Johann Sebastian Bach was better known as a virtuoso
organist than as a composer in his day. His sacred
music, organ and choral works, and other instrumental
music had an enthusiasm and seeming freedom that
concealed immense rigor. Bach's use of counterpoint was
brilliant and innovative, and the immense complexities
of his compositional style -- which often included
religious and numerological symbols that seem to fit
perfectly together in a profound puzzle of special
codes -- still amaze musicians today. Many consider him
the greatest composer of all time.
In music, a fugue is a contrapuntal compositional
technique in two or more voices, built on a subject (a
musical theme) that is introduced at the beginning in
imitation (repetition at different pitches) and which
recurs frequently in the course of the composition. A
fugue usually has three sections: an exposition, a
development, and a final entry that contains the return
of the subject in the fugue's tonic key. Some fugues
have a recapitulation. In the Middle Ages, the term was
widely used to denote any works in canonic style; by
the Renaissance, it had come to denote specifically
imitative works. Since the 17th century, the term fugue
has described what is commonly regarded as the most
fully developed procedure of imitative
Most fugues open with a short main theme, the subject,
which then sounds successively in each voice (after the
first voice is finished stating the subject, a second
voice repeats the subject at a different pitch, and
other voices repeat in the same way); when each voice
has entered, the exposition is complete. This is often
followed by a connecting passage, or episode, developed
from previously heard material; further "entries" of
the subject then are heard in related keys. Episodes
(if applicable) and entries are usually alternated
until the "final entry" of the subject, by which point
the music has returned to the opening key, or tonic,
which is often followed by closing material, the coda.
In this sense, a fugue is a style of composition,
rather than a fixed structure.
The Fugue in E Minor (BWV 960) contains 142 measures of
original work with the remainder incomplete (missing).
The 5 closing measures are my construction and not the
work of the composer.
Although originally written for Harpsichord. I created
this Interpretation of the Fugue in A Minor (BWV 960)
for Double-Reed Trio (Oboe, English Horn & Bassoon).