Composer:   Ernst Toch
Arranger:   NA
Publisher:   Belwin Mills
Edition:   60618
Voicing:   SATB
Setting:   A Cappella


Harry A. Mechell
Winona State University 1992
R&R Chair College & University

The Geographical Fugue of Ernst Toch (1887-1964) is a composition for 4 part speaking chorus. This sprechstimme work, first performed in 1930, is a 3 1/2 minute fugal composition utilizing the various ranges and inflections of the voice, while completely being void of any written melody. The text is composed of world geographical locations, ranging from Trinidad, Mississippi and Titicaca to Popocatepetl, Canada and Yokohama. The intricate cross-rhythms, clever dynamic contrasts and the interaction amongst the voices are very appealing to singer and audience alike. The singers must have an advanced “feel” for rhythmic intricacies and nuances.