C.17 - "Toccata and Fugue in E Minor"

Composed: ~September to October 2012

     More influence from Bach! No surprise there – the Baroque style was everything to me when I first started composing. And this piece in particular was my first attempt at a toccata and fugue for organ. I wrote the Fugue first and the Toccata came later (I remember struggling with the toccata). I also remember writing parts of the fugue in the college library, and at one point a friend listened to it and complimented it (out of kindness, surely!)

     You can hear a big influence from the previous "Melodies" in the Fugue as it never really settles in one key - it is constantly modulating awkwardly into bizarre and distant keys with very abrupt progressions that really don't work. I remember also writing up a page or two of manuscript with 'Organ Ideas' that I could just pluck and use in any of my organ pieces without effort. One of these ideas might have appeared here, again aiding the rather haphazard direction of this piece.

     Note the pedal in the fugue – this was a direct link of the many pedals that Bach would often use in his fugues, and I wanted to make sure I wrote a subject that would work with a pedal. You can decide for yourself how successful that was, although I think we all know the answer.

     The chronology is quite curious in that the original Sibelius files were seemingly left unmodified and give a finishing date for the Fugue as 7th November 2012, and the Toccata as 20th November 2012. I suspect these hold some accuracy as the Fugue did come first, though by comparing these dates to the later piece "C.19", I conclude that these dates are incorrect, and it is more likely that C.15 was written in September or October 2012.

Reminiscence written on 6th May 2016

Last updated: 20th October 2018

© 2019 Jonathan Shaw