Chapter

Fugue in B-flat 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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520243583.003.0015
Fugue in B-flat Major

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Countersubjects in the fugue in B-flat Major are handled in an indolent, almost casual manner, in no way disturbing the serene unconcern of this fugue. This work is one of Bach's more subtle inventions—a light-hearted fugue for connoisseurs, one that also labors under a further handicap, that of sharing space with one of the composer's most radiant (and longest) preludes. The lazy stream of sound begins with the fugue subject itself, a strictly continuous series of even notes in a moderate tempo. Section one of the fugue is short, simple, and notably lucid. A lot of space opens up between the bass and the upper voices. After the fugue's central cadence, combination of the subject with new, contrasting counterpoints articulates the beginning of a second section.

Keywords: fugue; B-flat Major; tempo; central cadence; lazy stream

Chapter.  2118 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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