We Wish You a Merry Christmas, in the style of a Bach fugue

19 December 2017, 12:30

A classic English Christmas carol meets the master of Baroque, and it’s just as catchy as you’d hope.

Jonathan Mui is an Australian violinist and self-taught composer who can also write a cracking fugue.

‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ is probably one of the jolliest carols out there – and if you’re familiar with the popular SATB version, you’ll know that it also sounds great with that lovely polyphonic texture.

Jonathan’s creation is a fugue for solo piano, written in the style of J.S. Bach. Sure, you can hear some similarities with The Well-Tempered Clavier, but the festive melody is constant throughout – and it feels strangely reassuring as it pops up again in each imitative entry.

The name of the fugue? ‘Now bring us some fuguey pudding’. 

Gold star for you, Jonathan. Find more of his work on YouTube, and download the score to his arrangement here.

If you’re in the mood for another fugue, here’s what Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ would’ve sounded like if it was composed in the 18th century: