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Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV536

composer

 
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

Recordings

Bach: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 6
SIGCD806Download only 1 December 2017 Release
Bach: Great Fantasias, Preludes & Fugues
CDD220622CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Last few CD copies remaining
Bach: Piano Transcriptions, Vol. 8 - Eugen d'Albert
CDA67709
Bach: The Complete Organ Works
CDS44121/3616CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted

Details

Movement 1: Prelude
Track 27 on SIGCD806 [2'03] Download only 1 December 2017 Release
arranger

Track 8 on CDA67709 [1'44]
Track 12 on CDD22062 CD2 [1'49] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Last few CD copies remaining
Track 12 on CDS44121/36 CD3 [1'49] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted
Movement 2: Fugue
Track 28 on SIGCD806 [5'16] Download only 1 December 2017 Release
arranger

Track 9 on CDA67709 [3'54]
Track 13 on CDD22062 CD2 [4'30] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Last few CD copies remaining
Track 13 on CDS44121/36 CD3 [4'30] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted

Track-specific metadata for CDD22062 disc 2 track 13

Movement 2: Fugue
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-93-79213
Duration
4'30
Recording date
24 April 1993
Recording venue
Jesuitenkirche, Lucerne, Switzerland
Recording producer
Paul Spicer
Recording engineer
Paul Niederberger
Hyperion usage
  1. Bach: The Great Fantasias, Preludes & Fugues (CDA66791/2)
    Disc 2 Track 13
    Release date: October 1993
    Deletion date: February 2006
    2CDs Superseded by CDD22062
  2. Bach: Great Fantasias, Preludes & Fugues (CDD22062)
    Disc 2 Track 13
    Release date: November 2006
    2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Last few CD copies remaining
  3. Bach: The Complete Organ Works (CDS44121/36)
    Disc 3 Track 13
    Release date: October 2002
    Deletion date: March 2009
    16CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Deleted
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