The Art of Fugue

September 23, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

During the last couple of weeks I've been revisiting keyboard skills learned in my youth on the piano and organ.  There's been a lot of rust falling off my recalcitrant fingers, but it has been like riding a bike - the memory never completely fades.  My biggest challenge, however, has been the age-old difficulty in playing Bach fugues.  To me, he was the ultimate master of all the forms of composition he undertook, but in particular the fugue, that complex structure in which 2 or more voices intertwine in a contrapuntal "woolly ball" of notes.  It takes its name from the Latin "fugere" meaning "to flee".  Scarlatti (Domenico) has been a kinder composer to me, whereas JSB remains an exacting taskmaster.

Today I also fled out into the country on a mission with a friend, firstly to the hills outside Dunbar in Berwickshire, then looping round to the Lammermuir Hills where I stopped to take some more shots of the Firth of Forth, Bass Rock and North Berwick Law and all the glorious intervening colours of the countryside.  Close by there were people out grouse shooting and as I reached for my camera, my friend spotted a mountain hare near the roadside cowering from her pursuers.  Before I had time to perform a gentler kind of shooting in the heather, a small convoy of vehicles streamed up the road towards us and her own personal fugue was on again.  There was just time for me to catch her lolloping off to freedom in a 4-footed counterpoint of her own.

The pictures are here: http://www.alexinthewild.com/p981964733


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