Fugue Updates: Lemonade from lemons
Thinking as well about last week's attempts, I realized too that a 4-voice fugue for piano would have to be carefully crafted to include all four voices in such a way that no voices were lost, there would be little to no crossing of voices (lower voices going higher then higher voices and vice versa), and this would all need to be contained within a range that two hands could easily reach all of the notes.
My previous attempt, while still pleasant in sound would end up having a great disadvantage: to meet the above goals would be difficult because of the distance between the subject and the counter-subject. I had two choices at this point: take my mp3 recording and transcribe everything I had written and then either rework the counter-subject and subject so that they were more manageable to actually play, I could ignore the play-ability and just go for the overall sound and the formal nature of the fugue, or I could just start again.
I chose to start again. Not only that, I had been attempting in my previous efforts to come up with something baroque sounding that was nonetheless a completely original idea without any influence from outside compositions (any direct influences, I should say). I realized as I started this again: this is meant to be a study for me, something that will help increase my ability to compose in different forms and styles. This is not meant to be a masterpiece, it was meant to be a way to increase my palette of compositional colors and my ability to effectively use those. Why not borrow ideas from composers to help me find the voice of the era I was trying to emulate? So I took the fugue mentioned in last week's posting, Bach's G Minor Fugue - BWV 578, and used the rhythmic devices Bach employed as a starting point. I also decided a three voice fugue would be more appropriate to my current compositional skill set in writing for piano than to attempt to write a four-voice fugue that I am unsure could be performed. As - again - this is meant to be an exercise in form and style, I did and do not feel any shame in making this adjustment and in borrowing some ideas. In fact, the melody differs enough that I doubt many would have noticed any connection if I had never mentioned Bach's G Minor Fugue.
Here are the results of these efforts: