mentality of an earlier age. The ways in which Beethoven handled these antitheses constitute his own contribution to Romantic political thought.

Keywords: fugue; prelude; double fugue; sonata forms; Romantic political thought

Chapter.  7147 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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