26

A COMPANION

TO

BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' A
in 12th T /\ in lOth
1

27

of a series of three entries of x, with much of the effect of a fugal exposition of a new subject. Then, in bars 66-70 we
.

~

s /\

have the inversion in the lOth,

{ B A in 2

loth.

{ B/\2
with which the fugue ends almost abruptly. It is a wonderful study in an almost modal mixture of tonality. Played quietly throughout, its effect is as romantic as anything in Bach. Notice that the harmonic character is not only deliberately sought, but is brought about mainly by the D-C in the loth. This is perhaps the only case where a definite harmonic effect has ever been obtained from inversion in the loth apart from its use in added 3rds. In Contrapunctus XI Bach sets himself to work out a triple No. fugue on the inversion of the three subjects of Contrapunctus XI. VIII. The Berlinautograph puts it immediatelyafter that fugue; an arrangement which has its point. The notation of both fugues in 2/4 time, with notes of half the present values, is another interesting indication oftemP9, the inference being that Bach was afraid of taking these fugues too fast. No. XI is the most difficult of all the aesthetically important parts of K. d. F., and is the better for a tempo appreciably slower than that of No. VIII. The task Bach here sets himself is not strictly possible. Of the three themes the motto-theme is the only one that was naturally conceived as invertible. The first theme of VIII can still be construed when inverted, but is then obviously not a spontaneous idea. The second theme makes a series of suspensions that when inverted will resolveungrammatically upwards instead of downwards. Bach, instead of attempting to construe the resulting harshness, avoids all difficultyby representing the inversion of 1\ by a similar theme which indeed climbs up 2
instead of down, but The student may for the analytic signs attempt to make the which resolves its discords respectably. make his own choice of a convention of this fugue. I find it best to abandon all signs run through the whole of K. d. F.

A s-bar episode on the last quavers of /\ leads to the 2 combination /\ doubled in lower 6ths in S, A, over /\ in B. 1 1 The resulting key is F major. The next episode develops a new figure, (y),
Ex. 16.

for 6 bars. Then, swinging from G minor to D minor we have the combination /\ doubled in 3rds over /\, with the following 2 1
result :

s 'i' in 12th
A /\ in lOth 1

{ B/\ 2
The next episode again introduces a new figure with ~. This should be viewed as a whole; its character is independent of its optical resemblance to an ornamented figure of /\. 1
Ex. 17.

~,

~~c

i r~

i-~F=1.J

Yet a new imitative scale-figure appears in bars 98-100. After a total length of 14 bars this episode reaches B ~ major,where. (bars 103-6) we have the combination

s /\
T~ { B/\1 upper 3rd
'!"
.

The last episode fills the 8 bars 107-14. Re-establishing (and taking only 4 bars to re-establish) D minor, it leads to the final combination-

.
Ii

for harmonic reasons. The order is T (A minor). d. while (or of No. be 2 3 a true inversion of 1\ in No. which we will callI\. acknowledging the whole scheme only by once putting a star to the motto-theme. XI as 1\. (Some commentators see in the alto of bar 91 an allusion to Bach's name. B. Episode 7 develops both x { AI\ 2 x versions of 1\ together with 1\ and V with great vigour for 3 x IS bars. and an episode of one-bar steps in triple counterpoint (Ep. It is immediately followed by a new combination: ~ ~ I bination (= 1\ of VIII) fA ~ (= 1\ of VIII) TV 2 2 x BV 1 The harmony is turned asideinto B b. it henceforth pervades the fugue and makes it typically chromatic. after which 1\ 1 (accompanied by the 'rightful' quaver theme) enters in A in D minor. We will accordingly disregard No. S) lasts only for 4 bars.F. S. but. Note that Bach does not spoil his answer by trying to make it tonal. Both T and A take advantage of this. on new lines (Ep. with its inversion (promptly appearing in B).whichis harmonically gorgeous. not being proud of the melodic result of this inversion. This figure never rounds itself off as a defimte x subject. T.). VIII) rises in the deep bass. or that he spelt his name Baccch. As we have seen. after which S imitates an episode on the rightful form of the figure of 1\ (as in 1\ of 3 2 No. closing into the com- S 'i' with 1\ in the bass. (i. after which The third section consists of a regular exposition of ( = of No. and it may be recognized locally in the pair of new counter-subjects in the second stretto of the great E major fugue. bars 16-21. I cannot believe either that Bach would first have anticipated this by the tenor in another key. 5. VIII 'i') enters in the bass and brings this section to a full close in A minor. W." 28 A COMPANION TO BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 29 and I prefer to treat this fugue as an independent work.). conceals it beneath a rising chromatic scale. III: its presence in Frederick the Great's theme impels the fugues in Das MusikalischeOpfer to fall into the same style. VIII. Common sense forbids such pedantries. added to these regular 16. Bach. I. VIII and will mark the opening theme of No. or by stumbling over two D's in the first bar. It is given an unbroken 1 exposition in the order A. The last bar of the theme gives rise to a 4-bar episode.e. This showshow sensitive Bach is to aesthetic values in this fugue: he will not allow the grotesque inversion to appear more prominently than he can help.) A and S answer the two themes in bars 94i-7. II. Three bars elapse before T answers. with crowded imitations in the other parts. Two bars. K. VIII. In its.). This (Ep. 1\ cannot. 2 for 8 bars. The fourth section introduces 1\ of this fugue in combination 3 0 ~ ~ with 1\. B (answer). At great leisure Bach makes his exposition of this chromatic combination. Then (bars S'5~-6o) S enters with 1\. S (D mi. Episode 4 carries on the permutations of Ep. He had already used it in No. Then a 9-bar episode (Ep.Present form it is a 2 figure that can rise indefinitely and be doubled in 3rds and 6ths. 2). VIII). VIII and V of K. That could be done either by making it go into the subdominant. at last drifting into the steps of Ep. coming at the twelfth bar to the fourth formal close in . but re-inverted into its rightful shape as in 2 No. an inversion of the 1\ in Contrapunctus 2 1 VIII. 2) rotates for 6 bars before B has its turn. A (D mi. Now A givesout 1\. after which S drifts once more into the subject. make the third formal close in F. With Bach this kind of chromatic texture is one of the recognized speciesoffugue. the right form of No. and a sixth episode develops for 5 bars on the lines of Ep. This concludes the first section with a full close. 3) follows.

