BWV 575

All of Bach: a project by the Netherlands Bach Society

Fugue in C minor

BWV 575 performed by Erwin Wiersinga
Stiftskirche St. Georg, Goslar-Grauhof

"It's simply a capricious, crazy piece."

Hot-headed extravagances

Over-enthusiastic and restless – a typical work by the young Bach.

A remarkable theme, restless passage work and unambiguous in mood, yet with a striking ending – this must surely be one of Bach’s early works. In addition, the absence of an autograph (the earliest copies date back to Bach’s time in Leipzig) can also be viewed as extra evidence, as Bach often appears to have an aversion to his over-enthusiastic early work. With hindsight, he was probably rather embarrassed about his hot-headed extravagances and did not want to keep them for posterity. The term ‘flamboyant style’, used by his biographer Forkel to describe this type of organ work, shows that his contemporaries did not necessarily appreciate his adolescent work either.

Fortunately however, not all his colleagues were of the same opinion. Like his famous Toccata and fugue in D minor, BWV 565, this fugue was also copied assiduously. Incidentally, there are other similarities between the two works. Take, for instance, the theme that comes straight to the point and always ends with a mysterious, breathtaking rest, or that free, toccata-like atmosphere, shaped by a multitude of rushing semiquavers. Not to mention the surprising, deeply thundering intervention of the pedal at the end. Bach needed not one but three cadences to silence himself at the end. Point noted.


Fugue in C minor

organ work


Arnstadt, Mühlhausen of Weimar?

Special notes
No autograph is known. Copies of this work date back to Leipzig at the earliest.

Cast & Crew

release date 27 May 2016
recording date 24 August 2015
LOCATION Stiftskirche St. Georg, Goslar-Grauhof
ORGANIST Erwin Wiersinga
organ Christoph Treutmann, 1731
FILM DIRECTOR and editor Onno van Ameijde
Camera Maarten van Rossem, Onno van Ameijde
interview Onno van Ameijde
Producer Jessie Verbrugh

Vocal Texts




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