In the great Praeludium in E minor, BuxWV142, the introduction, which develops the single line of notes heard at the outset, is more consistent in texture and less improvisatory than Buxtehude’s free sections tend to be. Finely wrought, too, is the first fugue, whose subject lends itself admirably not only to the use of alternate feet on the pedalboard but also to stretto. It leads without the interpolation of free material to the magnificent second fugue, in which another well-shaped subject (a drop of a fifth, a rise of an octave, and a chromatic descent) is given a lengthy treatment which includes the introduction of an all-quaver countersubject and the use of inversion and other learned devices. There is then a free passage leading to the exhilarating ‘jig’ fugue with which the work concludes—and which anticipates the jig fugue attributed to J S Bach (BWV577).
from notes by Relf Clark © 2011