Fugue Music Recordings

The term 'fugue' refers to both a contrapuntal composition technique and a musical form derived from it. It is constructed on a theme or melody (subject) that is introduced at the beginning of the piece by the first voice, and is subsequently taken by other voices in imitation. The interplay between subject and the counter-subjects and/or free counterpoint in the remaning voices makes up the exposition of the fugue, which recurs a number of times in different keys and modes. The expositions are separated by episodes, which consist of modulatory material based on elements heard of the exposition. The term fugue comes from the latin fugere -to flee- and fugare -to chase. While in the middle ages the term was used to refer to any work following a canonic procedure, during the Renaissance and Baroque periods it came to denote the fully developed procedure of imitative counterpoint. Johann Sebastian Bach, whose pieces are studied as the cenit of the art of fugal writing, modeled his work after the fugues by Buxtehude and Frescobaldi. The textural simplification brought about by the Classical period meant the rise of other procedures and forms, such as the sonata or the symphony. The pure fugue was somewhat abandoned, though composers such as Mozart and Beethoven continued to study the art of fugue and write whole sections of important works using that technique. The term 'fughetta' refers to a short fugue, while 'fugato' refers to a fugal-like section inside of a work which is not stricly a fugue.

Title Composer Instrument Period Ratings
At the Monastery Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet Romantic
Carry On Bach (3 Fugues for Wind Trio) Paul Arden-Taylor Chamber group 20th Century
Compositionen zumeist Fugen uber das Magnificat Johann Pachelbel Organ Baroque
Fuga sopra il Magnificat, BWV 733 Johann Sebastian Bach Organ Romantic
Fughetta on 'Ach Gott, vom Himmel Sieh darein' Johann Pachelbel Organ Baroque
Fugue in A minor, B. 144 Frédéric Chopin Piano Romantic
Fugue in Bm, HWV 608 Georg Friedrich Händel Piano Baroque
Fugue in C major Johann Christoph Kellner Harpsichord Baroque
Fugue in C major Johann Philipp Kirnberger Organ Baroque
Fugue in D minor Franz Xaver Murschhauser Organ Baroque
Fugue in Gm, ''Little'', BWV 578 Johann Sebastian Bach Orchestra Baroque
Grand Fugue, Op. 133 Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet Romantic
Magnificat Fugue, T.103 Johann Pachelbel Organ Baroque
Magnificat Fugue, T.111 Johann Pachelbel Organ Baroque
Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV. 545 Johann Sebastian Bach Organ Baroque
The Art of Fugue, BWV. 1080 Johann Sebastian Bach Open Instrumentation Baroque