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Fugue in G minor

There are recordings of this work played on the piano, organ and harpsichord of this fine 4 part fugue now attributed to Gottlieb Muffat. Gottlieb Muffat (1690 – 1770) the son of George Muffat was a court organist and composer in Vienna becoming first organist on the accession of Maria Theresa to the throne in 1741. His compositional output mostly comprises keyboard music although much of it was not published. Toccatas, fugues, ricerare, canzonas and suites are to be found in his music collections and Handel often borrowed and reworked Muffat’s music. Muffat was a fine contrapuntist although a conservative approach is evident in his writing. This piece is often attributed to G. Frescobaldi. The chromatic element of this movement makes it a challenge to read and to complicate matters performances and sheet music copies of the music do vary in their detail. Players need to study the score carefully because at times the musical lines have conflicting accidentals. This is explained by the composer referencing the modes that originate in music from earlier times that createwhat are known as “false relations.” There is an arrangement by Bartok of this Fugue for piano although at the time ihe understood it to be a work by Frescobaldi. There need to be clarity in the articulation of the lines particular when the fugal entries are made. A tempo in the range 72 – 84 quarter note beats to the minute is suggested whilst in the realisation and video score play back at 80 quarter note beats to the minute. One of the challenges for the player is deciding which hand plays which notes in the middle voices. The music editor will upload an edited music score to the website in the future. Players also need to communicate an awareness of the musical texture in their playing. The trills begin on the note and modern performances often features additional ornaments although the music editor advises caution and consistency in their use. There are strong rhythmic motifs in the fugue and any ornamentation should not detract from the composer’s intention. There are performances that suggest that the performance practice for music of this period is not as secure as music from more well researched times. Another challenge for musicians is understanding the pitch element in the music of the period. The tuning fork was invented in 1711 and the suggestion is that the pitch standard during the Baroque period was roughly a semitone layer than modern standard pitch of A4 = 440Hz. A4 in the Baroque period was = 415Hz although pitch levels did vary around Europe. The chromatic element is a particular feature and there is a unifying downwards chromatic line that appears a number of times.





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Added:   2020-09-07 07:15:00   | Views  : 280    | Downloads  : 0