Gianandrea Pauletta | J.S. Bach: Preludes and Fugues (Complete Works for Organ III)

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J.S. Bach: Preludes and Fugues (Complete Works for Organ III)

by Gianandrea Pauletta

In these Preludes and Fugues we find all the exuberance of the organ music of the young Bach. Registration made on the great organ "D.Kleuker" in Casale sul Sile (IT), with the acoustics clear and clean, without studio effects.
Genre: Classical: Bach
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 531
6:03 $2.00
2. Prelude and Fugue in D Major, BWV 532
10:23 $2.00
3. Prelude and Fugue in E Minor, BWV 533
4:05 $2.00
4. Prelude and Fugue in F Minor, BWV 534
6:51 $2.00
5. Prelude and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 535
6:39 $2.00
6. Prelude and Fugue in A Major, BWV 536
5:07 $2.00
7. Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 537
6:52 $2.00
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
An early work that almost certainly predates the composer's move to Weimar in 1708, J.S. Bach's Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 531 is music of the most exuberant type. The propulsive opening thought of the Prelude, a kind of rapid-note alternation in the pedals that rise by way of arpeggiation, has an aspect of joyous, celebratory brass fanfare to it. The Fugue's subject, though technically built from a different interval pattern, is right from the same page, gesture and rhythm-wise, as that first thought of the Prelude (it is also, one might add, a very peculiar fugue subject). When, before they have even had a chance at the subject, the pedals interrupt the Fugue's contrapuntal texture with a measure of bursting-at-the-seams broken octaves (to which the upper voices respond with six-voice chords --there is no strict maintenance of the four-voice texture here), it is a magical moment in the organ repertory. As he so often does, Bach finishes this organ fugue with a brief quasi-cadenza, the likes of which has already been heard at the end of the Prelude as a sort of bridge to the Fugue.
Like most of Bach's organ compositions, the Prelude and Fugue BWV 532 was written during his tenure in Weimar between 1709 and 1717. The composer was residing in Weimar after being hired by the ruling duke of Weimar, Wilhelm Ernst, in 1709 as an organist and member of the court orchestra; he was particularly encouraged to make use of his unique talents with the organ by the duke. In fact, his fame on the instrument grew and he was visited by many students of the organ to hear him play and to learn from his technique. The Prelude and Fugue in D major was probably composed in 1710, although this is not certain. However, it was definitely written before Bach codified the clear two-section prelude and fugue in the form of what is used in the The Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 846–893, which was composed in 1722. This is because BWV 532 features a lengthy, complex, self-contained fugue preceded by a multisectional prelude.
The Prelude and Fugue BWV 533 was likely written during the first few years that Bach spent in Arnstadt, the city where he served as organist at the Neue Kirche from 1703-1707. It probably preceded Bach's study of Buxtehude's works (begun in 1705), which would have a profound influence on his keyboard compositions.
The Prelude and Fugue for organ in F minor, BWV 534 was written in Weimar around 1717. The Prelude of BWV 534 follows a form found in many such preludes: an opening paragraph of music finds its way to the dominant key (in this case C, or really C minor); the paragraph is repeated in that new key (freshly developed, however), and finds its way to a cadenza-like passage which thrusts towards the final cadence. The Fugue boasts one of the most splendid fugues in all of Bach's organ catalog. A dense and intricate piece of polyphony, of flash-and-dazzle virtuosic episodes like those found in so many of his earlier organ fugues.
Of the Prelude and Fugue bwv 353, there are two copies. The first dates back to around 1708, the second, in the Weimar period, more than ten years later. The first version of the composition was not completed and there are substantial differences between the two copies.
The Prelude of BWV 535 is a florid, flexible 43-measure mock-improvisatory essay, a series of seamless and propulsive arpeggio figurations separated from one another by brilliant scales and rounded off at the end by a paragraph of thick imitative polyphony. The Fugue has a theme with a violin character. It is also distinctly melodic and rhythmic, as if trying to imitate the different shots of bow of the violinist. With this idea, the flight develops linear, naturally, with a slow growing polyphonic up to reaching the final cadence.
The Prelude and Fugue BWV 536 is a composition by Bach relatively little played in public. Nevertheless, it is an authentic jewel of delicacy and lightness. The Prelude opens with an arpeggiated figure that recalls Buxtehude's Praeludium in D major, BuxWV 139. This motive forms the backbone of the piece, reappearing most noticeably at the end. In between this framework, several dance-like motives are developed, and some wonderful effects are created by the dialogues between the four voices.
The Fugue, with its eight-measure ostinato subject, the rocking motion of the countersubject and the accompanying eigth-note figurations in the other voices, has a smooth, triple-time dance feel. This effect is heightened by the numerous stretti which occur throughout the section. After the final entrance of the subject in the pedal, a syncopated figure in the soprano carries the motion forward to the final, picardy third chord.
Fantasia and Fugue bwv 537 were written by Bach between 1708 and 1717, while he was in Weimar at the ducal court. Fantasia is in 6/4 meter and falls into two unequal halves, each of which takes up the same two basic musical ideas, a dotted-rhythm tune, in imitation, and then, a little later (also in imitation, initiated by the pedals), a leaping eighth-note idea. The fugue's steady subject insists, four times in a row, on the pitch G (or C in the tonal answer form) and is thus easily recognized each time it appears during the 130 contrapuntal bars



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