BACH’S ‘ THE ART OF FUGUE'
Played by JAMES CHING and VICTOR HELY -
First Fugue (for two
Second Fugue (for two Pianofortes)
Fifteenth Fugue (for one Pianoforte)
TWO of Bach's examples in The Art of Fugue were written for two
Pianofortes. They are amongst the liveliest of all in the set. Each uses :t different form of the same theme-one going up where the other goes down, and vice versa. In this bounding tune we find hints of the basic theme, though this covers more ground. It begins thus : (a) is the theme of the first Fugue, and (b) that of the second.
In each Fugue, when the second Pianoforte answers the first, it is with the tune upside down.
The most remarkable thing about these two-piano works is that throughout the second Fugue two of the four ' voices ' concerned reproduce, bar by bar, the music heard in the first Fugue, but in inverted form.
The Fifteenth Fugue has not, strictly, anything to do with the others in the Art of Fugue, in that it is not founded on the basic theme which Bach took for exposition. It was found in its unfinished state among his papers after his death, and his sons presumed that it was meant for The Art of Fugue.
It is a Fugue based on three tunes, lettered
(a), (b) and (c) below : :
. It will bo noticed that one of these gives the letters of Bach's name (the note B flat in German being called B; and B natural, H).
Each tune is worked out separately, and Bach left off just as he was apparently about to show how the three could be' combined and developed together.
CLIFFORD CURZON (Pianoforte)
T ISZT'S piece is one of a set in which he gives in music his impressions of foreign scenes, people, art and literature. There are in all three such sets, the first two referring to his wanderings through Switzerland and Italy at various times from 1835 to 1840, when he was in his twenties.
Liszt's early ideas as to pictorial or suggestive music are well indicated in the preface to the first edition of the earliest of the pieces, in which he says: 'Having recently visited many new countries ... having felt that the varied aspects of Nature and of the scenes attached thereto did not pass before my eye like vain pictures, but they stirred up in my soul deep emotions ; that there was established between them and myself ... an inexplicable, but certain communication, I have tried to express in music a few of the strongest of my sensations ...'
In his second book of ' Pilgrimages ' are three pieces whose poetic basis is respectively the 47th, 104th and 123rd Sonnets of the great fourteenth-century lyric poet Petrarch.
Dr. P. SARGANT FLORENCE : ' Men and Maehines- Why We Work and Why We Rest'