Fugue No 6
in C minor is solemn rather than desperate, perhaps even prophetic of the tragic darkness C minor acquired in the nineteenth-century symphonies of Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler. This is a tonal rather than real fugue since its subject, wriggling around the fifth, answers a semitone with a minor third. Despite a luscious passage of sequential seventh chords, the rigorously logical movement preserves human dignity and rationality in the face of fickle fortune.
from notes by Wilfrid Mellers © 1995