Short Prelude & Fugue No.6

Johann Sebastian Bach

Short Prelude & Fugue No.6 in G minor


About this work

This G minor work is generally classed as No. 6 in the set of Short Preludes and Fugues (8), a collection of largely simple organ works that were once attributed to Bach, but now rest in limbo. The consensus today among musicologists is that Bach was not their author, though that opinion has more than a few prominent dissenters. They typically assert the works may be early Bach compositions or possibly ones written later on for his keyboard students. Whatever the case, this G minor work is one of the more interesting items in the set, especially in its brilliantly crafted Fugue section. The ternary-form Prelude opens dramatically with powerful dark chords under which a rhythmic, contrapuntal figure emerges and gradually grows more prominent, but without overshadowing the main line. The middle panel of the Prelude features some interesting though brief development of the motivic material from the opening. As suggested above, the Fugue is quite impressive, from its lively, stately thematic character to its deft contrapuntal and harmonic workings. On the whole, this three-and-a-half minute effort is one of the better pieces from the Short Preludes and Fugues (8).