Prelude and Fugue in F major BWV 880 (The Well-Tempered Clavier, Part II)
This prelude contains neither motif nor rhythmic design worth mentioning. The 72 bars mainly consist of countless, gently ascending and descending second steps , which can be reduced to a four- to five-part homophonic movement. What is striking is the balanced division into several, mostly 16-bar parts, with a return to the tonic from bar 57, which is designed as a recapitulation .
In the formal rounding and extension, the prelude function is almost lost - in favor of a self-contained piece of classical beauty and balance. The following fugue, however, is sufficiently original to be able to establish a balance.
Although Hermann Keller considered this three-part fugue to be “none of the more important”, the theme with the progressive structure of 1 + 1 + 2 bars and the a-a'-b motif belongs to a type of theme that became typical of the Viennese classicism . Bach notates the theme in full measure with the beginning of a pause in order to allow the melodic climax in the fourth measure to fall on a heavy part of the measure.
After the first two thematic entries and the third entry in bar 14, there is another, surplus entry in bar 21. After that, until the topic begins in bar 52, only parts of the theme appear in the middle part that can be related to the beginning of the prelude. Bar 71/72 modulates to F minor, which is retained until bar 88 - probably one of the longest minor insertions in a major fugue. At the end of this there is a thematic entry that leads back from F minor to the final bar 99 to F major, with a noticeable diminished fourth from a 1 to 2 in bar 86/87. From bar 89 onwards, the bass theme is accompanied by 32nd figures in the right hand, which take up the motif from bar 45. - The originality of the fugue makes it very important.
- Peter Benary: JS Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier: Text - Analysis - Playback. MN 718, H. & B. Schneider AG. Aarau, 2005. p. 108
- in: The piano works of Bach , 1950
- Peter Benary: JS Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier: Text - Analysis - Playback. MN 718, H. & B. Schneider AG. Aarau, 2005. p. 109
- Peter Benary: JS Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier: Text - Analysis - Playback . MN 718, H. & B. Schneider AG. Aarau, 2005.
- Alfred Dürr : Johann Sebastian Bach - The Well-Tempered Clavier . Bärenreiter factory introductions. ISBN 9783761812297 . 4th edition 2012
- Cecil Gray: The forty-eight Preludes and Fugues of JS Bach . Oxford University Press, 1938.
- The Well-Tempered Clavier II, Johann Sebastian Bach : Sheet Music and Audio Files in the International Music Score Library Project
- Hermann Keller: BWV 880