Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Todd, R. Larry. “Me violà perruqué: Mendelssohn’s Six Preludes and Fugues Op. 35 Reconsidered.” In Mendelssohn Studies, ed. R. Larry Todd, 162-99. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

In the process of reconstructing an outline of the evolution of Mendelssohn’s Six Preludes and Fugues, Op. 35, from independent fugues to a cyclic collection of preludes and fugues, the issues of influence and genre surface. The influence of J. S. Bach (especially his Well-Tempered Clavier), Beethoven, and the nineteenth-century virtuosic pianism of Thalberg is apparent. Mendelssohn’s decision to change the title for Op. 35 from “Etudes and Fugues” to “Preludes and Fugues” further illustrates both the influence of Bach and the nineteenth-century virtuoso in Mendelssohn’s compositional process. Moreover, a close study of the fugue in E Minor from Op. 35, No. 1, reveals the programmatic implication of “struggle,” an extramusical meaning often applied to fugues in the nineteenth century.

Works: Felix Mendelssohn: Prelude and Fugue in D major, Op. 35, No. 2 (172), Prelude and Fugue in A-flat major, Op. 35, No. 4 (173).

Sources: J. S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, Prelude and Fugue in D Major, BWV 850 (172); Beethoven: Piano Sonata in A-flat, Op. 110 (173).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Tong Cheng Blackburn

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