Short Prelude & Fugue No.8

Johann Sebastian Bach

Short Prelude & Fugue No.8 in Bb major


About this work

Although this work and the other seven comprising the Short Preludes and Fugues (8) were once thought to date to the early years of the eighteenth century, their time of composition is now, like their authorship, a matter of speculation. While Bach may have written these compositions, or parts of them, they may also have been the work of one or several Bach family members. In any event, this B flat major effort is a worthwhile piece, questions of authorship notwithstanding. The Prelude section opens busily, the music beaming its energy from the upper ranges. Soon a pedal solo gives the music a muscular, even gruff manner while exhibiting the influence of Buxtehude, some of whose stylistic elements can be found in many early Bach works, including several of the so-called Neumeister chorales. The Fugue is less driven in its confident regality and cheerful manner. Oddly, near the end, the fugal writing stops to prepare for a grandly triumphant close. Like most of the Preludes and Fugues in the set, this one -- which lasts nearly four minutes -- does not require an unusually strong technique from the performer and may have been written for keyboard students.