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PRB Piano Series: The Cat Fugue

The Cat Fugue

Composer
SCARLATTI
Publisher
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
5 minutes
Genre
Classical music
Instrumentation
Solo instrument
Instrumental parts
Not available
Related scores

While Scarlatti is known for his 600 or so keyboard sonatas, he also left behind 5 Fugues, by far the best known of which is the ’Cat Fugue’. The somewhat strange subject was allegedly suggested to the composer by his pet cat, Pulcinella, walking across the keys of the instrument - apparently it was fond of doing this, and hearing the sounds it created!

The contrapuntal writing is far less strict than Bach, and relates more to that of Handel, in his keyboard suites.

The piece would make an interesting alternative to a Prelude and Fugue (as it is somewhat longer), and is set as part of the Trinity Guildhall Advanced Certificate - essentially a post-Grade 8 exam, and useful as a bridge to the diploma suit (A/L/FTCL).

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