Fugue in G Minor, "Little," BWV 578
by Johann Sebastian Bach [playing time 4:01]  [Download the MP3]

J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
The greatest of them all

"Who's your favorite composer?" is as tired a question as "Whomever I'm listening to at the moment" is an answer. If pressed, however, and with apologies to Ludwig, Wolfgang, Pyotr, and all the other greats, I would give the nod to Bach. His supreme blending of beauty, logic, and inventiveness has never been surpassed, and much of my avocational music-making is devoted to listening, learning, and making synthesized realizations of his music.

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One of Bach's most beloved works is this charming fugue. The subject has that peculiarly Bachian perfection of form, with longer notes in the head of the subject giving way to shorter ones in the tail, and the gently rocking motion increasing in energy throughout:

The voices arrive in descending order through the soprano, alto, tenor, and finally the bass, and from this exposition to the end, this work can be used as a fine piece for fugue analysis -- while never sacrificing a bit of musicality. Never too exuberant yet never losing its bounce, the work winds up with a final statement of the subject in the bass leading to the concluding chords, a perfectly understated cadence to wrap up a lovely work.

I produced this track using exclusively the Roland XV-2020 SRX-06 Complete Orchestra expansion card. This little bit of gear has been da bomb overall... it has some great patches, and it appears in virtually all the tracks I've uploaded so far. I have used a variety of the organ patches here, with the voices somewhat separated in the stero field for clarity.

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