Book 1 - No. 5 - D major - Fugue
music || notes || words || images prelude


This subject is much more about gesture and energy than melody. It is an action. By way of metaphor, imagine winding something up, then letting it go to run its own, temporary autonomous course until it unwinds, spent. Wind up, let go, spin down. The wind-up gesture is spinning and tightening, like a top. The spin-down gesture is a few tentative (quirky) steps, literally falling down, a brief spark of mechanical life uncoiling. To stage a drama, a whole bunch of tops are wound and released over time in a gleeful game to create a spectacle. Little tin ballerinas twirl and totter, soldiers wake, march briefly, and fall into sleep again. Always, it seems, there is a net balance of winding and spinning, potential and kinetic, input and output. The end features one more adventurous show: two parallel tops, wound to perfection, released, become as animate birds, a swirling dive, a grand finale spinning down into silence.