Fugue in C Major

Joseph Kerman

in The Art of Fugue

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780520243583
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941397 | DOI:
Fugue in C Major

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The Well-Tempered Clavier is an exemplary collection of twice twenty-four preludes and fugues for keyboard, which exhibits unsurpassed contrapuntal virtuosity and also the seemingly infinite types, forms, and characters that may emerge from the art of fugue. The fugue in C Major displays maximum learning: a stretto fugue fitting two dozen entries of a one-and-a-half-bar subject into little more than two dozen bars of music. It uses an array of strettos to build intensity, to unsettle a fundamental rhythmic pattern, to generate modulations, and to prepare a registral climax. The fugue in C Major, a four-voiced fugue, brings the subject successively in the alto, soprano, tenor, and bass and then goes on at once to a fifth entry in the soprano with a close stretto entry on its heels.

Keywords: Well-Tempered Clavier; fugue; C Major; strettos; soprano

Chapter.  2438 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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