Chapter

Fugue in B 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/9780520243583.003.0016
Fugue in B Major

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An entrée to the fugue in B Major, one of Bach's most beautiful fugues, can be gained from a composer who learned The Well Tempered Clavier as a boy and at the end of his life found himself drawing on it again and again. In the opening exposition, the slow, measured tread of the subject reaches up to its climax just in time to break off and cede to a graceful tumble of shorter, weaker steps reclaiming the entire octave. B Major deals its two countersubjects in section one but only one in section two, an easy enough hand for a composer with four voices at his disposal. This leads to an extended passage devoted to various thematic combinations and modulations.

Keywords: fugue; B Major; Bach; countersubjects; four voices

Chapter.  2482 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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