C.42 - "Fugue in E Minor"

Composed: ~July 2013

     This was the second fugue I was to write using a specific woodwind quartet (the first being the early "C.6 – A Four’s Fugue"), and it was to be in a very similar aesthetic to the earlier woodwind fugue.

     When I wrote this piece during college, I intended to write two further woodwind fugues at a later point, each one starting in an instrument that had not yet been given the first subject (e.g. "C.6" started the subject in the flute, this one starts it in the bassoon), but it seems I had forgotten about this concept, and re-listening to this fugue has reminded me of it. Perhaps I shall have another go!

     Nonetheless, this fugue is one I also rather enjoy; the counterpoint isn’t too bizarre, but of course, a lot of the voicing and instrumentation is weak. However, I find the employment of the subject rather charming here, with some inversion and also a simultaneously inverted and normal appearance of the subject at bar 25 – I never thought I would I could possibly use such a learned technique!. Many of the sequences I also enjoy, they aren’t as cliché as my previous sequences, and are genuinely playful.

     However, it is rather peculiar that I introduced a new theme so late during the piece at bar 61. I remember always looking back at that new theme and shaking my head – the rest of the fugue was rather good, up until that new theme appears out of nowhere mere moments before the conclusion of the fugue and bearing some similarity to a theme from Bach's Great Fugue. I also must apologise to flautists for bars 49 – 52 (don't grab your pitchforks just yet!).

     The flute theme in bar 30 was to later form the opening of a subject in "C.44" which I was to compose shortly after.

Reminiscence written on 4th June 2016

Last updated: 20th October 2018

© 2019 Jonathan Shaw