Prelude & Fugue No.4

Johann Sebastian Bach

Prelude & Fugue No.4 in C# minor

BWV873 • “The Well-tempered Clavier Book 2: Prelude & Fugue No. 4”

About this work

The slow, ruminative prelude, in a fantasie style that would fit comfortably among Bach's lute suites, weaves three voices together despite frequent, aching hesitations in one or another of the melodic lines. The fugue brings significant contrast, picking up the pace with a gigue-like main subject that enters first in the bass, then the soprano and alto. At about the piece's midpoint, a slightly slower countersubject arrives without impeding the fugue's momentum.