About this work
The Short Preludes and Fugues (8), of which this A minor effort is No. 7, are generally thought to be the work of someone other than Bach. There are those who cling to the once-held belief that they are Bach's creations, however, pointing to certain typical compositional features while downplaying elements that appear at odds with the composer's style. Perhaps the most likely explanation concerning their inconsistencies is that Bach wrote only parts of them. This view might well explain thematic similarities between this A minor effort and the Prelude and Fugue (BWV) (also in A minor), dating to around 1716 and a piece whose Bach authorship is not challenged. That said, there are still thorny issues here: in the joyous Prelude section of this Short Prelude and Fugue No. 7, certain figurations divulge the influence of Pachelbel, a composer Bach showed deference to in some of his early works from around 1700-1708. At any rate, the Prelude is attractive and lively, if rather simply constructed. The Fugue, on the other hand, shows greater promise in its contrapuntal features and overall writing, but abruptly ends just when the listener is expecting further development of materials. Lasting about two-and-a-half minutes, this is a puzzling but worthwhile composition.