Making a Bach fugue out of a Covid crisis

Making a Bach fugue out of a Covid crisis


norman lebrecht

May 08, 2020

This is an incredibly clever piece of fugue writing on the theme ‘COVID19’ by a Greek composer based in Amsterdam.

His name is Nicholas Papadimitriou.


  • Joel Lazar says:


  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    totally wonderful and inventive.

    LOVE IT!

  • Jerome Hoberman says:

    A beautiful fugue, but the blurb reminds me of Christoph von Dohnanyi’s quip that when he and the Cleveland Orchestra would play a great concert, George Szell would get the good review. This isn’t a “Bach fugue;” it’s a Papadimitriou fugue.

  • Ben G. says:

    This catchy fugue theme will surely go viral, even long after the pandemic.

  • Ben G. says:

    This catchy fugue theme will surely go viral, even long after the end of the pandemic.

  • Dragonetti says:

    Brilliant! I wish I’d payed more attention in harmony and counterpoint classes now.
    I did by the way, listen at 2metres distance from the speaker.

  • Arthur says:

    Well, there’s something no one needs or wants.

  • Marj says:

    Impressive! I love fugues and this is really great.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Ouch; starts with a fully diminished seventh chord and ends with the flat nine.

  • RW2013 says:

    Bravo, and thanks for ending in the major!
    I’m trying to imagine any of our many contemporary composers even being able to write a fugue…

  • John Borstlap says:

    It sounds like something Max Reger wrote after one of his drinking bouts.

  • Ainslie says:

    Wow!!!!! I was prepared for a clever parlour trick, and instead found myself awed by real music. That was impressive, to say the least.

  • engineers_unite says:

    We have lots of memories of “greek musicians”, like “rip-off Correntzis”.

    Now all you need to do to get famous is not to pretend to conduct, but pretend to compose for a fake epidemic supported by pseudo “scientists”, then post it online to get wall to wall applause!

    The results are in plain view for you to see.
    NON FAKE house arrest, and NON FAKE state sponsored violence.

    You get what you pay for, coming to a cinema near you.

    Of course none of you artists and musicians are interested in truth and justice are you?

    Isn’t that what art is supposed to do?

    Where is your voice to speak up for such people?

    I bet all you will do here is JEER, criticise me for showing it to you, and come out with high sounding platitudes.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Yes, it’s all very difficult isn’t it?

    • Ainslie says:

      You are truly a jerk. Go find a bridge to live under, like the proper troll you are.

    • christopher storey says:

      You’ve not been taking your pills again, have you ?

      • engineers_unite says:

        You were stupid enough not to watch the you tube links I sent.
        As for the “pills” I suggest you go and buy some for treating BRAINWASHING.

        We are living in Orwell’s dystopia.

        I will post it again.
        It is titled “Police Arrest Mother, Tear Screaming Child From Her Arms”

        This is the police state you are in full agreement with.
        I would say her majesty should be on TV with a few answers, not BS.

        LIKE IT and admit you are wrong?

        Bojo has invented the same rubbish.
        Confinement is over, now starts the rebellion

    • Dragonetti says:

      One of the great pleasures of Slipped Disc is the lively and sometimes even impassioned exchanges conducted without rancour, although sometimes we disagree profoundly. The absence of trolling and fanatics is refreshing. Could we keep it that way please?
      As a quick study course in musicians’ social and political awareness for you Mr/Ms Engineer could I suggest the following:
      Beethoven..Fidelio; Tchaikovsky… 6th Symphony; Berg…Wozzeck; Britten…War Requiem; Tippett…Child of Our Time.
      There will be many other examples. Now go away and have a listen and reconsider please.

      • John Borstlap says:

        Don’t worry – she is a suppressed feminist in a small Welsh village and has been locked-up by her husband who wants to obey the government instructions.

  • Rob says:

    Wow I thought covid was dull.

    • engineers_unite says:

      It is dull when people behave as sheep. (or so it appears 99% on here), when the UK and France introduce a POLICE STATE, lie to you, introduce it all within weeks then claim we cannot go back for months, years, or who cares what any more???

      Give Mr PLOD 1% more power and he will abuse it to the power of the other 99%.

      A former senior judge Jonathan Philip Chadwick Sumption, Lord Sumption, has said exactly the same.
      “Lord Sumption warned that police had no legal power to enforce “ministers’ wishes” and that the public should not be “resigning their liberty” to over-zealous citizens in uniform.”

      All I see on here is childish prattle confirming “THE GOVERNMENT MUST BE RIGHT” and every single criticism on here gets total sheeple style ‘thumbs down”.

      Artists and musicians are supposed to use their brains, whereas right now most here appear to have gone through something akin to Joseph Hassid.
      (An experimental front lobal lobotomy carried out by a quack, pretending to be a scientist resulting in death from sepsis).
      Indeed the cure was far worse than the illness.

      We don’t have death from Sepsis, we will have 1000s of deaths, none of them fictitious or computer modelled from SUICIDE, while 1000s have to go to food banks just to eat.

      Italy “a chamber of lies”!
      25000 deaths, now proven 96.3% had pre existing severe medical conditions. 65% died from other diseases.

      Work it out for yourself.

      All you have to lose is your mental chains!

      • John Borstlap says:

        My fly on the wall of the neighbours informs me that the police have been at the door 2 times because of screams which disturbed the quiet neighbourhood.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        “96.3% had pre existing severe medical conditions”

        Er…so what. Only a lunatic would deny that Covid-19 was a contributory factor. Of course it is difficult to understand the exact extent to which Covid-19 is causing deaths. But the UK has reported over 50,000 excess deaths during the last two months, with the clear implication they were “caused” by Covid-19 and would not have died otherwise.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    Another strange headline. Why making a ‘Bach Fugue’ rather than ‘Fugue’ ?

  • Rafael Enrique Irizarry says:

    I am surprised that no one has pointed out the resemblance between this subject and the TEMA of the Ricercare in Bach’s The Musical Offering. They are both in c minor and start with the same intervallic sequence. This unless I am mistaken (my apologies) or have fallen victim to a vacuous musical trope. Be well.

  • Rafael Enrique Irizarry says:

    If the resemblance is valid, then we are have probably encountered empirical evidence that art does imitate nature.

  • Julie says:


  • Anthony Wilkes says:

    There must be a cracking good row in there somewhere. Perhaps in the genetic code?

  • Natassa says:

    Wonderful fugue!

  • Anastasia says:

    Bravo! Clever theme, wonderful fugue!

  • AnthonyPJ says:

    Oh, now the organ version is also available:

  • Albert says:

    Fantastisch! complimenten aan de componist. Is de bladmuziek ook beschikbaar ?