Bwv 541

BWV 541 J.S. Bach Prelude And Fugue In G Major Organ Recording

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BWV 541 : Recording

BWV 541 : A Summary

Apprentice to Master: Disk 1 – Track 7 : J.S. Bach Prelude and Fugue in G Major BWV 541, by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), one of the most renowned composers of the Baroque period.

Bach composed BWV 541 c. 1712 during his tenure as organist in Weimar. The Prelude opens with a rising G major arpeggio, setting the major tonality of the piece. Rapid semiquaver passages are punctuated by repeated chords demarcating the various harmonic changes. The Fugue begins with a 3 ½ bar quaver-based subject in the manuals, next heard in the lower manuals, then in the pedals. The countersubject which follows each subject is semiquaver-based and contrasts with the slower quaver rhythm of the overlayed subject. The subject and countersubjects are developed and embellished throughout, undergoing continual harmonic change. A sustained G in the upper manuals signals the return to the home key as the Fugue draws to a close.


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