Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund

 

 

Fantasia and Fugue on a Theme of Stravinsky  - (2010)    

for organ


 

I attended a fine concert of the Karl-Foster-Chor at the Konzerthaus in Berlin courtesy of a ticket from my friend, Susanne Paasch, in which Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms (revised edition from 1948) was programmed alongside Puccini's Missa di gloria. Several of the Symphony themes are most memorable, but from years earlier this fugue subject which opens his second movement has remained in my thoughts. In fact, I first heard the work during my college days forty years ago. For this revisit to a particular theme, I chose to compose a fantasy and contrapuntal setting of it in different guise than its original orchestral setting. The statement in the symphony opens with oboe, and is notated with commas to indicate Stravinsky's phrasing. I notate the same with staccati as below, where the original statement is but a portion of the longer theme in the symphony.

 

 

The fugue subject is slightly altered by decoration from the original theme though as long as Stravinsky's, and like the Symphony treatment the answer comes in the dominant.

 

 

The final statement in the pedal is decorated with an outburst of sextuplets in the manuals, now with dotted rhythms beginning each large beat. The final chord in C minor adds the D and B natural of the subject as added dissonance, after a pedal line in octaves.

 

 

7 pages, circa 5' 50" - an MP3 demo is here: 

 

The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this organ score.

 

Fantasia and Fugue on a Theme of Stravinsky