The Toccata in G major, BWV916 is different from the others Toccatas in that it is clearly in three movements. The opening allegro is somewhat concerto-like in its use of solo and ritornello passages. Scales, broken chords, and cascading solid chords are used to make a brilliant opener. The second movement is a lyrical adagio in E minor where a fair amount of embellishment seems to be called for. The Bärenreiter edition gives no fewer than three different versions – including one by Bach’s son Johann Christoph. The final fugue (marked ‘Allegro e presto’) is a gigue in the French style, using the characteristic dotted rhythm. Like many of Bach’s early fugues, this one has some passages that are awkward to play, yet it certainly doesn’t lack charm. At the end the texture unravels very quickly, leaving us surprised at the finish.
from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2002