The Cat's Fugue

According to eighteenth-century legend, Domenico Scarlatti received a flash of inspiration after a cat tiptoed across the royal harpsichord at the Spanish Court. He composed a fugue, and for the fugue's theme he used the succession of discordant pitches produced by Miss Pussy’s paws. This is our own fugue — a joyous romp over the keys — using the very same theme.

It is no simple task to compose a fugue, as they tend to involve incredibly complex contrapuntal procedures. As a result, fugues are often considered to be stodgy, severe, and academic. However, listening to several (in this case, four) unique musical voices coalesce into something bigger can be a surprisingly rewarding experience. In The Cat's Fugue, all four voices maintain their independence and can be heard in dialogue with one another, but ultimately they are working together harmonically, melodically, and structurally to produce a complete musical picture.

— Greg Anderson & Elizabeth Joy Roe




The Cat's Fugue
(based on a fugue subject by Domenico Scarlatti) 

by Anderson & Roe
for two pianos


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