Prelude & Fugue No.3

Johann Sebastian Bach

Prelude & Fugue No.3 in C# major

BWV872 • “The Well-tempered Clavier Book 2: Prelude & Fugue No. 3”

About this work

Here is one of Bach's odder preludes; it begins with flowing lyricism, rather like a prelude from one of his lute suites, but its final 20 seconds or so lurch into a quick, midget French overture fugue. The "real" fugue then arrives, its three voices entering in quick succession -- bass, soprano, alto -- with the third entry inverted. Bach mines the fugue with brief little trills to explode under the player's fingers, and the last bars have the rush and showmanship of a toccata.