and he will achieve quite respectable music in both versions. is put into 3/2 time and. F. After a 2-bar interlude this is answered in G minor by t { BV . and Bass=Alto. the figure of /\ in No.-- Ii \ 3° A COMPANION TO this fugue. But Bach evidently places no reliance on its triple counterpoint.. Contrapunctus XIII is turned inside out as well as inverted. A 4th from the treble will become a 4th from the bass and must be treated accordingly. It is a majestic and gorgeous movement which improves on acquaintance. I. is exposed in the order B. lT~ B/\ 3 rS~ BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 31 with which the fugue ends. with a counter-subject that does not survive the exposition. In bars 146-9 the order is ~ 0 A/\ 3 S'i { T/\ 1 in E minor. Then T. 7. Then a short loth episode. having here proved by experience that you cannot safely invert a combination not made for the purpose. VIII. instead of answering B. still on the lines of Ep. A. must either be avoided or (as Bach was probably going to prove in the unfinished fugue. being compositions No. For XII purposes of comparison Bach writes his Inversus under his Rectus. closing into C major. And he seems to be impelled to think seriously and methodically about the rules by which a harmonic scheme can be totally inverted. Episode 9 continues on the lines of Ep. The subject of K. It is even possible that he had at first thought that this fugue would complete his scheme. r 1 V. 7 leads to the triple counterpoint in the position l BA ::1 T~ immediately followed by . This complicates the results of 5ths and 4ths so much that they must be treated as in triple counterpoint. But now. so that you can see their relation as in a mirror. d. and as I prove in my conjectural finish) so contrived as to resolve 'both ways. in the Rectus. T. though there may be no very clear evidence why either has been written at all. Bars 158-62 II show the position s { AlX.e. I . Otherwise there are no special difficulties. Suspensions. so that Treble=Bass. Episode 8 2 3 continues the line of Ep. From this closein A minor the remaining 3 bars return to D minor with the quaver figures rising in 6ths in a true inversion over the descending figure in 3rds.. that can be inverted note for note from beginning to end. instead of answering the triple counterpoint. This turns off into E minor. 2 enters with /\ while S and A in 3rds have /\. where we now have the combination of the three themes intended to represent the inversion of the combination in No. The difficulty of such counterpoint can be overrated. Now (bars 133-6) B gives while S and A in 6ths have inverted (i. as Contrapunctus XI shows. Only 3 bars intervene between the soprano entry and the systematic exposition of a new variation of the theme. and that all that followsis the result of his disappointment. S. Alto=Treble. The next two fugues are tours deforce.-. Contrapunctus XII is a smooth little fugue of the simplest kind. 7 for 6 bars. and the composer only needs to watch the results of inversion without trusting only to rules of thumb. inverted in D-C rA/\ T/\ at the lOth. Bach takes a new line and shows us the simultaneous combination of /\ and 1 ~ that had appearedattheendofContrapunctus .. VIII).

S announces this variation in bar 21. It is answered by Ain G minor in bar 26. if two notes are in alphabetical order in the Rectus (as Gb. only one in which Inversusis obviously not an original conception. like No. to be represented by an Fq and an F~ in the inversion.. Its subject is a brilliant comic variation of the filled-out K. Its only developed episode fills the 6 bars from 36 to 41. it is not permitted to represent a diatonic semitone by a chromatic one: i. A 4-bar episode separates this from the final entry in the alto at bar 5°. with liberty as to accidentals: Ex. [~~~ ~r '= J--~I~~ . The wholescheme has some curious properties. F). The Inversus of course needs no separate analysis. e. ~~-"'r ~ And Bach must have enjoyed a good laugh at the end of No. the simplest since Nos. Bach allows two F's an 8ve. 20 the total inversiO'n of (a) remains . . ~iri"Li"~~-ji~ Though accidentals are handled freely. a very simple affair. Jahr. d. but the fugue has no really elaborate devices. After a 2-bar interlude T has it in Bb (bar 32). ~I~rr~~-:~~ ~~~~~-:. The last bar is the XIII. 12. and is a delightful piece of playful music. Bach'sschemeis as follows. Contrapunctus XIII is in a much higher order ofte~hnique No. after which B enters with the varied theme in D minor. for A minor becomes G minor. but without stretti. and in the rest of the fugue the Inversus can have few turns that could no( occur in the Rectus. apart or separated by a short rest. it is. F. theme. It must put its answer into the subdominant. for all its astonishing 'slickness' (there is no other word for it). as the following paradigm shows: Ex. Rust (Bach Ges. 2I. V. I and II. From bar 21 onwards it has been given a stretto-like effect by close imitations in the other parts. xxv) believes that Bach intended 'the fugue which he had inverted note for note in all four parts' to be the crown of the work. I9.32 A COMPANION TO BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 33 Here are the two versions on one stave for purposes of comparison: in Ex.unchanged. On the other hand. for the fugue' is in itself a fugue by inversion. This is certainly not so. Freedom in dealing with accidentals is essential: a totally invertible harmony that renders semitone for semitone is (paceCherubini)a verypoor pedantry. Gb). for example. they must be in alphabetical order in the Inversus (as F. while (b) inverts into (c).

