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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 Major

Fugue in B Major

The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2

(p.133) Chapter 16 Fugue in B Major
The Art of Fugue

Joseph Kerman

University of California Press

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

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