Vier Fugen op.72 
komponiert 1845 
Herrn Carl Reinecke gewidmet 

Nicht schnell, d-Moll
Sehr lebhaft, d-Moll
Nicht schnell und sehr ausdrucksvoll, f-Moll
Im mässigen Tempo, F-Dur

Schumann attempted to write poetic fugues, where “the silver thread of fantasy ever entwines the chain of rule.” In the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, Schumann wrote in 1837: “In any case, the best fugue is always that which the public believes is a Strauss waltz, in other words where the artistic foundation is covered as by a flower, and we only see the flower.” Schumann’s Fugues stand in marked contrast to the virtuoso piano writing of his earlier works. Reduced to a narrow compass, the Fugues are the result of an intensive preoccupation with Bach. The themes are typical for Schumann, and are built from the interval of a fifth in connection with a triadic motif. The sonically more wide-ranging BACH Fugues, op. 60, were composed for the “Pedalflügel” or organ. They stand in relation to the Fugues, op. 72 much as Bach’s Inventions relate to his Art of the Fugue.

Translation: William Melton
© Franz Vorraber