The Toccata in D major, BWV912 is no doubt the most popular today. The brilliant opening bars, reminiscent of the Prelude and Fugue, BWV532 for organ in the same key, already contain a tremolo figure that will reappear later on. Then comes an allegro that happily exchanges the motifs between treble and bass. After its final flourish, Bach introduces an adagio in recitative style – the melody being interrupted by the tremolo figure, now heard as a distant murmur rather than a brilliant rattle. An expressive bridge, using the ‘sigh’ motif, leads us into a fairly tranquil fugue in F sharp minor. Another transition, this time marked ‘con discrezione’, suddenly turns into a presto in which the excitement can hardly be contained. It then breaks loose into a gigue fugue of tremendous energy and rhythm. Then Bach goes one step further and writes a truly virtuoso passage to finish with – or at least almost, as he returns to the improvised adagio style for the final cadence.
from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2002