Double Fugue in D Minor, Hess 243 nr.5 (mp3)
The first theme of this double fugue is nr.24 from Albrechtsberger's list; the second theme is by Beethoven, but modified by Albrechtsberger. Nr.5 from Nottebohm's Beethovens Studien, Chapter XI, p. 172. Corrected by Albrechtsberger. This fugue dates from about 1794-95. The midi is scored for metal pad, trumpet, tenor saxophone and organ, the mp3 is by string quartet.
In these fugues written for Albrechtsberger we see the lion condemned to a diet of only vegetable soup. The aim of these lessons is to master the polyphonic style of Da Palestrina (1525-1594).
Although Beethoven had already reached considerable heights in his own music at this time, in these fugues we see him surrender his creative powers in order to conform to the strict, and often petty, rules of his teacher. He did so because he understood that he had to learn things which were of the essence for his art: polyphony taught him not only to improve his voice leading, it is also, and has been throughout the centuries, the engine behind all harmonic innovation. Rather than the arrogant genius who rejects all outside influence, Beethoven is eager to learn from a style which is, viewed superficially, diametrically opposed to his own.