in the last 2 bars of which S has 2 bars of 1\ in a subdominant aspect of B~. thereby showing how little he knows or cares about the orthodox theory that the addition of an accompaniment to a fugueexposition annub the fugue. Even if the stretches could be so confined. and even fills up the rests in the exposition and elsewhere. In the present edition it will be found that the small staves and small print of the free parts do not interfere with the mirror-effect of the score. The next episode leads in 7 bars. And I myself had no idea of the artfulness of these parts until I so disentangled them.of being playable by two hands. Now. Bach did not arrange ContrapunctuS XII. Two more bars lead to V in B. Totally invertible fugues cannot submit to the further restriction . the only form of dominant which remains dominant when inverted. Bach was so pleased with both Rectus and Inversus of this fugue that he determined to make them playable. F. by an inverted string-quartet of one violin. d. In the Rectus a free part actually seems to be able to share in the fugue-subject. At the end of the fourth bar B answers with 1\. d. because it changes place with an essential part. Every rigid contrapuntal device that is not merely crazy is child's-play to the task of providing a fourth part to such counterpoint as this lively twin-pair of fugues. F. Of course the free parts do not join in the scheme of total inversion. with some emphasis. like all the others. viola. A for B. The resulting clavier-versions. followedby a 5-bar episode. The crossings and dottings of dotted quavers and semiquavers . It fills7 bars. The Inversus cannot achieve the same emphasis. Another episode leads in 8 bars to a rhetorical pause on the diminished 7th. Versionfor Two Claviers. and S for A. The new Bach-Gesellschaft edition makes three almost incredible blunders here. back to D minor. in both Rectusand Inversus. It could be played. though the running diminished 7th in bar 46 cleverly provides a dominant chord for both versions. the two players have four i I II II I} BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 3S hands. It then prints them as mirror-fugues. but a means of removing both versions of Contrapunctus XIII into the world of independent music. it numbers the pair as another Contrapunctus. then. out of the fourth bar of V and I\. This analysiswill of course apply to the Inversusby changing the signs and substituting B for S. and 4 bars later S (which runs so high that Bach writes it in the treble clef instead of in the soprano used elsewhere in K. F. d. At the end of bar 47 A (of Rectus) has 1\. the parts have to cross in ways that could never be made clear on one keyboard. These free parts are the most astonishing tour deforce in the whole of K. . are not additions to the scheme of K. So Bach provides a fourth part throughout.) completes the exposition with V.) But the real entry is in B (end of bar 28) with V in B~. But Contrapunctus XIII is simply asking to be played on two keyboard-instruments. (In the Inversus this becomes a dominant ofF.like mymirror':'fuguein Appendix C. iand two violoncellos. We all know how dangerous it is to defer crossing t's and dotting i's until one's task is otherwise finished. The clavier-versions themselves have always been inadequately edited in a point which here and in our pianoforte edition is put right. answered by the final entry of A in S. The 1\ appears in A. Their object is to make both fugues practically enjoyable as pure works of art regardless of their structure. and this fugue has only three parts.1 34 A COMPANION TO In the RectusA opens with V. Episode I arises. It finally crushes all four crossing parts into a reduction on two staves which is as unplayable as two simultaneous Liszt concertos on one keyboard and as illegibleas two snapshots on one plate. This is answered by S with 1\ in the same key. and its long-sustained notes do not suit keyboard music. First. with the free parts in the same type as the rest-which obliterates the mirror-effect. and followed by A with V in G minor.

Yet we areconstandy afflicted by learned editors who.-G. writing in enigmatic notation. The Canons. The Berlin autograph contains two. That great Bach-scholar Rust himself loses his way in comparing the two versions. I confess that lam not clear as to Bach's purpose in writing such long movements in strict canon. volume) give the earlier version of No. J is ever intended. X and call it Contrapunctus XIV. where one group in the Rectus has lost its dots and cross.strokesand dots of such rhythms.36 A COMPANION TO are far more troublesome. very r I ~J B. with three exceptions. violin. I see. no reason to suppose that in the Grave of the C minor Clavier Partita the rhythm. The canons in Das MusikalischeOpfer are much more difficult and also more like spontaneous works of art. The latter it places before the triple-counterpoint fugue No. counterpoints to the Cantofermo of Frederick's theme.mJ I mJ \ . The editor's obvious duty is to carry out Bach's manifest intention here. and see how often you wish the dots and crosses elsewhere! The autograph of the clavier version is very close. and this suggests that the canon in the 12th should precede the fugue in the 12th (No. But that is an irritating hindrance to fluent penmanship. \ AfterContrapunctusXIII the old editions(includingRust's 9. the inverse canon by augmentation and the canon in the 8ve. He has evidently just begun to put in some dots and crosses. Rust levels the parts up in the wrong direction. with no signs of the imminent breakdown of Bach's eyesight. and Handel never could be bothered with them. But there is no parallel elsewhere in Bach for the easygoing canons of Die Kunst der Fuge.m than David could have first written Psalm cxix in English and then extracted from it an alphabetical acrostic in Hebrew. There is no reason in music why the prevailing rhythm should cease here. written (though Bach. does not say so) for flute. and I am sure that Bach always played and taught in m BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 37 rapid. and it would be easy to satisfy all consciences by citing the 57 places (I think I have counted right) where Bach has begun to put in the dots. To suppose that he did not intend to complete the process as in Contrapunctus XIII is to follow the example of the monk who persisted in reading the non-existent word mumpsimus though everybody told him that it was a mistake for sumpsimus. wecometo the Canons. especially in 2/4 time witlHwice as many group-bars. In another way his usual acumen deserts him. and continuo. IX) and the canon in the loth should precede .mJ I when it is perfecdy obvious that Handel never meant anything but l' J every time. for instance.es. in preparing Handel for modern performance keep meticulously to every distinction between .' Now we know that Contrapunctus XIII was written before the clavier versions. But if any of my readers is a Mumpsimite I will not deprive him of the pleasure of independent res~arch in this matter. It is no more difficult to carry on a 2-part canon for 100 bars than to confine it to the length of a fugue-subject. because they are. and even Bach has not always the patience to finish the last .m J throughout. and very firm.. Copy 'this pair of fugues in a hurry. Finding that the alto of Inversus slighdy disagrees in this particular. and plenty of reason in penmanship why it should cease here and anywhere when the writer is tired. Disregarding this. Of the exceptions the only long movement is the canonic fugue. He meticulously preserves Bach's oversight in bar! 46. VIII. Technically the problem is neither new nor useful. Bach could no more have written them first and then extracted the pure invertible fugues from the.

