Prelude & Fugue No.5

Johann Sebastian Bach

Prelude & Fugue No.5 in D major

BWV850 • “The Well-tempered Clavier Book 1: Prelude & Fugue No. 5”

About this work

Here's one of Bach's brighter preludes, with a busy patter in the treble never pausing for breath; it's pricked from below by a tick-tock figure in the bass. Toward the end, the bass line joins the treble in a fuller partnership, but this quickly throws the music into a few bars of toccata-like spasms. One of those flourishes echoes in the fugal subject, a rumble followed by two dotted-note figures. This is the sort of thing that could be employed in a French overture, but Bach launches a short fugue with it, breaking the theme into its component parts during the section of free counterpoint rather than developing a full counter-theme.

Done