After the critics I got for the first version of Präludium und Fuge in C I've improved the fugue.
Its beginning hasn't changed: Subject and countersubject are from the prelude. But the fugue becomes much longer and explores the harmonic space similar to the prelude.

Hope you enjoy it and again I'm appreciating constructive critics.

Praeludium und Fuge in C.mp3

Praeludium und Fuge in C.pdf

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  • I feel that the prelude is still the stronger part of this piece. The fugue is better than before, but I still found that it didn't quite keep my interest. I'm not a fugue expert by any means, but I found that the contrasting rhythms didn't quite come through... it's definitely there in the score, but somehow the overall result sounds too homogeneous, and I had trouble picking out the fugue voices after a while.

    In m.131, you have crossing voices in the LH part; because this is played on a piano, this crossing obscures the melodic contours of the voices (it sounds like C-A-A-D on the top and E-F-G-F-G on the bottom, whereas according to the score it should be C-A-F-D on top and E-F-G-A-G on the bottom). Since this is the first occurrence of your third fugue voice, this significantly obscures its identity, making it harder to identify later on.

    In mm.162-154, the LH rhythm is quite dry, and doesn't really add much interest.

    Overall, I feel like the energy and forward motion that was so effective in the prelude are missing in the fugue, but there's not much to replace it. The fugue feels lacking in forward momentum; I don't mean just the slow tempo (it is possible to make an effective fugue in slow tempo), but in this particular case, it didn't help. The development section of the fugue seems to be missing the clever rhythmic / harmonic contrasts that makes fugues so interesting to listen to. While there's a lot more going on in there than before, it still feels lacking in direction. It has a little bit of everything, but after it's all said and done, it didn't really go anywhere new and interesting, but just kind of stayed around the same place, saying the same thing in many different ways.

    I also felt the ending didn't quite have the concluding resolution that we expect music to have; it just kinda restated the fugue subjects in a casual way and then stopped. This is likely the consequence of the lack of forward momentum in the preceding material, I think. Unlike the prelude, which has a lot of forward momentum -- it keeps you guessing and waiting to hear more, and when the ending came, it was quite satisfying -- here it didn't feel like the music was heading in any specific direction, but it just wandered around the same spot and then returned to the original spot and stopped. It wasn't as satisfying as the prelude, IMO.

    I'm sorry I don't know enough about fugues to offer you more concrete advice and/or possible solutions, but as it stands, I think the fugue is still not quite there yet.

  • Thanks H.S. for your elaborate discussion of the fugue. This kind of response helps me a lot to improve my composition skills.

    Currently I'm working at something new. May be in a few month I will revisit this fugue again.

  • I think this is a beautiful piece. I like the way it develops, insisting on the principal motif without making it too obvious or repetitive. I really like the rhythm feel of the piece, i've always loved that kind of juxtaposition between two and three.

    I think the change of feel when you arrive to the fugue is necesary and it works well, because it makes the composition breath in a nice way, and it gives a different perspective on the praeludium.

    The only critique i can make based on what i heard is that maybe the transition between the prealudium and the fugue could be less obvious. This is becase i hear you come from a dynamic praeludium with harmonies which are clear but also have some ambiguity thanks to the intervals you wrote in the left hand. And so, i feel the resolution you use to get to the fugue was a little obvious and interrupted the fluidity the piece had until then. I would propose some grayer areas for the transition, letting know to the listener that your are arriving to the fugue but not making it so predictible, maybe using a suspended chord or making the transition longer.

    Anyways, other than that i really like the piece, well done!

    Jaime.

  • Hi Franz,

     

    Hi Franz,

     

    Bravo on the improvements to the fugue.  I went back and listened again to the first version sandwiched between two 2nd versions.  I say it does a much better job holding it’s own against the preludium, and is very enjoyable and more dynamic on many fronts.   It’s got a great shape, now, thanks to the expanded/completely redone development. Well  done! You’ve introduced some different textures and a more ballsy harmonic approach.  I really like your use of chromaticism.  It seems even though the subject matter is ever present, you’re less tethered to it.  It sounds less like an exercise and much more like a piece of music. I like what you’ve done with the end.  It’s to the point, and more final.  And, I would love to hear some pedal point as you approach it, to set things up more for the listener.  I like to know that I’m heading home, before I get there.  Aside from that, I think it’s a great improvement, and very well done.  It nicely counters the preludium as a repose, and maintains my interest as a stand alone piece.  Good show.

    D

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