[Smt-talk] accellerandi-pieces

Eva Sze esze at gc.cuny.edu
Mon Oct 12 20:43:16 PDT 2009

Speaking of fugal writing, one piece that comes to my mind is Maurice Duruflé's Prélude et fugue sur le nom d'Alain, Op. 7 (1942).  In the original edition, Durufle indicates an accelerando throughout the fugue, but in the later edition (from the 1960s or 1970s), he omits all but one increase in tempo, allowing the performer freedom to interpret the extent of the accelerando.  Nowadays, some performers play this fugue with an obvious accelerando, but some (including myself) observe the revised tempo markings rather faithfully.  In any case, the gradual crescendo to full organ can create the illusion of an accelerando.  

Eva Sze
CUNY Graduate Center/
New York University

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jonathan Berkahn" <jrb at paradise.net.nz>
To: "Johannes Quint" <johannes.quint at web.de>
Cc: "Discussion list for the SMT" <smt-talk at societymusictheory.org>
Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 3:24 PM
Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] accellerandi-pieces

It seems to have a been a fairly standard feature of Mendelssohn's fugal 
writing: there's an example in the early Characterstücke, one in the 
op.35 preludes and fugues, one in the organ sonatas, and the overture to 
Elijah.  Possibly others, too.

Jonathan Berkahn
New Zealand School of Music

Johannes Quint wrote:
> dear list,
> i am lookink for pieces with large-scaled accellerandi, either  
> incremental (as in carmens 'danse boheme') or stepless, either via  
> tempo-modification or via rhythm-change.
> thanks a lot for help.
> johannes quint
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