In the Praeludium in F major, BuxWV145, Buxtehude foreshadows the two-movement ‘prelude and fugue’ form associated with J S Bach, for instead of the usual alternation of free and strict passages, there are just two sections, one free, the other strict. Although it has much of the character of Buxtehude’s other improvisatory passages, the first section is more consistent in terms of texture. The second is based entirely upon one subject, which is among Buxtehude’s longest and most unusual. It begins with three statements of a kind of written-out ornament: these and the rests between them give rise to one of the composer’s sunniest efforts and in particular to dialogues between manuals and pedals which call to mind J S Bach’s D major organ fugue.
from notes by Relf Clark © 2011