BWV 896

All of Bach: a project by the Netherlands Bach Society

Prelude and fugue in A major

BWV 896 performed by Christian Rieger
at home in Cologne, Germany

"With 12 bars this Prelude is not one bar too long."

Simple and perfect

Contrapuntal mastery as a trademark.

According to the German harpsichordist Christian Rieger, this early keyboard work, probably written when Bach was sixteen, is perfect in its simplicity. The Prelude, in particular, has an almost naive beauty. The little recapitulation at the end is distinctive, as the final cadence is played twice, lending a resigned character to the whole.
The Fugue has also survived separately, and it is uncertain whether these two pieces were actually conceived as a whole by Bach. In any case, the Fugue is more ambitious in structure than the Prelude. Bach barely leaves the key of A major, thereby placing the emphasis on the distinctive theme. Here, Bach exhausts all the possibilities and then continues for a while at the point where other composers would probably have finished off. Even at an early age, he was making contrapuntal mastery his trademark.


Prelude and fugue in A major

keyboard work

ca. 1700-1710

Cast & Crew

Release date 22 February 2019
Recording date 20 April 2017
Location Cologne, Germany
Harpsichordist Christian Rieger
Harpsichord David Sutherland (Michigan 1990) after Christian Zell (Hamburg 1728)
Director Jan Van den Bossche, Hanna Schreuders
Music recording, edit and mix Guido Tichelman
Camera and interview Gijs Besseling
Edditing Augustine Huijsser
Producer Jessie Verbrugh

Vocal Texts




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