Music in History

Go to content

Main menu

Fugue after Baroque

Baroque forms
 
 


Fugue during classical period

During the Classical period,  fugue was not in position of prominence. However composers like Haydn, Mozart and  Beethoven  revived  the fugal style and they included  it in some of  their works. For example: Haydn,  the sun quartets, op 20, 1772.  Mozart: symphony 41, requiem-kyrie. Beethoven: Große Fuge.
Writing fugue as part of a larger work was a common practice between classical composers . They used to include a fugal section in their texts but usually  they  abandoned it  after a while , in favor of a purely homophonic style.  So, the genre had lost its independence.

        Haydn - String Quartet Op. 20 "Sun" No. 6, 4th mv.t - Piano Transcription

Fugue during romantic period (19th century)

Writing fugues was an important part of music education and some standards had been established for this purpose. This happened especially after the renewed interest in Bach's music after and the publication of the works of Bach-Handel. One may find some examples in Berlioz (fantastic symphony), Mendelssohn, Wagner, Bruckner and others.

during 20th century

Composers brought fugue back to its position of prominence, as they realized its uses in full instrumental works, its importance in development and introductory sections  and the developmental capabilities of fugal composition.
Some of the late romantic composers such as Max Reger
(1873-1016) were closer  to  fugue than others. Many of Reger's  works for church organ contain fugues or they are fugues themselves.
Later on, several composers have used extensively fugue. For example:  Bela Bartok
( Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta),  Igor Stravinsky (symphony of  Psalms),  Paul Hindemith (Ludus Tonalis), Dmitri Shostakovich (Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87), Heitor Villa-Lobos, Ástor Piazzolla, by György Ligeti (requiem 2nd part) and Jazz composers such as John Lewis.


                              Stravinsky : Symphony of Psalms (2nd mvt)

Back to content | Back to main menu