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Anyone who knows me knows of my love for counterpoint and imitation. So the idea of a six-voice fugue has held its obvious attraction for me for a long time. J. S. Bach only wrote one of those, his Ricercare a6, as one of the movements in his monumental “Musical Offering,” BWV 1079.


He referred to the Ricercare a6 as his “Prussian Fugue,” indicating the degree to which the distinction between the two forms had been blurred by the time of its composition. Organists typically drag this thing out at very slow, solemn tempi — transcribed for brass it makes sense to move it along a bit (at 7 minutes in length at my suggested tempo it’s still a long blow — but everyone gets breaks, so it’s not all that bad).


Ricercare a6 is not recorded, so the mp3s are FINALE MIDI audio extracts (not a great sound, but you can get the idea of what the piece sounds like).


I also have this available as a double-quintet on my Larger Brass page and even as a sextet on my Brass Sextets page; I’m thinking, though, that the sextet version is only useful as a studio recording (not enough breathing time for any of the very busy parts).


Ricercare a6 sells for $18.00 for the hard copy,                                                              $15 for the pdf’s

Ricercare - R. Volkmann
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