The Prelude and Fugue
has the interesting distinction of having been played and recorded by none other than Keith Emerson, of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, on the album Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends
. The swinging arpeggio patterns of the prelude pave the way for a highly syncopated fugue subject, developed at a frenetic pace and keeping the performer busy disentangling some rather gnarly four-part writing. At the point of highest excitement, just before the coda, the score breaks off, and Gulda calls on the pianist to improvise the rest of the piece. This is probably the main reason why this tremendously exciting and beguiling work, though several decades old, has not so far entered the repertoire.
from notes by Marc-André Hamelin © 2008