Johann Sebastian Bach

Fugue  in  C  Minor
,  S. 562 [Fragment]
Continuation and Termination by
Ennis Fruhauf


        Johann Sebastian Bach’s organ fugue fragment in C minor,  S.  562,  is but one of a number of his works that  has not survived intact; only the first 27 measures have been preserved in manuscript form.

        The compositional style of S. 562 is not typical of Bach’s idiomatic writing for the organ: in particular, the fugue’s countersubject is not readily adaptable to pedal, unlike a majority of his other organ fugue subjects. The polyphonic approach itself includes occasional overlapping and crossing of voices that would be more likely to occur in ensemble repertory than in solo literature. The subject of the fugue is notable, however, in its use of a chain of syncopations, a trait characteristic of Bach’s writing. Also notable: in its melodic inversion, the subject presents the first six notes of the theme of Bach’s organ Passacaglia in C minor (which was in turn, drawn from the first half of the Christe movement from André Raison’s Organ Mass in D minor).

        S. 562 presents a serious challenge as a reconstruction project, a fanciful one at that in that there are few guideposts to suggest what Bach himself might originally have written or where he might have left off and never revisited the page. The continuation and termination presented here include the introduction of a contrasting second countersubject, inversion of the fugue subject itself, stretto presentations of the subject and second countersubject, a brief cadenza, and a concluding cadential subject statement.

Copyright © 2010  Ennis Fruhauf
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