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 Label Catalog #
    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 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