Prelude & Fugue No.21

Johann Sebastian Bach

Prelude & Fugue No.21 in Bb major

BWV866 • “The Well-tempered Clavier Book 1: Prelude & Fugue No. 21”

About this work

This pair of pieces begins with a nimble toccata, full of cadenza-like passages interrupted by typically portentous chords. For once, this is a prelude that couldn't be dropped among Bach's two-part inventions or three-part sinfonias. The three-voice fugue, on the other hand, is unremarkable except for its jaunty character, with the relatively long subject (for so compact a fugue) arriving in top-to-bottom voicings.