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Bach, Johann Sebastian Johann Sebastian Bach
Germany Germany
(1685 - 1750)
6537 sheet music
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Bach, Johann Sebastian: Fugue in C Major for String Quartet

Fugue in C Major for String Quartet
BWV 946
Johann Sebastian Bach

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Composer :Johann Sebastian BachBach, Johann Sebastian (1685 - 1750)
Instrumentation :

String Quartet

Style :


Arranger :
Publisher :
Johann Sebastian BachMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Key :C major
Copyright :Public Domain
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although he did not introduce new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France.

Bach employed thematic material from certain trio sonatas by Albinoni and Corelli to fashion the following keyboard fugues:
- BWV 946: Albinoni, Op. 1 No. 12, 4th movement, Presto
- BWV 950: Albinoni, Op. 1 No. 3, 2nd movement, Allegro
- BWV 951a: Albinoni, Op. 1 No. 8, 2nd movement, Allegro
- BWV 579: Corelli, Op. 3 No. 4, 2nd movement, Vivace

All four fugues seem to have been composed during Bach's early period—probably before about 1707. The earliest source of the B minor Albinoni Fugue is in the hand of Bach's eldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach of Ohrdruf, who also copied the first two sonatas from Albinoni's Op. 1 into the Moller Manuscript around 1704-7. This date (or even earlier still) would accord with the early style of all three Albinoni fugues, with the B minor perhaps the last to have been composed.61 In the case of the Corelli fugue, it is perhaps at least suggestive that the earliest source also contains the D major Sonata, BWV 963, for the fugal procedure in both works is anomalous. While the central fugue of the sonata employs variant intervallic forms of the subject (beyond the customary tonal answer), the Corelli fugue opens with two dux (leading) entries rather than the orthodox dux–comes (subject–answer) pair, and lacks a treble entry in its opening exposition. The restriction of all subject entries to the tonic or dominant, and the occurrence of the anticipatory-note mannerism in bb. 53 and 82, likewise point to an early date.

Although the young Bach had no doubt already encountered the Italian sonata style indirectly via such German intermediaries as Kuhnau, Bohm, and Buxtehude, it is safe to assume that exposure to Albinoni's Op. 1 and Corelli's Op. 3 brought with it new insights and a fuller opportunity to assimilate the style into his own creative work. In his adaptations of their music, as in the overtures (BM 82o and 8n) and sonatas (BWV 963 and 967), he was engaged in creating keyboard music out of ensemble genres. In this case, however, he employed the actual thematic material of the Italian composers' ensemble works. While this material is not restricted to the fugue subject (and hence the modern formulation 'Fugue on a Theme of Albinoni/Corelli' is inaccurate), the subject must have been by far the most important factor in Bach's choice. Consequently, it is worth asking what, if anything, these subjects have in common that might have especially appealed to the young composer. As it happens, they are all characterized by a well-balanced arch shape, a rise (by step or by leap) from the tonic through a 6th octave or loth, which is then countered by a corresponding stepwise fall through the same interval back to the tonic (Ex. 6a–d, below). Bach was beginning to develop a strong feeling for line around this time, and several fugue subjects of his own invention (those of BWV 551, bb. 39ff., and BWV 588, for instance) suggest that he might have been predisposed to take an interest in such satisfying arch-shaped themes.

Source: The Creative Development of JSB by By Richard D. P. Jones.

Although originally written for Harpsichord. I created this Interpretation of the Fugue in C Major (BWV 946) for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Source / Web :MuseScore
Sheet central :Fugue en Ut majeur (2 sheet music)
Added by magataganm the 2017-06-17

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