The first version of what Liszt later called Fantasie und Fuge über das Thema B-A-C-H
but originally entitled Präludium und Fuge über das Motiv B-a-c-h
(touchingly writing in Bach’s name wherever the musical motif is encountered) remained unpublished until the excellent Neue Liszt-Ausgabe
issued it in 1983. This version is a piano transcription of the first version for organ, completed in 1856. The piano version probably dates from around the same time. Liszt made the second piano version using a copy of the first as a starting point, and finally made the second organ version from the second piano version! All the versions follow more or less the same structural arrangement, but differ in a myriad of details which make for fascinating comparisons. Only the fugal exposition is exactly the same.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1998