Johann Sebastian Bach: Contrapunctus 14 für Orgel / Tasteninstrument

Johann Sebastian Bach

Contrapunctus 14 für Orgel / Tasteninstrument

aus der Kunst der Fuge

BWV 1080


In 1991 an astonishing discovery was published by Zoltán Göncz answering the question with fairly great certainty how Bach planned the appearance of the fourth subject, the main subject of the cycle: One of the striking features of Contrapunctus 14 is that in this movement Bach applied the stretto of whole expositions. In the exposition of the first three subjects he “programmed” the later permutational stretti, then applied the expositions as “programs”, “algorithms”. However paradoxical, it follows from the logic of composing a quadruple fugue that the combinations joining all four subjects and rendered the latest when performing the work were already completed in the very first stage of composition because the possibility of overlapping the four subjects (1+2+3+4) is the sine qua non of writing a quadruple fugue. The discovery of the permutational matrix was one of the most essential conditions to achieve that the reconstruction of Contrapunctus XIV could come near to the original form planned by Bach.


full score

20 pages, DIN A4, paperback
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Zoltán Göncz Personal details


Johann Sebastian Bach Personal details


As I was for years a counterpoint teacher, and also taught Bach's fugue technique, I can state that Mr. Göncz's proposal of completing the unfinished fugue absolutely does justice to the technical and stylistic characteristics of Bach's fugue writing. Moreover, his essay about this work is excellent and convincing.
György Ligeti