Sunday, April 17, 2005

Bach: Fugue No. 5 in D Major

This Bach Fugue is performed by Jacques Loussier on piano along with Vincent Charbonnier on bass and Andre Arpino on drums. Although this piece is a fugue, the subject and occurrence in different voices is slightly confusing and harder to recognize. This is a very jazzy version of the fugue. The piece is in two-four or four-four but uses a great deal of syncopated rhythms in the bass and percussion. The piano plays first on the pick up, do-re-mi-fa-mi-do-sol-fa-mi, with the bass and percussion coming in on the first full measure following each note of the melody, sol-fa-mi. That same melody is repeated a fifth higher and you might call this the second hearing of the subject and the second voice. The piece sounds as if it only has two voices. A new melodic theme is introduced by the piano, sol-la-ti-do-fa-sol-la-ti-la-ti-sol-mi. The piano adds some jazzy stuff and then the melodic phrase from the beginning is used but either starting on a different note or in a completely new key. The song has many phrases that seem to begin with faster chord progressions which slow down towards the end of the phrase. The middle section gets very jazzy, beginning with a fast portion and then slowing down…..just like the phrases, interesting. During these portions the original melody is still heard, but the jazzy improvisation is more noticeable. At the end of this jazzy section they go back to the beginning but instead of going on with the piece normally, they go back to funkiness. Next, the piece sounds as if is going to end with a very long cadential portion, but instead there is a marvelous bass solo which slides into the second melodic, more jazzy than the first, theme of the piece. The piece soon ends with a perfect authentic cadence, mi-re-do (V-I).
These jazzy versions of Bach have given me a special interest in learning jazz, I will learn some day. I love these versions because someone who might not even be interested in classical music could hear this and change their mind. It’s so fun and jazzy that is makes the Bach slightly more enjoyable and entertaining.

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