Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Fugues for Guitar Quartet Vol. 1

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Fugues for Guitar Quartet Vol. 1

Model: 6880 / CNP74395
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Fugue in D Minor - Fugue In G Major - Fugue in A Minor

Arranged by Karl Wolff

Publication's Style: Soft Cover Score and Parts
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate
General Description: Guitar quartet in the late classical style

"Just recently, its now near the end of November 2008, I downloaded some recordings of string quartets to listen to. Sandwiched in between Felix Mendelssohn's E flat major Opus 12 and his E minor Opus 44, on one virtual disc that I bought, are four charming single movement fugues. As I listened I became aware that the four parts of the fugues, and this should come as no surprise, while appropriately written to the range of cello, viola and two violins, were evenly divided. Something else that caught my ear, the cello, the lowest voice, always states the principal theme. It wasn't long before I found myself wishing Mendelssohn had written the fugues for guitar quartet instead.

As it turns out Mendelssohn wrote 12 such fugues. The first three of them are presented in this first edition with more to follow as time allows.

Written as exercises for learning style and music form by the young composer, these pieces make excellent study materials for guitar quartet or guitar orchestra. They are of a modest level of difficulty for their originally intended group, and while several passages can only be played on the utmost reaches of the guitar fingerboard, they are nonetheless quite playable. Some transpositions of key are necessary to bring the pieces within range and a few passages, carefully selected, have also been transposed to fit. No harmonies were harmed during transcribing. The end results are musical and engaging.

The pieces have particular didactic value, demonstrating polyphony and fugal form while simultaneously presenting some reasonable technical challenges. And, I think it's safe to say, are lovely music and really quite listenable. After I worked through the scores a couple of times, I set about fingering the more challenging passages, initially thinking I would add them to the final manuscript. After some consideration I remembered that Mendelssohn himself wrote these as studies and it seemed inappropriate to suggest solutions to any technical challenges the pieces present. Aside from making sure they are all playable I'm presenting them without annotation. Just as with the originals, they display no fingerings, phrase markings, dynamics, coloration or tempi, leaving all such choices to your discretion and temperament."

Karl Wolff


  • Model: 6880 / CNP74395
  • Manufactured by: CNP-Consignment
  • Condition: New

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