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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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Contrapunctus 10

Contrapunctus 10

The Art of Fugue

(p.39) Chapter 6 Contrapunctus 10
The Art of Fugue

Joseph Kerman

University of California Press

Contrapunctus 10 is a strange composite work of rare beauty, with two subjects. The singular rhetoric of the first subject—clipped three-note utterances, inverted and contrasted, sinking down/springing up, circuitous/direct, dark/light, with the springing motion retraced, softened, and overshot by a rising scale: this fascinates and mystifies. Contrapunctus 10 in an early version; both early and final versions became known as soon as the work appeared perhaps because the versions are so different; both were included in the 1751 publication. Fuga 6 began at bar twenty three of Contrapunctus 10, so it began with an orthodox exposition, setting forth a subject that inverts the basic theme of The Art of Fugue. Contrapunctus 10 will reveal new secrets as one plays and studies it again and again.

Keywords:   Contrapunctus 10, early version, Fuga 6, orthodox exposition, three-note utterances

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