and the 8ve canon uses it in the direct as well as the inverted form. because they are turned round so as to become canons in the 8ve. And all hope of defending the compositioJ:1. d. and the obvious duty of the cadenza will be to illustrate this possibility. but Bach has omitted to plan the small adjustments that would be necessary. We do not know whether he intended to write more canons than these four. which can proceed as it likes. In the pianoforte edition of the canons the editor has supplied a dutiful cadenza accordingly. are the more enjoyable for being cut up into square sections. theme. The other canons are as good as such long unaccompanied canons can be. The most effectivecomposition in the present four canons is the lively 9/16 canon in the 8ve. F.38 A COMPANION TO the fugue in the lOth (No. so as to follow Bach's precedence of counterpoints. and we do not know what he intended to demonstrate by them.so we cannot suppose that he contemplated it. unless the composer attempts something not attempted here. So perhaps I am wrong in this detail. This means that the leader must combine with both of the magnified halves of itself. X). would have called the canons 'tied-fugues' (fugae ligatae)as distinguished from recherche fugues (ricercare). Bach. I have put the canon in the lOth after instead of before that in the 12th. All four canons begin with gorgeous variations of the K. how either or both leader or follower could be doubled in 3rds? The result would have been very fine. Why did Bach not show. the difficult task of making the canon really perpetual by getting the leader to run round twice while the augmentation goes once. It makes an amusing clavier-piece. for the follower lags more . and the topic is not important. but those canons. The other canons would sound more convincing on pairs of instruments with good vocal tone. In Das MusikalischeOpfer Bach achieves this over the cantofermo of Frederick's theme. BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 39 Variations. one guess is as good as another. Evidendy those in the 12th and lOth illustrate the corresponding double counterpoints. like the canonic minuet and trio in Mozart's C minor string quintet. Even the present easier problem is not artistic: no human ear or memory can trace an aesthetic relation between the absurd bass of bars 45-6 and the treble of bar 21. The inverse canon by augmentation might appropriately precede Contrapunctus VII. However. knowing that the consequences will not concern it. of which the opening might have served for a great slow movement. except that in the unfortunate inverse augmented canon. But further conjectures about these canons are useless. They are smoother than the canons in the Goldberg '. In the final version we can only admire the beautiful counterpoint Bach builds on it as on an uncouth cantofermo. The inverse augmentation there is reasonably melodious. I confess to preferring its early version in Appendix B. But Bach actually corrected the proofs of Nos. or wind-octet. That in the 12th has the finest of all variations of our motto-theme. but only with extreme difficulty and with one actual (but remediable) oversight. The canon in the lOth begins with a fine illustration of the cumulative effect of a long-limbed sequence rising in 3rds.and more behind the leader. when he inverted the whole in the lOth from bar 44 onwards.ithough they do not rival the equally long and exquisitely poetical F~ minor slow movement of the A major sonata for cembalo and violin. We do not know whether . I to XI and let them be printed in their present order. no doubt. as beautiful counterpoint to a grotesque bass is dashed by Bach's plan of inverting the whole canon in double counterpoint. And I have confined the tide Contr(lpunctusto the fugues. And so the Daddy-Longlegs sprawls in the treble until musical sense reappears in the 4-bar coda. He is unhampered by any technical difficulty. Strict Canon lends itself to the purposes of epigram as naturally as fugue lends itself to the purposes of architectural climax. his interest in this piece as a musical composition leads him to provide it with a pause for an extempore cadenza.

Bach's last 7 bars contain the first combination of the three themes. noting the absence of the K. nobody can say. We now come to the mystery of the unfinished work. the decipherer of Beethoven's sketch-books. d. Evidently between the extant K. 76. while the follower. and of course his wife and daughters and the Is-year-old son Johann Christian. Compositions like Con. why. He must often have said so in his last illness. only four years after Bach's death. It consistsin making a rhetorical point of the way in which the leader pulls the follower after it. the data are extraordinarily definite. I see no reason to suppose that Mrs. No. an enormouS unfinished fugue. and that it may be found in Mozart's C minor quintet. or whether the -Art of Canon was not going to take as much space as the rest of the Art of Fugue. F. No. and this is either a fatal defect or an interesting qualiry. in such connexion with the manuscript o£K. in Rust says that this is impossible. Perhaps Bach may have expected that in the higher orders of canon he would repeat his experience of the higher orders of fugue. Before it breaks off it is already longer than any other of Bach's fugues. Nottebohm. F. The original edition breaks off 7 bars earlier.4° A COMPANION TO canons in more than two parts were contemplated. F. theme combines with the other three in a manner quite beyond the possibility of chance. This is certainly the case outside K. d. d. Bach left. which was to contain 4 themes and to be inverted note for note continuously [nachgehendsJ all 4 parts' (apud B-G. Here XIV. Bach and the boy Johann Christian did not understand Bach's intentions quite . F. F. the quaver tail of the theme even filling out a halt in the rhythm of the rest of the combination. that his familyand first editors had no doubt of its relevance. writing in 1754. understood nothing about such learned music and could not fail to spread errors broadcast when they tried to talk about it. Bach must have meant that that four-part fugue which he had already inverted note for note was to be the crown of the work. settled that question by discoveringthat theK. and that Bach had really finished it. canons make almost a joke of it. says: 'His last illness prevented him from completing according to plan the last fugue but one. and that the more intricate problems would solve themselves in the more expressive music. p. d. and from working out the last. Once begun the canon cannot stop. any more than why it ignores Bach's proof-corrections and alters his significant special title to his last organ-chorale. regarding the simple little 4-part mirror-fugue as the crown of the whole. and that is as far as a long unaccompanied canon can go. The extant K. trapunctus XII can have no suspended discords and cannot be extended to the length of a quadruple fugue. theme. in the 'Hexen Menuet' of Haydn's D minor quartet Op. and in all the most serious as well as the wittiest of canons. It contains three BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 41 subjects. F. Very little extra restriction would be needed to bring the whole Qui tollis of the B minor Mass into exact canonic form as a four-part vocal canon accompanied by a two-part instrumental one. xviii). Riemann accordingly -embodies Nottebohm's discovery in a short coda making no pretensions to artistic composition. Rust and others. argued that this fugue does not belong to the work. d. XXV. Now what does the earliest tradition say? Mizler. who constituted his household at the time. canons and such a movement there is as great a distance as there is between Contrapunctus I and the unfinished quadruple Fugue.2. in its turn. the last being based on the name-BACH in German musical nomenclature where B is BDand H is Bq. Do the present four Canons show any feature of style which in the Jirst place depends on their canonic form and in the second place contains the possibility of developing into things like the Qui tol/is of the B minor Mass? I think there is such a feature. conjecture is not at a loose end. d. seems to egg the leader on to discover new ground to run over.

