Author Topic: Fugal Variations in C Minor  (Read 90 times)

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Offline krummholz

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Fugal Variations in C Minor
« on: July 21, 2020, 06:08:58 AM »
This is a 22 minute contrapuntal study on the D-S-C-H motif, for chamber string orchestra, rendered using Sibelius and NotePerformer. The title is provisional and might be a little misleading on all three counts.

First, because although it starts as a fugue and there are no fewer than 3 fugal expositions in the course of the piece, a lot of the development abandons fugal technique for a freer approach - maybe it's an "anti-fugue" like in some of Havergal Brian's symphonies.

Second, because there is a fugal exposition followed by 5 main longer sections (separated by shorter "episodes"), each with its own distinct character, but they aren't really formal variations, rather different approaches to developing the basic material... it's perhaps along the lines of RVW's "variations in search of a theme".

And third, because although it starts in C Minor and ends on a chord of C Major, there is very little of either mode of C in the piece. The harmony is very restless and moves constantly from key to key. There are even fleeting hints of bitonality in a few places.

Anyway, I'm open to suggestions for a better title. ;)

Expressively, the piece is my creative reaction to the COVID pandemic, sort of a "song of comfort and hope" as in Yo-Yo Ma's project - though it is brooding and elegiac for the most part, and the theme of "comfort and hope" only really emerges in the last 5 minutes or so. (Though there is a hard-driven climax midway that I intend to be bracing and even exhilarating - I kind of wonder how listeners will hear it.)

It's up on SoundCloud, but I'm linking to a file on Google Drive because I don't like what SoundCloud is doing to uploaded files these days. The MP3 is almost inaudible, and they add to or bring out a subtle distortion that I think comes from NP's sample library, or the samples plus the way they're processed during playback. I'd still download the file if you can (28 MB) and play it in your favorite audio player - don't be afraid to turn up the volume a little, it's not supposed to be a very quiet piece.

The score is also attached.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zFG8-7wNl4qx1xMvZLfLOquQPnerh5fR/view

Offline krummholz

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Re: Fugal Variations in C Minor
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2020, 06:37:38 PM »
Seems this has generated little interest, but just in case: I replaced the earlier rendering with one that has less distortion. The old link no longer works; here's the new one.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a_m9hfMv1mKkjvuzqMxd0V_BL54PC4Ls/view?usp=sharing

Offline krummholz

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Re: Fugal Variations in C Minor
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2020, 03:19:26 AM »
Yet another revision to the ending, mainly for clarity.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1edEWROP-LYCQ2P1PkJtYhOkdlU4rTpho/view?usp=sharing

The current version of the score is attached.