Hyperion Records

Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV894

'Bach: Angela Hewitt plays Bach' (CDS44421/35)
Bach: Angela Hewitt plays Bach
Buy by post £50.00 CDS44421/35  15CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Bach: The French Suites' (CDA67121/2)
Bach: The French Suites
Buy by post £20.00 CDA67121/2  2CDs  
Movement 1: Prelude
Track 37 on CDA67121/2 CD2 [5'28] 2CDs
Track 37 on CDS44421/35 CD5 [5'28] 15CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 2: Fugue
Track 38 on CDA67121/2 CD2 [4'09] 2CDs
Track 38 on CDS44421/35 CD5 [4'09] 15CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV894
Both the Sonata in D minor, BWV964, and the Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV894, are virtuoso pieces, intended to show off the ability of the performer. They are consequently very effective in recital. Both exist in versions for other instruments, the sonata being Bach’s own transcription of his solo Violin Sonata in A minor, BWV1003, and the prelude and fugue appearing recycled as the outer movements of the Triple Concerto for flute, violin, solo harpsichord and strings, BWV1044.

Bach’s creative genius flourished during his time as court organist (and later Konzertmeister) to Duke Wilhelm Ernst in Weimar (1708–1717). There he not only composed most of the great organ works, but also transcribed twenty-one concertos (most of them by Vivaldi) for organ and harpsichord. Influences of both these genres can be heard in the A minor prelude and fugue, composed towards the end of his tenure. The prelude, with its opening motive in the right hand immediately repeated by the left, is in concerto style, alternating between tutti and solo passages. Triplets give it constant direction, interrupted only by cadenza-like passages, the last one reminding us of the D minor harpsichord concerto. The gigue fugue is in perpetual motion, never once letting up. The fact that Bach again uses triplets to propel it forward can, if one is not careful, provide for little contrast with the prelude. It is perhaps best to emphasize the difference in time signatures (4/4 for the prelude, 12/16 for the fugue). Would Bach have been able to improvise such a fugue on the spot? I think it most probable, for at that he was unbeatable!

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 1995

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Details for CDA67121/2 disc 2 track 37
Recording date
30 August 1995
Recording venue
Beethovensaal, Hannover, Germany
Recording producer
Otto Ernst Wohlert
Recording engineer
Ludger Böckenhoff
Hyperion usage
  1. Bach: The French Suites (CDA67121/2)
    Disc 2 Track 37
    Release date: November 1995
  2. Bach: Angela Hewitt plays Bach (CDS44421/35)
    Disc 5 Track 37
    Release date: September 2010
    15CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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