which. but the real stretto is between S /\ (tonal answer) and A 1\ (subject) at I bar. and rather unusual elsewhere) quite uninterrupted. they indicate the project of another fugue on the lines of my mirror-fugue in Appendix C. Immediately after the exposition there is a stretto of B V and T 1\ at 3 bars. with the repeated note which the dotted minim makes possible as it was not possible with the crotchets of Contrapunctus XI. A 2-bar interlude leads to Stretto 4. but a prevalent crotchet figure [/\ ~$:~ L. The great qj: minor fugue. S. which is the converse of Stretto 2. d. answered at half a bar by S V (with an ornament in bar 101) and at 2 bars by A /\. From this point the most interesting way to reach a conclusion is by analysing the fugue as far as Bach finished it. And Mizler's statement has a very different kind of precision from the picturesqueness of legends. Four more bars closethis great first section. beginningin B D with B 1\ answered at I bar by T. is exactly the length of this one section. A. After a 7-bar episode on figure (a) T Venters in G minor followed by Stretto 3. B /\ (subject). There is no counter-subject. Bach sang all her husband's soprano music.: A V answered tonally at I bar by T V. the inverse-contrary of Stretti I and 2. Note the tohal answer. 2 This is a :richcoloratura theme filling 7 bars. This is in 3 parts.consistingof a new answerposition of T /\. A 1\ enters in G minor. Mrs. and Bach has to .r' a ~ . accompanied by (a) in dialogue above. The mighty composition which I call Contrapunctus XIV begins with a section II5 bars long. One bar after this A has V. Such derivations are valid according to their immediate context. Through the last chord runs the beginning of /\ in A. crossingover the soprano -to the confusion of earlyeditors. viz. Here B precedes S with an allusion to the first 4notes. on one of the severest the~es everinvellted. It is in 3parts and veryclose. L 1 When ~ is combined with other themes it is singularly difficult to manage in any other part than the bass. with its 3 subjects and its enormous stretto.~ 42 A COMPANION TO as well as he expressed them. and then describing how its data lead to a finish on the lines followed by me. We may callit the canto fermo theme. and I should have had no difficulty at his age in understanding whether Bach meant w4at Mizler said or what Rust thinks he meant. and Band T follow regularly. Six S/\ bars after this exposition we have the combination { B A' It 1 rAA is answered after a 3-bar interlude by ~ T A in A minor. in connexion with Mizler's statement. he would probably have been exercising me and Johann Christian in score-playing with each fugue as soon as it was written. changes its direction after the fourth note. Their error is rectified in the new Bach-Ges. and wrote a musical hand which is hard to tell from his. and in the order B. viz.i" is evidently derived from the first four notes of the subject. Immediately afterwards B has 1\ in F (approached from C). at the 6-bar intervals filled by the subject. in BD. answered tonally by S I\. by free diminution. followed after a bar's interlude by stretto 2. beginning with an inversion. The exposition is (as usual in K. An episode on a new line leads in 3t bars to Stretto 6. Johann Christian was a better musician at 15 than I was. Stretto 7 immediately follows in D minor. After a bar's interlude Stretto 5 appears in D minor: S 1\ answered at 2 bars by A /\. F. After a 2-bar interlude there is a solitary final entry of B /\. If I had been one of Bach's household at 15. At the eighth bar S answers in the dominant. At the third bar of the B subject. T. and how. These same four notes may be found later BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 43 as parts of another theme with no reference to (a) in their intention. edition.

The entry of 1\ has brought back 2 ~. In the deferred I 2 position of bars 169-74 it will combine with /\ as well as with 3 1\ ' but will not then also combine with the fourth theme. Contrapunctus IX introduced it early. is not meant to remind us of (a). This inversion is not according to the scale of Ex. . and answered in stretto by A. Three crowded bars. the movement must not again be interrupted in order to give the fourth subject a separate exposition. Moreover. It begins with Bach's own name B (D). H (=B~). The bass has to expand one note from a minim to a semibreve. for 1\ enters a bar too late. Slightly less certain than these 3 points is the main assumption underlying my composition of the whole peroration. t~ ~ ~ ~~=: quaver-movement. b The third subject now enters. neither 1\ I ~ ~ as well as 1\. Its continuation ~ (x) ~ nor ~ are in doublecounterpointat the 8ve with the others. end the section with a half-close. That would bea fatal error of composition. d. with something like a diminution of x. where another close stretto (1\ syncopated in T with A in normal rhythm 3 after 3 crotchets) returns to D minor. First. It then gives V: closing into C. F. A 6-bar episode leads to I another new combination in G minor: B 1\ with A 1\ a bar 2 I { half-bar. and introducing T~ l BI\ I S freely imitates~. (I cannot agree with Busoni that the syncopated soprano of bars 2II-13 is intended to allude to Bach himself found it difficult (as we have seen) even to get /\ into an inner part in combination with 1\. to introduce the new theme as a surprise without interruption is the one deviceof composition still in reserve for this juncture. C. to which it adds a turn which makes the theme a chromatic phrase in D minor. BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 45 Then we have a close stretto of 1\ between S and B at the 3 1\ b Then we have what looks like the D-C inversion of the pair SI\ in the 8ve. A. 22. What washis intention for the sequel? Three things are certain. without interrupting the fugue by so much as a half-close. we are certainly entering upon the final section of the work. Six more bars Iclose this section in G minor. An episode of 5 bars arises from the last figure of 1\. It is in F major T A. This is announced by T. Secondly. Bach's autograph breaks off with':> in the tenor. 2 ' Thirdly. Mter the fourth bar ofBthere is a 3-bar interlude on (x). But it is a new combina2 tion. was to make the combination a quadruple counterpoint. the theme of K. but on the following scheme: Ex. The fO)lrth section now begins with the 3 subjects in the combination I) r A'i late and in stretto with S 1\ (tonal answer moving to C minor) at I bar. 23. I am absolutely certain that Bach . 19. and nothing must stop its flow.44 A COMPANION TO double-dot its second note before he can find a proper bass for it.) T is answered at 3 bars by A~. The T en~ers. which would be quite irrelevant here unless it could be followed up. 2 Ex. Senters 6 bars after the beginning of A and is answered at 2 bars by B.

