Hello. I wrote this fugue a couple months ago and it was performed by a leading New Zealand brass band. I didn't get to hear the performance, and I wasn't very proactive towards getting feedback, so I thought I'd post it on a public forum for some critiques.

 

I am currently quite interested in post-baroque/classical approaches to fugue. I recently completed a research project on select fugues by Beethoven and Brahms. Part of the reason I composed a fugue was for the challenge. I had particular difficulty in balancing fugal fidelity against the want for musical beauty. Like the previously mentioned composers, I did not think it was competely necessary to conform to classical fugue conventions, but rather, to create a beautiful piece of music that only needs to embody the 'essence' of fugue.

 

I am aware that the score contains many errors.

 

Fugue for Brass Band Study Score.pdf

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  •  The recording???

    • Thank you William...

      It is clearer now after reading/watching the score.

      The entrances are clearly heard, no problem.  Brass writing is good to my ear.

      Clear hook points for syncronization.  

      Maybe I cannot perceive at the first/second listen but it seems to be difficult

      to keep up with as a listener.

      The brass is used cleverly it is for sure.

      I am not expert of this medium but to me it sounds well written

      and worth to listen to.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Al

  • Great piece of brass writing!  I'm not an expert in brass instruments but this sounds great (well, once I get past the midi mechanical sound :-P). The parts look quite fun to play.

    In terms of "fugue fidelity", though, IMO your chosen subject is too generic for interesting fugal development. Maybe that's part of your struggle?  A more interesting fugue subject may have lent itself better to musicality in spite of fugal strictness. Nevertheless, I think you did a good job with the subject you chose.  I myself also approach fugue writing in a more liberal way -- more as a texture rather than a strict form (e.g., I'm currently writing a 4-part fugue where the exposition subject entries enter at intervals of 6ths rather than the traditional I-V-I-V 5ths structure).  I do find, though, that sometimes if I'm willing to put in the work to make a passage work in the strictly fugal sense, the result is often much better than I could've written otherwise.  So yeah, there's always a struggle between following the letter of fugue vs. the spirit of fugue, and balancing that with musical needs.

  •  I'm not a fan of baroque, but this piece is airy, and fun.  Some of the chords you used were clever and gave it a little more listenability for me.  Like others, I can't say much about the genre as I don't listen to it much.  Sounds like a well-written piece to me, though.  

    Thanks for sharing! 

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