Free Piano Scores. Bach, Johann Sebastian · Bartok, Bela · Beethoven Weber , Carl Maria von. Bach: Prelude and Fugue No.3 C# major, BWV JS Bach, The Well-tempered Clavier Book 1, detailed comments to P/F C# JS Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier Book I: Prelude and Fugue C# major, BWV Performed by Kimiko Ishizaka and accompanied by Stephen Malinowski’s Music Animation Machine score, enjoy the prelude in C-sharp major from the first.
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Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp major, BWV 848
Introduction Performance Aspects General approach to performance Which score to use? Which keyboard to use?
Analysis Style, tempo and articulation Fingering Notable performances Literature and online ressources A note on practicing. Whilst JS Bach could have used the Db major key for the pair, which would result in having to deal with 5b instead of 7the score requires us to think one semitone higher than C major. This is actually quite a healthy exercise, and it is not difficult to understand what is going once the many accidentals have been decoded.
Here is an overview of the sections of the prelude: As we can see, the piece starts with 4×8 bars in a symmetric sequence of what can be called the thematic phrase of the prelude.
Bach: Prelude and Fugue No.3 in C# major, BWV Analysis
From a harmonic perspective, there is nothing magic about what happens in this section: Playing the piece, one can almost feel that there is “something missing” when we reach the thematic material again in bars 47f. In my view, that is what makes the music even more interesting and, if I may say so, “restless”as complete symmetry by installing 4×8-sections throughout the piece might be a bit boring.
After the syncopated section, the thematic material of the beginning is repeated this time 2x 8 bars, in F maj and then back to C majand further on the prelude enters a quite merry finale, with arpeggiated chords and some lines that move us quickly forward to the coda bars Barsthe syncopated section, are quite active in terms of modulationwhich can be a little confusing in the first place, given the bvw accidentals.
Here is an enharmonic simplification and the equivalent of the modulations in C major: With this chart, things fall into place easily. Bahc 7 and E min in bars 32 and 33, are of course equivalent to C7 and Fmin seen from a Db major perspectiveso the double sharps actually translate into notes without accidentals in simple major keys. About phrasing and articulation: One might see the syncopated section of bars in the form of hemiolas, meaning that they form 3×2 instead of 2×3.
However, the 16th notes and their phrasing stay in 2×3 mode, and Bvw believe they form the basis of the rhythmic pattern of the syncopated section.
One might therefore say, the 8th notes can be played as hemiolas, and the 16th notes form the underlying and defining 2×3 rhythm which, together, creates the syncopated effect. Another aspect that is worth mentioning in this context: Be aware of bars Many interpretations of this short section are quite unclear and the listener looses the rhythmic context of what is played.
In order to achieve proper flow, one has to master the technical challenges entirely.
WTC I Detailed comments to P/F C# major BWV – J.S. Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier
The prelude is in fact, once deciphered, not that difficult to play. The key to play nwv prelude fluently are well worked out fingerings that are trained and maintained over a longer period so that they become natural to the player. As this is a two-voice movement, it is not so difficult to find those though.
I particularly enjoy Ashkenazy’s, Gould’s, Gulda’s and Richter’s version. Barenboim plays it with beautiful tone – nice.
Stadtfeld plays the prelude almost like an etude, 84 inner energy – not so convincing. Hewitt transforms the prelude into a Chopin-nocturne, and Schiff in both versions plays it also with a quite sensitive attitude. Well Tempered Clavier Book I: Fugue Bsv major This fugue is a wonderful piece of music, in my view the most positive and joyful of the fugues of Book I. The bwf of the fugue is a lucid and bouncy line, moving from tonic to dominant and back.
It interacts with 2 countersubjects that are skillfully woven into the subject bzch. In the example below, the subject is in the middle voice, and the two countersubjects in soprano and bass: The episode is very playful, with ringing trills and virtuoso bass figurations around an organ pedal.
The fugue is of course a fugue, with exposition, development, some episodes and a coda. Here is a simplified structural map of what happens in the fugue: After a short development section D 2which introduces to further 2 subject entries, the fugue deviates from its so far quite strict form and leads into the 11 bar long Episode 5, which contains the above mentioned solo-style components.
After Vwv 5, starting in bar 41, the exposition section is repeated almost to the letter, of course with some counterpoint that accompanies the first subject entry, and the fugue ends with a coda with introducing subject entry in Soprano.
And so it should be played – energetic and “having fun”, willfully taking on the 8848 and also the possibilities that this at least in the context of the Well-tempered Clavier rather unusual combination presents.
In order to achieve this momentum, an interpreter must of course have fully mastered the Fugue technicallyand clearly there are some some passages that can create a “bad hair day” when practicing. A typical fingering issue that the fugue poses is the following passage, which needs to be played with a fully relaxed right hand: Stadtfeld is a good example how “technically flawless” does not necessarily mean good, as his recording misses this radiant joy that the interpretation should represent.
Similar to the prelude, Schiff plays this one rather reluctantly and without proper groove.
Very slow and indeed not satisfying Leonhard. Hantai’s virtuoso and beautiful embellishments, which are especially suitable for this fugue. Note Gould versus Leonhard 65! Of course, higher tempo does not necessarily mean better, but looking at the character of the fugue and the cheerful flow that it should present, Leonhard’s tempo seems simply too slow.