but to follow the humbler and higher aim of carrying out what is discoverable of Bach's actual intentions. but we have now deferred it for 3 entries. but hardly with two. developed not to an end of its own but to the purposes of a much larger work. and their evident purpose is to make accented discords that resolve both ways. I begin by immediately answering Bach's three-part combination with an A minor entry of t il F q in O. . and this gives plenty of room for all the variety we can obtain from the now incessant whirl of the quadruple counterpoint. but he draws the line sharply at taking them by skip. de F.as the wonderful slow movement of the first Brandenburg concerto drastically shows. to make brilliant inexact stretti on ~. The alto. But if I had known Busoni's work I should have'had no more scruple in coinciding with his true combinations than in copying the finished part of Bach's fugue.r \ 46 . Our present task is not to produce a review of musical progress since Bach.though construable enough. theme in the inverse-contrary 4-part combination \I ~ S~ AV TO { BO I The reader will expect some comment on Busoni's great Fantasia is 1\ ~ A~ in 12th. I BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 47 t 11 ~~ show every sign of being constructed for inverse-contrary counterpoint. Modern styles aspire to a purity of their own: introduced into older styles they are mere impurities.)' The fourth theme must not enter too soon. Bach's own style would be a ghastly impurity if introduced into a Palestrina Mass. With contrapuntal forms there is really neither interest nor technical merit in merely taking advantage of modern possibilities as licences. to preserve the chromatic character of ~ even where this means taking B~ by skip against Bj. now delivers the K. Melodically they are artificial. 24. A genuinely modern polyphony requires modern material... An episode (on and ~) leads in 5 bars to an inversecontrary combination in A minor: \I SO { BV A ¥ in 12th. And I think that the total inversions were to happen in this fugue. because it requires a peroration of at least 80 bars. and I cannot work up any enthusiasm for compositions or cadenzas that purport to review the progress of music since classical times. Bach is not afraid of such collisions. F.!. with everything elsein K. and the only possible doubt is whether this was to happen in the present fugue or in the other which Mizler says was projected. d. made conspicuous by striking an 8ve with the soprano. In 1\ the following notes 2 . and certainly not with three. And of course I no more dispute his priority than I dispute Nottebohm's or Riemann's. Ex. A COMPANION TO intended to invert all 4 themes in the quadruple counterpoint. LT~ There must be millions of chances in favour of 'the assumption that the treatment of 1\ in the 12th represents Bach's intention. . I did not know the Fantasia Contrapuntistica when I worked out rriy conjectures. 1 : One theme may work accidentally in the 12th with one othCir. which contains the whole extant portion of Bach's unfinished fugue. downwards at the minim when inverted. Five bars on and lead with emphatic steps back to D minor.. I cannot make up Bach's mind to force into exact semitonic correspondence by putting F# against the 0 . It seems unusual. Of course Busom is able to combine the themes of this fugue casually and. (Not being Busoni. as observed above. downwards within one crotchet in the original position. and must prepare for it. to absorb 238 bars (or more than 10 minutes) of pure Bach into a modern composition. even with acknowledgements. Where my combinations are the same as Busom's this is becauseiI1 those features Busoni was also working out Bach's own design. Contrapuntistica.

25. one for each phrase of the tune: capitals for the cantofermo in the soprano. This fact had better lie turned to rhetorical purpose. d. F. ~ ~ ~ ~ 1 B ~ in 12th.the upper parts continue first with bination appears: .) A 3-bar interlude (still on and":') leads to the inverted combination AI\ 2 TI\ 3 81\J. A/\ 3 T/\ ~ 2 II ~ and":' in the soprano. most at ease in the bass. At bar 3°5 the final coma SI\ 4 { B/\ 4 (It will be seen that 1. Another 3 bars (on another figure of /\) lead to A minor. and so the climax is brought about by the following steps in which /\ moves up in the bass from a low dominant to a final tonic. XXV. 1 Ex. The bars in which the cantofermo is present are transcribed. Only four letters are required. Accordingly B tends to have more than its share of them. The reader should make his own analysis. and. without the original florid ornamentation. ii is a beautiful little biographical essay. BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 49 The quadruple combinationhaving finishedat bar 295. Appendix A contains the chorale-prelude which Bach dictated on his death-bed.must be in the 12th when it is not in the bass. Bach dictated the new interludes on his death-bed in a room darkened to spare his suffering eyes. . with 2 the direct position r~~ T~ fAI\ 3 s~ T~ lB1- Now it is evident that both 1\ and are. three lower parts treat eachphrase of the chorale in fugue by inversion until the soprano gives the phrase in long notes above. gave this wonderful piece as a compensation for leaving the last fugue unfinished.after a bar's interlude.B is the earlier version of the canon by inverse augmentation. The original editors of K..G.--- 305 310 '" Appendix. In harmonies of childlike simplicity and beauty. The signs 1\ and V will be required throughout. Appendix.. by the direct combination s in 12th. on the final tonic pedal Bach's signature appears on the top with the latter portions of and in the middle parts. A COMPANION TO This is followed.. in spite of their capacity for inversion in . together with the sign = when figure (d) is given in crotchets as well as in quavers. from a setting without interludes in the Orgelbuchlein. .r J 48.the ~2th. 291 295 300 ~ . and must be in the 12th when it is not in the soprano. Rust's description of the manuscript in B.and then with 3-part imitations of 1\. and small letters for the other parts.

