Prelude & Fugue No.6

Johann Sebastian Bach

Prelude & Fugue No.6 in D minor

BWV875 • “The Well-tempered Clavier Book 2: Prelude & Fugue No. 6”

About this work

Despite its brilliance, the two-voice prelude really counts as what the Germans called a Handstück, a didactic keyboard study. But it also has the flavor, though not the rhythmic and melodic freedom, of a toccata. The ensuing fugue -- its three voices entering in the order alto, soprano, bass -- is a short but rather daring chromatic study in contrasting rhythms, stopping just short of explicitly pitting twos against threes, which was generally not done during Bach's time.