The Art of Fugue
In Contrapunctus II, AOF’s second “simple” fugue, Bach introduced stately dotted rhythms into his subject; here he does the same in the second of the stretto fugues, using the dotted proclivity of the stretto subject throughout this fugue in Stylo Francese.
However, now there’s an additional twist. At the start, you’ll hear the subject from Contrapunctus V in the bass. (Although, as you can see below, it’s inverted from its first entry in Contrapunctus V which, since that entry was itself inverted from the main AOF subject, recovers the regular form of that subject. Get it? Got it! Good.)
However, almost right away you will hear a diminished copy of the subject enter in the soprano:
So now, Bach is upping the ante from mere stretto, to stretto with diminution. Throughout, the subject weaves around its diminished copies in a stately promenade.
Can we up the ante even further? Why, yes! Yes we can. Onward to Contrapunctus VII!