Prelude, Fugue & Allegro (complete)
This work was probably written for the composer's own use, intended as a piece for the Lautenwerk, a gut-strung keyboard instrument designed to mimic the lute's distinctive sonority. Despite the capable imitation of the lute's open texture and low pitch, it contains many technical impossibilities and must be carefully adapted by the arranger to the idiosyncracies of the lute. (My arrangement can be found among this site's tablatures). The triplet styl luthée of the Prelude, the cantus firmus texture of the Fugue and its da Capo structure, repeating the opening section at the end, are evidence that Bach created a work mindful of the newer style of the middle 18th century. The Allegro is a giocose and freely-composed finale, with dynamic contrasts marked in the score. At the end, running out of space, Bach used the obsolete German organ tablature that he would have learned as a young man.
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