About this work
This prelude is a trio sonata in miniature, with the initial melody entering in the middle register, just above the bass line, and another part coming in higher soon after. As for the fugue, it's an old-style ricercar, and an extensive one by the standards of the Well-Tempered Clavier. The long, drawn-out, rather dour subject creeps forward in the alto voice, followed in the soprano, bass, and finally, tenor. These latter entries are shadowed by a chromatically ascending countersubject. Further complicating the texture is Bach's use of stretto, the subject making closely overlapping entries again and again.