Contrapunctus 10

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:
Contrapunctus 10

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Contrapunctus 10 is a strange composite work of rare beauty, with two subjects. The singular rhetoric of the first subject—clipped three-note utterances, inverted and contrasted, sinking down/springing up, circuitous/direct, dark/light, with the springing motion retraced, softened, and overshot by a rising scale: this fascinates and mystifies. Contrapunctus 10 in an early version; both early and final versions became known as soon as the work appeared perhaps because the versions are so different; both were included in the 1751 publication. Fuga 6 began at bar twenty three of Contrapunctus 10, so it began with an orthodox exposition, setting forth a subject that inverts the basic theme of The Art of Fugue. Contrapunctus 10 will reveal new secrets as one plays and studies it again and again.

Keywords: Contrapunctus 10; early version; Fuga 6; orthodox exposition; three-note utterances

Chapter.  2995 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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