Prelude & Fugue No.11

Johann Sebastian Bach

Prelude & Fugue No.11 in F major

BWV856 • “The Well-tempered Clavier Book 1: Prelude & Fugue No. 11”

About this work

The prelude could double as one of Bach's Two-Part Inventions, the two independent lines tending to cover the same musical terrain in rather different ways: one hand, initially the right, undulates through the melody, squirming with notes, while the other merely picks out the bare outline of the theme as accompaniment. The material switches hands several times, and sometimes both hands engage in a little trilling contest. The prelude's pecked-out accompaniment seems to inspire the first bar of the fugue's subject, which then breaks into more involved passagework. Although this is a very brief fugue, Bach lays out its little intricacies of form with great care.