Fractured lines

An interpretation of Contrapunctus 1 from The Art of Fugue

By: J. S. Bach
For: Wind quintet
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J. S. Bach
Difficult (Grades 7+)
4 minutes
Classical music
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The Art of Fugue was Bach’s final (unfinished) contrapuntal Testament, in which he sought to demonstrate as many different technical and stylistic treatments of a single theme as he could. This interpretation of Contrapunctus 1 is influenced by Webern’s approach to arranging and to orchestration, and has fragmented Bach’s themes and reconstructed them, so that the piece is made up not of unbroken melodic lines, but of tiny pieces of musical mosaic. The arrangement is for a modified Wind Quintet, using the darker colours of alto flute, oboe d’amore and alto saxophone in place of flute, oboe and clarinet. Ossia parts are available for oboe or cor anglais, to replace the oboe d’amore if necessary.

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