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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 B-flat Major

Fugue in B-flat Major

The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2

(p.125) Chapter 15 Fugue in B-flat Major
The Art of Fugue

Joseph Kerman

University of California Press

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

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