About this work
While this piece is of doubtful provenance, some Bach scholars -- a minority, however -- believe it may well have been written by him. It is part of the set of Short Preludes and Fugues (8), works whose inconsistent stylistic qualities call into question Bach's authorship. Yet the works may have served a role in the less artistically consequential world of keyboard teaching, and thus all or perhaps parts of the works may have been written by him. In any event, this Prelude and Fugue in E minor is not without considerable merit for the listener. Of the eight works in this "doubtful" set, this work features the longest and perhaps most impressive Fugue section. The Prelude is a bit somber in its moderate pacing, though its main theme has a stately, attractive manner. The Fugue begins in a subdued mood, but gradually works up tension in music whose mostly ascending trajectory and solidly conceived contrapuntal writing impart a majestic sense that is not quite fulfilled when the work reaches its rather abrupt ending. Lasting a bit over three minutes, this is one of the better Short Preludes and Fugues.