Johann Sebastian Bach

Prelude and Fugue, for organ in D major ("Little"), BWV 532 (BC J13, 54, 70)

    Description by John Palmer

    Bach composed most of his organ works in Weimar, where he worked between 1708 and 1717; after he left that city, his duties did not involve the composition of works for the organ. His years as organist there witnessed important stylistic developments in his freely composed preludes and fugues. Bach had not yet codified the clear two-section prelude and fugue of the type we find in the Well-Tempered Clavier. Instead, the D major prelude and fugue, BWV 532, features a lengthy, complex, self-contained fugue preceded by a multisectional prelude. The prelude opens with a rhapsodic passage initiated by a rising scale in the pedals. Busy figurations for the manuals proceed over sustained pedal tones as the passage moves away from D major and comes to a stop. When the ensuing Alla breve section begins, we realize that all that has come before is introductory, and the prelude continues in D major. Harmonic sequences and block chords dominate the texture of this, the most substantial part of the prelude, which closes with new material in an adagio tempo that emphasizes E major before a final cadence on the tonic.

    After seven complete entries of the subject that remain in the tonic and dominant, the Fugue in D major becomes one of the most interesting of Bach's fugues in terms of harmony. Bach takes his subject, eight measures long and consisting of tight figurations that encompass an entire octave, through first the relative minor and mediant minor (not unusual) and then, at about the middle of the piece, the minor harmony built on the leading tone (C sharp) and the major harmony on the supertonic (very unusual). After these adventurous excursions we hear an extended episode with a flurry of figures on the dominant and then a welcome, full entry of the subject on the tonic that is so powerful in its resolution of the preceding tension that the coda has the nature of an afterthought. As in the prelude, block chords are prominent in this unusual fugue.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Prelude
    2. Fugue

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2019 Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 19075915582
    2018 Alba ABCD 424
    2018 Decca
    2018 Lawo Classics LWC 1153
    2018 Apr APR 6023
    2018 Piano Classics PCL 10139
    2018 Hungaroton HCD 32809
    2016 Acis Productions APL 72306
    2016 Signum Classics SIGCD 802
    2016 Piano Classics PCLM 0104
    2015 Oehms Classics OC 1827
    2015 K-Tel 136437
    2014 Es-Dur ES 2011
    2014 Brilliant Classics 94850BR
    2014 Melodiya MELCD 1002224
    2013 Raven Records OAR 941
    2013 Motette MT 13691
    2013 Motette MT 13751
    2012 Naxos 8572741
    2012 Regent REGCD 328
    2011 Kevin Clarke
    2011 Antes Edition / Zebralution
    2011 Erato 2564676018
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon 4779527
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Audite 92547
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2010 Hyperion 64409
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 477 862-8
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 4778628
    2010 Telarc
    2010 Telarc Distribution 31980
    2010 Acis Productions 42386
    2009 Ricercar 289
    2009 EMI Classics
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Ramée 0903
    2009 Hyperion CDA67683
    2009 JAV Recordings JAV178
    2009 EMI Music Distribution / Erato / Virgin Classics 5099996695
    2009 MSR Classics 1271
    2008 Proprius-AudioSource 2039
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93668
    2008 Gothic Records 49260
    2008 Avi-Music 8553023
    2008 EMI Music Distribution 09393
    2008 Hungaroton 32589
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4694202
    2008 Alba 220
    2008 Madacy Entertainment 53751
    2007 Musical Concepts 191
    2007 BIS 1527/28
    2007 Analekta 24022-43
    2007 Elatus
    2007 Novalis 150185
    2007 Erato 4699028
    2007 Raven 870
    2007 MSR Classics 1187
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99697
    2006 Brilliant Classics 93102
    2006 Hyperion 22062
    2006 Raven 875
    2006 Challenge Records 72162
    2006 PentaTone Classics 5186127
    2006 Reference Recordings 107
    2005 Regis Records 2042
    2005 Raven 760
    2005 Vox Aeterna 00105
    2005 Interdisc Trading 97440
    2005 Danacord 620
    2005 SeeMusicDVD 41
    2005 Organ Arts 4135
    2004 Denon Records 17342
    2004 Archiv Produktion 000185602
    2004 Brilliant Classics 92391
    2004 EMI / EMI Music Distribution 585340
    2004 Denon Records 17391
    2003 Art & Music 1539/58
    2003 Raven 610
    2003 Platinum Disc 2760
    2002 Challenge Classics 72047
    2002 Pro Organo 7136
    2002 Hyperion 44121/36
    2002 Ar-Express / AR-Express 74321951412
    2001 Platinum Entertainment 14622
    2001 Arkay Records 6127
    2001 APR (Appian) 5559
    2001 Meridian Records 84081
    2001 Divine Art 5005
    2000 Kleos Classics 5107
    2000 CPO 999700
    2000 Motette 12511
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 73878
    2000 Archiv Produktion 463712
    2000 Organ 7010
    1999 Teldec 25705
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Harmonia Mundi 290772
    1999 Teldec 3984-25713-2
    1999 Valois 4425
    1999 Berlin Classics 0093642
    1999 Philips 462232
    1999 Archiv Produktion 419904
    1999 Haenssler 92093
    1999 Platinum Disc 05142
    1997 Helicon Records 1010
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453 064-2GTA2
    1997 Carlton Classics 00402
    1996 Telarc Distribution 80385
    1996 Naxos 504014
    1996 Priory Records 495
    1996 Haenssler 98103
    1995 London 443485
    1995 Vox 5100
    1995 London 444410
    1995 Nimbus 5289
    1995 Raven 250
    1995 Novalis 150130
    1995 Haenssler 98994
    1995 APR (Appian) 7036
    1994 Novalis 150066
    1994 Erato 96358
    1994 Erato 96743
    1994 BIS 308
    1994 Motette 11491
    1994 Capriccio Records 10506
    1993 FSM Adagio 97709
    1993 Hyperion CDA66791/2
    1993 Music & Arts 773
    1992 Delos 3503
    1990 Delos 3048
    1990 Telarc Distribution 80088
    1989 Deutsche Grammophon 427668
    1982 Valois 4416
    Brilliant 93102-VOL6
    Brilliant 99706
    Brilliant 99706/3
    Brilliant 93102/141
    Phontastic
    Gothic Records 118315
    Analekta 4024
    Ricercar 246762
    Calliope 9707
    Naxos 550184
    Erato 91931
    Arte Nova 27758
    Deutsche Grammophon 403302
    Deutsche Grammophon 471734
    Selene 940723
    Teldec
    Brilliant 92391/19
    Interdisc Trading 97440/5
    Brilliant Classics 93668/19
    Ricercar 246772
    EMI Classics 697164
    Hyperion 44122
    CBS Records 42648
    Ligia 104081
    EMI Music Distribution
    Ligia 0104037
    London 421337
    Archiv Produktion 463717
    Philips 422965
    Telarc Distribution 80088
    Amphion 131
    Newport Classic 60090
    Priory Records 221
    PCM Records 7376
    Arlene Ward
    Manchester 100
    Walsingham 8021
    Donau 8034
    Arkay Records 6083
    Arkay Records 6127
    Melodiya 25179
    Melodiya 25172
    Madacy Entertainment 53752