Triple Fugue in D Minor, Hess 244 nr.1 (mp3)
All three themes of this triple fugue are by Beethoven. This appears as Nr.1 in from Nottebohm's Beethovens Studien, Chapter XII, p.180, as corrected by Albrechtsberger. The fugue dates from about 1794-95. The midi is scored for English horn, harp, sitar and harpsichord, the mp3 for strings pizzicato.
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.