Johann Sebastian Bach

Prelude for keyboard in E major, BWV 937 (BC L68) (Six Little Preludes No. 5)

    Description by Robert Cummings

    While Bach never placed this work in a larger set, it is generally identified as one of the Little Preludes (6) (BWV 933-38), which are all short, pedagogical pieces requiring a stronger technique than needed for the relatively easy Little Pieces (12) (BWV 924-30, 939-42, and 999) composed around the same period, also for instructive purposes. This E major effort, the fifth in the Little Pieces (6), is a lively, moderately challenging work that exhibits certain aspects associated with the composer's two-part inventions. It opens with a jovial theme whose busy manner brims with a sense of energetic joy and high spirits. The plentiful secondary thematic material here lends the music an expository breadth, making it seem angular and brimming with ideas. But it does, in fact, brim with ideas in its brilliant thematic, contrapuntal, and harmonic writing. The opening material is heard a second time, each of its appearances containing two statements of the main theme, after which Bach develops the material, focusing especially on its rhythmic aspects. While this work lasts only a minute-and-a-half, it contains enough ideas for a piece three times its length.

    Appears On

    Year Title / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    2016
    Erato
    557841
    2015
    Sony Classical
    88875032222
    2015
    Archive / Deutsche Grammophon
    2015
    Naxos
    8573087
    2011
    Paradizo
    0009
    2010
    Hyperion
    4442135
    2010
    Brilliant Classics
    94050
    2009
    Dynamic
    629
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Denon Records
    2008
    Athene
    23026
    2008
    Athene
    ATH23026
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4778049
    2008
    Sony Classical Essential Classics
    727987
    2007
    CBS Masterworks
    714847
    2007
    Cascade Records
    2100
    2006
    Brilliant Classics
    93102
    2006
    Aeolus Music
    10034
    2005
    Sony Music Distribution
    74656
    2005
    Hyperion
    55194
    2005
    Sony Classical Essential Classics
    518509
    2004
    GM Recordings
    2075
    2003
    Sony Classical
    93016
    2002
    Sony Classical
    87767
    2002
    Sony Classical Essential Classics
    87767
    2001
    Dorian
    DOR93241
    2001
    Haenssler
    92568
    2000
    Haenssler
    92107
    2000
    Sony Music Distribution
    60278
    2000
    Lyrichord
    8047
    1999
    Teldec
    25705
    1999
    Teldec
    25704
    1999
    Various Artists
    Teldec
    3984-25715-2
    1995
    Hyperion
    67121
    1995
    Capriccio Records
    210
    1995
    Archiv Produktion
    4472782
    1995
    Swedish Society Discofil
    1077
    1994
    BIS
    589
    1994
    Sony Music Distribution
    52597
    1993
    Hyperion
    66185
    1993
    Pearl
    9489
    Brilliant
    93102-VOL2
    Brilliant
    93102/44
    CBS Records Masterworks
    424022
    Cascade Records
    2117
    P&P Classica