Dietrich Buxtehude

Prelude in G Minor

BuxWV 149

About this work

This praeludium in G minor is one of Buxtehude's better-known and frequently played organ works. It is in five sections: three non-fugal sections and two fugues. Buxtehude opens this particular praeludium with a bass ostinato section rather than the typical free toccata passage. The ostinato Buxtehude employs is rather curious because it features a rest on the first down beat precisely when a strong accent would be expected creating a gaping hiccup with each repetition of the ostinato. The gap in the ostinato is all the more notable when played on an aggressive pedal division favored by the North German Baroque. The other two free sections are toccata-like episodes typical in a Buxtehude praeludium. The last free section grows organically out of the last fugue and ends with surprise. The two fugues are vaguely related to each other thematically as is often the case in Buxtehude's praeludia.