Sunday, June 19, 2005

Beauty of the Fugue

When one mentions the fugue, J.S Bach comes into mind. He's the supreme master of the fugue, a musical form with a texture containing a number of individual voices (a subject and several countersubjects), usually more than two. Fugues usually start with just a short melody, known as the subject, followed by the imitation of several voices in close succession. Yeap, think of that subject jumping, running, skipping and dancing etc. And while the countersubject doing a few stunts here and there, there's the pure subject present at the same time. The greatest monuments of Bach are the Well-Tempered Clavier and Art of the Fugue. So well, that's the fugue in brief.

Just started practising on the Fugue (BWV 1000) by Bach. That's one of the very few fugues I can choose from as the guitar doesn't have the privilege or capability of playing the greatest fugues by Bach. It's still a very lovely piece nonetheless. It's not as easy as it really seems to be. For the first page, most of the fingerings are in the first position, yet it took me hours just to make those notes seem natural at a the slowest speed on the metronome. The fingerings for the left hand aren't hard at all, but trying to control the subject and countersubjects is really challenging. And the very fact that the fingerings on the left hand are easy makes that first page hard to memorise. Problem is that I still can't connect to this piece as well as Prelude, Fugue and Allegro (BWV 998). Due to the time constraints, I guess I'll have to leave the latter to next year. Oh well. But this is the first major piece for the lute by Bach that I'm playing and it's very, very addictive, especially when I think of my guitar being able to sing out this charming piece by my favourite composer at the end of the day. =)

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