Dec 122012
 

Introduced by Glenn Gould himself, this was part of a 1963 CBC television production. Here is the score, and the approximate text:

So you want to write a fugue.
You got the urge to write a fugue.
You got the nerve to write a fugue.
So go ahead, so go ahead and write a fugue.
Go ahead and write a fugue that we can sing.

Pay no heed, Pay no mind.
Pay no heed to what we tell you,
Pay no mind to what we tell you.
Cast away all that you were told
And the theory that you read.
As we said come and write one,
Oh do come and write one,
Write a fugue that we can sing.

Now the only way to write one
Is to plunge right in and write one.
Just forget the rules and write one,
Just ignore the rules and try.
And the fun of it will get you.
And the joy of it will fetch you.
Its a pleasure that is bound to satisfy.
You'll decide that John Sebastian must have been a very personable guy.

Never be clever
for the sake of being clever,
for the sake of showing off.

For a canon in inversion is a dangerous diversion,
And a bit of augmentation is a serious temptation,
While a stretto diminution is an obvious solution.

So you want to write a fugue?
etc.
Write us a fugue that we can sing.

And when you finish writing it
I think you will find a great joy in it.

(Hope so.)
Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, they say.
But still it is rather hard to start.

Well? Let us try. Right now? Yes.
Now we are going to write a fugue.
We are going to write a good one.
We are going to write a fugue right now.

There is a well-performed animated rendition, with Elizabeth Benson-Guy,  Anita Darian, Charles Bressler, Donald Gramm, and the Julliard Quartet; and here is a delightful Japanese version. Nathan suggests that it might add to your enjoyment to check out the prelude to Die Meistersinger.

–Paul

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