Prelude & Fugue No.5

Johann Sebastian Bach

Prelude & Fugue No.5 in D major

BWV874 • “The Well-tempered Clavier Book 2: Prelude & Fugue No. 5”

About this work

The long, rhythmically asymmetrical prelude simultaneously evokes the sonatas of Scarlatti and anticipates the galant style that was championed by Bach's sons and other composers of their generation. This impetuous piece makes an odd coupling for the four-voice fugue, which sounds very much like a solemn, old-fashioned motet. The measured subject enters in the order tenor, alto, soprano, and bass, with the last two entries pushing the fugue's action forward by overlapping in stretto.