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The Prelude is unstoppably quick. This is what really good counterpoint is all about. The prelude is a seriously massive three-section piece with lots of combining of themes.
The Fugue is light hearted but has lovely episodes and interesting modulations, and one very extended phrase half-way through. I often wish I had composed this piece myself. Menacing, discordant. Quote from: johnnypiano on February 01, , PM. At first, I belive the preludes and fugues should be considered solely as pairs, unparted, for regarding a specific prelude means regarding its companioning fugue, and vice-versa.
The h moll or b minor of book I is, in my opinion, unequally complex in content and scale, showing full development of a chromatic subject of the fugue and of many sequences appearing in both the prlude and the fugue. The prelude, written in trio sonata form, contains a "walking bass" and a two-part invention in the upper voices. The fugue, quite revolutionary for his time, with its subject containing all 12 tones of the chromatic scale , and contrasubject which develops throughout the different expositions just like a schoenberg theme.
In my opinion, each and every work from the WTC is equally wondrous. These are also all relevant points when we discuss the style and character of music. Some pieces are definitely suited to organ, such as fugues no. But it must have been the 'clavier' instrument to which Bach had regular access at home, as we are informed by the recollection of H. Gerber discussed below. When the WTC I was to be performed in its entirety on a single instrument, there would have been nothing better than to choose a harpsichord which is equipped with several stops.
There were some arguments in the past with regard to the limited pitch range of C to c''' used in this collection. The traditional view that Bach intended the work to be performed on his clavichord with the keyboard compass of four octaves seems a little too confined. It is more logical to suppose that Bach considered the limitation to suit the needs of an unspecified number of prospective learners and performers.
For him, a wider dissemination of the work must also have been an important consideration. The year '' inscribed in the title-page was a crucial turning point in Bach's entire career. In that year, Prince Leopold, his employer, married a Princess who was known for her ignorance in music.
The WTC I was completed during this period. Through recent studies of the surviving manuscript sources, the most notable of which are those by A. Jones, it has emerged that the work was compiled over many years and that Bach seemed to have gathered some pieces which he had written previously, revising them repeatedly and improving them constantly for perfection. Examining the structural development of the work, it appears that the system of the WTC — namely a prelude-fugue pair, starting from C major and ascending on chromatic scale until reaching B minor while maintaining the alternation between the major and minor keys — was gradually formed.
Furthermore, the manuscript sources that can be considered to have stemmed from an early autographic score which is lost attest numerous textual variants in the early shape of the text.
The fact that these observations coincide with equivalent information contained in the other contemporary works by Bach gives much credibility to the integrity of such information, which in turn, becomes valuable chronological evidence. Further back along this line of the enquiries lies J.
Fischer's idea which is discussed below. Characteristics apparent in some of the fugue subjects used by Fischer are also evident in the WTC. This leaves little doubt that Fischer was the model of inspiration for Bach. All the fugues are entitled 'fughetta' meaning 'little fugue' , though the pieces themselves do not show signs of major revisions except nos. Thus we can confirm a definite chronological lapse between these stages.
The manuscript copied during a period from the end of into by one of Bach's pupils known to Bach scholars as Anon. Here we find all the 24 prelude-fugue pairs arranged on the chromatic scale.
It, however, shows a trace of the diatonic scale arrangement seen in a 2 in the form of the interchange between major and minor keys i. This manuscript was later updated to the version of the autographic fair copy, but nonetheless the initial readings are still legible. Yet, when we look at the overall history of the revisions, we notice an interesting fact: while the fugues were virtually untouched, the preludes were extended considerably in length.
In completing the collection, one of the most challenging tasks for Bach must have been the composing of the pieces in those keys which he very rarely used, even in modulated passages. In fact there is no evidence that Bach had ever written pieces in the keys which have more than 4 flats or sharps in the key-signature, prior to the WTC I.
It is fascinating to find, therefore, that some manuscript sources contain evidence of transposition being carried out from simpler keys: no. In addition, the notation of key-signatures contains some degree of chronological information: Bach often used modal key-signatures with one sharp or flat fewer than our modern form for his early versions.
Time-signatures are another notational element which determines the character of the pieces: they also went through gradual refinement in character, for some evidence can be identified in the time-signature of preludes no. Thus draft manuscript was completed by , and there followed the autographic fair copy intended to be the final, definitive version.
Although the manuscript exhibits frequent emendations as a result of his continual usage for over 20 years, Bach's beautiful calligraphy points to his sparkling confidence. It speaks to us of his great affection for this project and his aim of bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion. You have exceeded the maximum number of MP3 items in your MP3 cart. Please click here to manage your MP3 cart content. February 24, Listen Now. Go Unlimited Start your day free trial. Add to MP3 Cart.
Add gift card or promotion code. Add to Wish List. Your Amazon Music account is currently associated with a different marketplace. Sample this song.The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, BWV Prelude and Fugue in G-Sharp Minor, BWV (Excerpt, Prelude) February 24,