Prelude & Fugue No.14

Johann Sebastian Bach

Prelude & Fugue No.14 in F# minor

BWV859 • “The Well-tempered Clavier Book 1: Prelude & Fugue No. 14”

About this work

In this prelude, a steady, moderately fast jogging tune in the treble is followed at a close distance by similar material in the bass. The fugue has a radically different character: a slow, rising three-note figure creeps in, repeats with shorter note values after a pause, and gradually forms a more elaborate, stately theme. Bach makes excellent use of those rests in the principal subject, for when the theme enters in the second and third voices, the countersubject gets underway only at the beginning of the first rest, and the listener can discern the separate voices at play more readily than in some of Bach's busier, non-stop fugal subjects.