I am also certain that he found himself obliged (unlike Riemann) to syncopate the third bar of the K. Nor. and. But tonal accommodations. theme and another must have been B. what would its themes be? Two of them we know. one must have been the K. and I should be astonished if he found that beyond this isolated detail any other variation was workable. One does not from I1J. apart from that. I have tried experiments with other themes whose capacity has not been exhausted in K. ~ n r But here Bach's name must always clip its first note into a == -""- = . Contrapunctus X. I think that when he composed the unfinished fugue he began by making a draft of exactly my bars 306-10 (except for the free final joints). Even if Bach had not intended already to use the inverse-contrary positions in that fugue. ~~. it is hard to believe that such an approximation as this could happen by accident. but does not worry the ear at all. and thought how fine it would be if hill bass was not under the usual necessity of avoiding complete chords with the upper parts but could invert in the 12th and so have a firm Sth above it whenever the harmony would be the better for it. ="'~ .26.. H. d. though I confess that I have not the patience for an exhaustive search.~ ~r~ &c. may have confused this with an invertible fugue on 4 subjects. for example. Moreover.~*. free play of joints. I cannot find two positions of that quadruple counterpoint that will go into exact mirror-relationship to each other. nobody wrote more truly for the ear and more independently of the eye than-Bach. on the other hand. C. I am sure that the fugue was not goingto be written on the four themes of the unfinished fugue.J : ' ~A41~ ~. Solvitur ambulando.ereonfusion c draw Mizler's explicit distinction between an unfinished last fugue but one and an unwritten last fugue. A. and. If this fugue existed.r 50 A COMPANION TO Conjectural Finale. F. t: 'I :=::c: :~~~==~ -=4 ' . That was my first idea of what happened. Mizler's supposed last fugue. He may have made a mistake and.e. then.J which inverts into this: I : 1 ) i ~:::::=~r. do I believe that Bach found his combinations by exhaustive mechanical search. F. Rust's a priori objection is not evidence. Appendix C is the final step in the vindication of Mizler. must have been on a new combination. there would be no point in working out the same themes in a pair of mirrorfugues. hearing that the unfinished fugue was to be on 4 invertible subjects. F. Ex.. in I BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 5I spite of his uncanny schematic exactness. The detail looks anomalous on paper. but I can see no reason why Mizler should not have been right. gives only one side of a matter that has at least four. d. ~ ~"". and inversioI}sin the 12th are of no avail to produce mirror-fugues. tlieme. d.

the TugendqualMatiffrom Wagner's unwritten Tantris und Salide. Anything that sounds no better right-side up than upside down will do for an up-to-date piece of totally invertible counterpoint. the only fugues that are related as pairs are the couples VI-VII and VIII-XI. As has already been said.. . . t:\ ===-t:\ -- I" "---' Ex.. Nearly any chromatic harmony that proceeds (like Bach's) by semitones. d. And that difficulty is much lessened and the resources greatly increased if the style is chromatic. . ae. Unless we regard a mirror-fugue as two fugues. 28). will invert into something tolerable. a few more words must be devoted to the question of total inversion. The extant mirror-fugues are diatonic. This gives no ground for thiriking that the last fugue was to pair with any others.1 r----- ~ I Ij ~. because the beautiful suspension of the dotted minim against it will not invert.t. . any more than a random extract of Bach himself. 'J ~~~ '. Nothing is 2 BACH'S 'ART Ex. and where there are arbitrary -.L 1 f .. its difficultyhas been grossly overrated. and in pure part-writing. than the complete absence of unmotived recurrence of phrase or mannerism in 14 fugues and 4 canons all on the same subject. I \V r br . And the theme of Contrapunctus X is compelled to drift into something very like the latter part of 1\ in the unfinished fugue. '" . This will never do. though some believe it to be the AbgeschiedeneVielfrassweis' mentioned in Die Meistersinger(Ex.... ~r 1 Ir':---r' . I am sorry for the Spohr-like inner part of the last bar.J . but I think the attempt unnecessary when the probability is that any final fugue Bach had in mind was at least as different from the others as they are from each other. I" \V systems you can get just as good another arbitrary system by turning your music upside down. but pure Wagner will not invert.. . f'-" .28. ' . 29Langsam und $Chmachtend. ..10 difficulties.r 52 A COMPANION TO crotchet. '--- --- . 29). in the same key. It is no use speculating as to what can be done with total inversion in post-Wagnerian harmony: where there are no rules there are 1. F.. . This becomes more familiar when inverted (Ex.. here is.r~ .. Yet the suspension is necessary to explain the doubled 4th at *. And so I have proceeded on new lines.... First. 53 -- -- more astonishing in K. For instance. I do not claim to have exhausted the possibilities. Langweilig OF FUGUE' und $Cham/os.... This creates a strong presumption that the final fugue was to be chromatic.

31. and a sufficiency of them might have made a consistent style on Wagnerian lines. theme. After a 2-bar interlude B enters with and T givesout the B. For a short chromatic fugue on-so rich a plan as is implied by the use of 4 subjects the most natural style would be emotionally highly charged. nor can we afford four separate expositions. have seemed to Bach like a new kind offalse relation. if it is to be a composition in any proper sense of the word. theme'i' On the last note begins the reverse combination. My other original theme is in the style of Bach's 3-part Invention (Sinfonia) in F minor: Ex. But. by T and S. 2 ~ ~ Ex. and Wagner's wonderful suggestions of remote tonality by means of long appoggiaturas would. though I was at no pains here to keep to Bach's language I could not think fit to ta~e the task so easily. 32. F. at intervals of ~. and so one of my original themes is declamatory. ~ -F~ and Bach's name: Ex. a bar's interlude. 1\ ~ i i ~~~~~-2~ In order to present the Inversuswith better opportunities for a convincing top-part. such as the following episode from an unfinished fugue in C minor: BACH'S 'ART'OF FUGUE' 55 Then. Mter this S enters with /\..rg s 1\ tion { A A ' and this overlapsby yet another bar the -4 . S 0. On its last note T answersit. I base my normal quadruple counterpoint on the inversion of this theme. H. B. d. d. After' a 3-bar interlude there is a close stretto. 1 S. Mter 4 bars of this the full-sized theme 1\ enters in B accom3 2 beats? with A panied by . and by inversion. answered in stretto. 34. ~)~tl 3--t-d~~!~. so that it comes right-side up in the Inversus.) The analysis of the Rectus is as follows: The exposition of /\ takes the order T. I believe.i" "' announces /\. Through its last chord A announces a diminished version of the K. in places where the Rectus has the other three themes direct. T 'i' with A O. A. (It actually takes 96. Again the last note overlaps with the combina4 ~ and~. C. and I have therefore eliminated everything that I could suppose would annoy Bach. With every permissible means of compression this fugue. of course. there is the lheme of K. which I give in the following rhythm: ~~~ b But this is not Wagnerian. 1\ r Then B completes this second exposition by entering with O. A (with a subdominant answer). Three more bars bring the first main section of the fugue to a close in the tonic. Some such effects often turned up in my first sketches for Appendix C. and the first subject is abandoned. F.54 A COMPANION TO Bach wrote many things that Wagner would have thought bold. and B O. and S com- fw~T~~iJt-irTt' -== =- "" i.~ There is no room for episodes. will take nearly 100 slow bars.

