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The Art of FugueBach Fugues for Keyboard, 1715-1750$
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Joseph Kerman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520243583

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520243583.001.0001

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Fugue in C Major

Fugue in C Major

The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1

(p.1) Chapter 1 Fugue in C Major
The Art of Fugue

Joseph Kerman

University of California Press

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

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