The Fugue that follows the introductory Adagio opens with a strong contrast, with its crisp rhythm and tightly interwoven structure.

Understanding the G-Minor Fugue

We have produced a four-part video series about the G-minor fugue (links on the right) that discusses the structure of this well known and much loved piece. The first discusses the exposition in terms of the Rule of the Octave and the second is a short video that brings to light some of the remarkable writing in the introductory section of the fugue: simple compositional devices, which Bach uses to great effect, but which also may be overlooked by some of us as we perform this well-known music, simply by virtue of the fact that we have heard it so many times.

The third video discusses the main body of the fugue. We feel passionate about sharing this video because it answers the questions: “How can I play a long and intricate piece and still have it hold together? –How can I learn to understand larger forms, and how can I apply this directly to my own performances?” We do think the video will help players interpret this particular piece better, but our hope is also that performers can use the concepts in the video to help them understand all of Bach’s music more deeply.

The fourth video along with the "Left Hand Walking" article linked in the upper right, will help guitarists approach Bach's bravura writing in the coda of this masterwork. The video and article discuss the music more from a technical perspective and will be helpful for guitarists who have our edition of the Sonatas and Partitas. However, they will also likely be helpful to all guitarists as they discuss ways to use the left hand that are applicable throughout all of our repertoire. As I mention in the essay, I do not think there are many guitarists who understand the left hand as well as Frank does, and I think that the insights presented in this article are of utmost importance in learning how to play effortlessly.

There is also an intro video (linked to on the home page of this website), that may be very helpful, if you have not already seen it, as it presents some concepts that are discussed in many of the videos on the website. This was made so that the same subject matter did not need to be repeated over and over, and so the assumption is that people have understood the material in this introductory video as it applies to the others that follow.