(b) a strictly invertible simple fugue in 4 parts. IV. one with 4 invertible subjects of which 1 is in the 12th. contain every kind of fugue that interests Bach? It is noticeable that he almost never professedly writes the kind of double fugue that begins with two themes at once. and the other a totally invertible fugue with 4 subjects. theme. Often the one really unobtrusive way round an awkward harmonic corner is by a canonic device. after a pause. Then. He abandoned this intention if he ever had it. (a) a triple fugue in the 8ve. Two quadruple fugues. would appear to be as follows: I. F. two upon /\ and two upon V. d. with the parts reversible in an inside-out order. in the 12th). with a variation of the subject. Three fugues in the principal orders of double counterpoint.) VI. d. and one by augmentation. (This diminution was the way out of a trivial difficulty. and we do not know whether these are all the canons in his plan. V. (a) a fugue freely inverting the triple counterpoint of the former triple fugue. F. (c) a double fugue in the loth (and. in 5 bars to the quadruple counterpoint. (b) a double fugue in the 12th. by way of filling up the first bar.) Four more bars end in a climax on Bach's useful and imperturbably invertible diminished 7th. Then a second skirmish of stretto in diminution. leads . II. (c) a strictly invertible 3-part fugue by contrary motion. d. one by inversion. The complete scheme of K. and (b) a study in highly developed episodes. F.~. incidentally. The only mature examples I know are that at the end of the Passacaglia and the second movement of the C major Sonata . and inversion. 4 bars in broken rhythm lead to the final combination s /\ I A~ IT/\ !" lBt BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' 57 after which the imitative 3-bar adagio close alludes to the inverted K. this time with 't and ~ as well as 'it and ~. and with subsequently added free parts outsidethe invertible scheme.56 A COMPANION TO A/\ bination { T A' A close stretto (at one minim) on 4 ~ then occupies all 4 parts for 5 bars. III. Does K. diminution. (My effort at this also contains diminutions and stretti. The first position is S 'i- AO T~ { BV It is immediately answered by jl S'i A/\ 2 T~ BV S~ T/\3 A 2-bar interlude is followed by A/\ 1 { B/\2 to which S adds. or what their function is. one by diminution and inversion. Three stretto-fugues. ending emphatically on the dominant. Studies in total inversion. Four canons which Bach seems to have thought of attaching to the four fugues in the corresponding orders of counterpoint. the latter pair comprising (a) a chromatic fugue with a countersubject and a variation. Four simple fugues.

Then let the chorus continue to treat the result like a round that oscillates between tonic and dominant. One point makes orthographic history. if this has reached the dominant or any other key. from a single point of view from which no wide digressions have been made. d. and the round may be resumed once more and finished in the tonic. PART II THE above analysis has dealt with K. The stile Francesewas becoming old-fashioned. let one voice start a coloratura fugue-subject. and a second counter-subject. but none the less insistent in their claims to attention. is manifestly . Some of them are discussed here. Without exceptionthey are details which Bach deliberately alteredafterwards. We may call it a round-fugue. I. nor~al keyboard music dealing with the central elements of Bach's art. W. and so on till the exposition is complete.) of the readingspeculiarto the Berlinautograph. It cannot be too strongly insisted that Die Kunst der Fuge is. and. F. subject. K. and the A major Prelude. In Bach-Ges. and (after the massive introductory sequences) of the Et in terra pax and Cum sancto spiritu.I willbe founda list(reproduced the in new B. Two more entries will have made a big continuous section. Such is the structure of the huge first Kyrie of the B minor Mass. and with his fullest power of free composition on a large scale. 17. The form thus mapped out can exist with quite as solid an effect if the later counter-subjects are obliterated. and .. very early and not important. on the direct subject. and a third. and I can recall only one other example. the systematiccorrection. of the old inaccurate notation fm (which so many modern ~~. . Let it accompany the next voicewith a counter. or a double-chorus motet. The order of the pieces proves nothing except that the only admissible order is that of the printed edition as far as Contrapunctus XI. K. Bach's choruses often contain a type of fugue hardly possible within the limits of four keyboard parts.the three-part F minor Invention triple fugues of this kind.in Contrapunctus7. he would have been quite justified in calling the main part of the ED Prelude. W. The Berlin Autograph in relation to the order of the Fugues and Canons.XXV.. In a chorus with free orchestral accompaniment. punctus II interrupted his further plans. the orchestra may intervene with a ritornello. \ editors take for a triplet) into the accurate a point explicitly referred to in the final docket 'Corrigirt'.and in somecasesthe alterationsare made on the autograph itself. but Leopold Mozart had not yet persuaded musicians to adopt the double dot. But there are other points of view less central and therefore less amenable to connected argument. for by far the most part. The great isolated double chorus Nun ist das Heil is on this plan and preserves a sextuple counterpoint. should be followed by the fugue on the inverted subject (now Contrapunctus III).58 A COMPANION TO BACH'S 'ART OF FUGUE' for two violins. ~ I. For Contrapunctus II. Figured chorale-fugues are also outside the scope of Die Kunst der Fuge as their subjects change but do not combin~. The autograph is not in open score and suggests no doubt that the music was for the keyboard. in his latest and most perfect style. viz. which stands third in the 'Berlin autograph'. Probably the pieces stand in the autograph in the order in which they were composed. but that the idea of the present Contra. 7 (from bar 25 onwards) a double fugue. With these exceptions Die Kunst der Fuge is a complete demonstration of what Bach understood by the term Fugue as applied to whole compositions and not merely as a kind of texture used here and there. On the other hand. 1.-G. If this is so. it would seem that Bach started with the intention that Contrapunctus I.

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