Fugue à la gigue

Johann Sebastian Bach

Fugue à la gigue in G major

BWV577 • “Jig”

About this work

Unique among Bach's works -- assuming it is by Bach -- this is a fugue in jig-time, the sort of thing one finds in Buxtehude and Pachelbel, but at a lower skill level. It begins, innocently enough, with a cheerful tune in dotted Gigue rhythm, but quickly proves to be a treacherous test of virtuosity with its rapid, four-voice writing and its especially difficult pedal part. The fugue works well if played in a low-key manner, but some performers feel that if they're going to take the trouble to master this three-minute piece, they should impress the audience with its difficulty, so with a combination of showy registration choices and fast tempo, this can also be used as a barn-burner.