Fugue in D minor (1883) – by Edward ELGAR
prepared as a Duo for TWO CELLOS by David Johnstone
PDF 1 – Both individual cello parts and information
Brief Notes (crediting Sotheby’s for valuable information):
Elgar composed the D minor fugue for his brother Frank, a fine oboist, and the violinist Karl Bammert. It is a vivacious two-part invention for flute and violin, recalling J.S. Bach in the rich harmonic implications and rhythmic freedom of the part-writing. [Ed. I would also suggest some sub-conscious Max Reger influence!]. The fugue subject has not been traced and is almost certainly original. This is a working manuscript with many revisions, including to the codetta preceding the first entry of the oboe and with many passages revised throughout. in pencil. Elgar later incorporated these changes into his autograph fair copy, which is to be found in BL. Add. Ms 49973A. He also added there an account of how this fugue came to be written, explaining that Frank Elgar and Bammert had shared rooms at the back of his father’s premises in Worcester; he often called on them whenever one of his pupils failed to turn up for a lesson (“…such restful moments I spent with a pipe in my brother’s room & usually left some memento in M.S.; this is one”)
Final note: in the cello version no general score has been included; however, there are regular rehearsal letters!
Here is a nice performance of the original setting, scored for oboe and violin (available as at the end of 2022)
Enjoy the music!
EXAMPLE of the original, in Elgar’s handwriting:
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