BACH Johann Sebastian, Prelude & Fugue in E minor BWV900

This prelude and fugue forms part of a quintet of works in a succession of keys C-D-E-F-G. It is unknown whether Bach wrote them for teaching or as part of a larger project similar to The Well Tempered Clavier but there is no manuscript with possible answers. The two-part work starts with a prelude filled with fugue elements. In just eighteen bars, Bach manages to squeeze in three sections, each closing with a string of fast notes. The fugue itself is less complex than you might expect from Bach, which may explain the term ‘fughetta’ – as the diminutive does not apply to the length of the piece. The theme builds up tension with surprising pauses, which are later filled in spiritedly by the counter theme. In its final entrance, the main theme itself is also ornamented, as the introduction to a powerful ending.


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