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Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV536


It seems that the Prelude and Fugue of BWV536 were conceived together, and though some confusion has arisen over an additional version (BWV536a), it seems plausible that BWV536 is an earlier work by Bach. Broken arpeggios up and down the keyboards introduce this charming little prelude. Though in the North German style of Buxtehude (the opening arpeggios are reminiscent of those at the start of Buxtehude’s D major Prelude, BuxWV139), it has harmonic and melodic touches that are all Bach. The arpeggiated opening leads into a transition marked by pedal points—long held pedal notes above which the harmony and virtuosic manual writing unfold. The rest of the Prelude develops the arpeggiated figures with chains of beautifully-wrought suspensions.

A slow descending subject in three-time opens the fugue. It is suggested that subject bears a resemblance to the sinfonia of Cantata 152 (1714); but the key of the Cantata is G minor, so the resemblance is slight. The fugue is set in the form of a melodious triple-time dance—a minuet, or forlana—which unfolds spaciously through several episodes that direct the music toward a wonderfully inventive final section, full of ingenious contrapuntal intricacy and suspensions. A final pedal solo—a descending arpeggio figure, derived from material heard previously in the fugue though perhaps also consciously invoking the start of the Prelude—brings the fugue to a close.

from notes by George Parsons © 2017

Le prélude Buxtehudien est gracieux plutôt que catégorique, alors que la fugue de danse, avec ses accents peu communs et ses suspensions, a une légèreté presque féminine que rehausse une tessiture de pédale exceptionnellement haute.

extrait des notes rédigées par Robin Langley © 1993
Français: Alain Midoux

Das Präludium im Stil Buxtehudes gibt sich eher anmutig als forsch, während die Tanzfuge mit ihren ungewöhnlichen Akzenten und Vorhalten eine geradezu feminine Leichtigkeit hat, verstärkt durch eine auffällig hoch angesetzte Pedalstimme.

aus dem Begleittext von Robin Langley © 1993
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller


Bach: Great Fantasias, Preludes & Fugues
CDD220622CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service
Bach: Piano Transcriptions, Vol. 8 - Eugen d'Albert
Bach: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 6
Studio Master: SIGCD806Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Bach: The Complete Organ Works
CDS44121/3616CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted


Movement 1: Prelude

Track 8 on CDA67709 [1'44]
Track 12 on CDD22062 CD2 [1'49] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service
Track 27 on SIGCD806 [2'03] Download only
Track 12 on CDS44121/36 CD3 [1'49] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted
Movement 2: Fugue

Track 9 on CDA67709 [3'54]
Track 13 on CDD22062 CD2 [4'30] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service
Track 28 on SIGCD806 [5'16] Download only
Track 13 on CDS44121/36 CD3 [4'30] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted

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