Fischer (c1670-1746) wrote a series of 20 simple preludes and
fugues for organ called "Ariadne Musica". Ariadne's
enabled Theseus to escape from the labyrinth after slaying the
Minotaur, and this collection leads the player through the
"labyrinth" of the keys. He
also wrote suites, other fugues, and works for organ.The pieces
are nowhere near as complex
as those of Bach, but some of them work well on the piano. Fischer
at his best is interesting and melodious and he's especially
good at descending progressions. He was Kappelmeister at Baden.
THE PIECES (as played on the piano)
KEYBOARD PIECES FOR CEMBALO / ORGAN (Schott 2479)
Descending chord progressions, gentle discords / suspensions;
reminded me of the E minor prelude of Chopin. Very effective.
6 FUGUES IN F
Disappointing. They are too short to be very worthwhile. Some
are only 9 or 10 bars in length. They start to become interesting
and then stop. If only the cacophanists (that curious
footnote in musical history) had done the same.
PRELUDE & FUGUE, Eb
Pleasant, melodious, unpretentious and too short. (15 bars +
PRELUDE & FUGUE, Em
Not so good as the preceding pair.
SUITE, D, 1696
Schott 34390. Prelude: Dull, arpeggiated nonsense spoils this
Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue: good.
SUITE, D, 1738
Schott 34390. Prelude: this time the arpeggiated figures use
Fischer's favourite sequences and suspensions, which
work well. Allemande, Courante, Balet Anglois - good. Minuet - very
commonplace. Gigue- OK.
SUITE, Am, 1696
I found this suite in Alfred Einstein's "Short History of Music". It is Fischer at his best; restful,
melodious and beautiful, and showing his skilful use descending
figures. The 12/8 prelude begins with a tranquil
A minor arpeggio and develops slowly. It's followed by a Passacaille
which matches the prelude exactly in mood; then there's a Bouree and
finally a very effective minuet, full of rhythm and life. Willi Apel
in his "History of Keyboard Music to 1700" singles out the prelude
for special praise, but on the piano the minuet is even better,
lending itself to more ornamentation on the repeat.
For example, a scale run from E to the E above in the rh on the last 2 beats of
bar 27, in semiquavers (29 being the final bar) is most effective.
Nigel Deacon / Diversity Website
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