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Bach – The Art of the Fugue

This incomplete masterpiece was Bach’s last and greatest effort in the area of fugue writing and musical transformation.

In contrast with the earlier Well Tempered Clavier, this collection of fugues and canons all share not only the same key but also the same subject. Recent handwriting and watermark studies have shown that The Art of the Fugue was composed about ten years before Bach’s death, which of course only increases speculation as to why it was left unfinished.
Another matter of speculation is if The Art of the Fugue was meant as a keyboard or ensemble work, or as mainly an intellectual exercise, not meant to be physically realised at all. However, the fact that practically all of it is playable by two hands on the keyboard clearly suggests that Bach intended the work for the harpsichord or organ.

Sheet music of The Art of the Fugue is now available in the Piano Street sheet music library, edited for solo keyboard by Carl Czerny.


  1. Vasco Says:


  2. Vasco Says:

    This performance certainly teached me a lot.

  3. Vasco Says:

    Useless to speculate about reasons for its unfinishment, Bach’s keyboard notes signature should talk for itself. He signed his whole lifework stating clearly that it could and should be continued.

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