Prelude & Fugue #1 in C Major Book 1 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Prelude & Fugue #2 in C Minor Book 1 J.S. Bach Prelude & Fugue #5 in D Major Book 1 J.S. Bach Prelude & Fugue #10 in E Minor Book 1 J.S. Bach Prelude & Fugue #11 in F Major Book 1 J.S. Bach Prelude & Fugue #21 in Bb Major Book 1 J.S. Bach Prelude & Fugue #2 in C Minor Book 2 J.S. Bach Prelude & Fugue #6 in D Minor Book 2 J.S. Bach Prelude & Fugue #7 in Eb Major Book 2 J.S. Bach Prelude & Fugue #9 in E Major Book 2 J.S. Bach Prelude & Fugue #15 in G Major Book 2 J.S. Bach Prelude & Fugue #20 in A Minor Book 2 J.S. Bach ******************************Johann Sebastian Bach is perhaps the greatest composer of all time. His music is highly regarded the world over for technical perfection, artistic depth, and profound meaning. The pieces on this program are selected from the two volumes of the Well-tempered Clavier. Each book has 24 prelude/postlude pairings, in all of the major and minor keys.
Program duration: 60 minutes including short talks about the music, composer, and instrument.
Well-temperedrefers to tuning systems that were used starting in the Baroque period that allowed playing in any key, without great aural discomfort. In earlier periods, 'Meantone' tuning was used, with which some chords sounded harsh. The total 48 prelude/postludes were composed by Bach "for the profit and use of musical youth desirous of learning, and especially for the pastime of those already skilled in this study." The importance of the collections cannot be underestimated, as composers from Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven right up to modern times have studied, performed, arranged, and modelled their own compositions after the preludes and fugues.
'Clavier' in French or 'Klavier' originally in German is a general term for any keyboard instrument, such as the harpsichord, clavichord, or fortepiano. 'Virginal' is an old term for a string-plucking keyboard instrument, or harpsichord, with a rectangular shape, called such
because, like a virgin, it soothes with a sweet and gentle voice, according to a Czech physician and minor cleric called Paulus Paulirinus. The virginal played today was built by Lynette Tsiang in 1976, after the Italian builder Francesco Poggio (d. 1634). It is a polygonal or 5-sided instrument with one set of brass strings and 52 keys. It is tuned lower than present-day concert pitch (A is at 415 Hz) with the Vallotti Tuning System commonly used for keyboard instruments during the Baroque.
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