Very convincing Schiff's version, medium tempo and a wonderfully clear and controlled presto - a must hear.
Well Tempered Clavier Book I: Fugue C minor Fugue Book 1 C minor is an elegant and well balanced piece, which draws its fascination of its pure structure and the beauty of the interaction between the subject and the countersubjects. Below is a graph of what happens structurally in the fugue - omitting the countersubjects, in order to provide a better overview:.
Prelude and Fugue No.2 in C minor, BWV 871, C Minor
As one can see, the overall structure is very clear: The fugue starts with a straightforward exposition, introducing the subject first in the middle, then in the soprano and finally the bass voice. The brief episode 1 in bar 5 and 6 serves to bring the flow back to Cmin. What follows is a series of subject entries in the development, each followed by a brief episode, until the fugue reaches its coda.
Bar 3 introcudes the first countersubject , which consists of a straight inverted melodic minor line downwards. The second countersubject is already rhythmically indicated in the second half of first countersubject , and appears the first time in its full version in bar 7 middle voice. To make this clearer, in bar 15 e. Further, the episodes use motives derived from the subject and the countersubjects to further increase the counterpoint effects.
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From an harmonic perspective, the fugue does not create surprises. What is notable though is the quite strong emphasis on minor keys, which are left only very briefly.
This creates a slightly dramatic element, particularly in bars 15 towards the end maybe with the exception of the first part of Episode 5. In my view, one can take this thought a step further and relate it to the overall tension map of the fugue. If we look in more detail, we can derive more out of the overall design than merely an exposition, then a couple of subject entries with episodes in between and finally the coda.
Hal Leonard Online
The key to this fugue lies in the sequence of subject entries in the development section , which is asymmetric: Instead of 3 subject entries in the development, we have 4, the first three of which enter in soprano, alt and soprano. JS Bach therefore introduces a soprano subject entry in bar 20, where one might have expected a bass entry.
This creates a certain tension, which is tamed at first by the rather innocent entry of Episode 5, only to be increased again when Episode 5 introduces the inversion of CS 1 running upwards , with some rather strict chord type soprano and middle voice entries - all of this is preparing the subject entry in the bass. The latter - as a special feature - enters again delayed in the second half of bar 26, and increases the tension further by leading into an unfinished cadence towards the first inversion of C min in 28 with a rather dramatic moment of silence , before resolving the flow finally with a straightforward cadence into the coda, which enters with a strong organ point on C in bar In this context, one might say that the "waiting" for the entry of the subject in the bass is structurally increased by the increasing length of the episodes in the development E3: 2 bars, E4: 3 bars, E 5: 4 bars , which further emphasizes the "delay effect" mentioned above.
Of course I am aware that this structural tension element is not comparable to the building up of tension in the Liszt sonata, and one should by no means overdo it. However, if the performer is conscious of the structural "delay effects" which the soprano subject entry in bar 20 introduces, and knows how to exploit those, this can help to increase the overall convincingness of the interpretation.
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From a technical perspective , I do not see particular difficulties in this fugue, so no need to go into details regarding fingerings. This fugue is played very convincingly by many performers, so there are many good recordings to chose from.
Bach : Prelude and Fugue No.2 c minor, BWV 847
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Purchasable with gift card. Ishizaka studied the notes and phrases of Bachs solo keyboard works in a systematic manner in order to discover an interpretation which adheres to the strictures of the great composers' writing. Since , Ms. Ishizaka has been primarily active as a soloist, performing concerti from Mozart, Beethoven, Grieg, and Gershwin, and establishing herself as an interpreter of Bach and Chopin.
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