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The Art of FugueBach Fugues for Keyboard, 1715-1750$
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Joseph Kerman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520243583

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520243583.001.0001

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Prelude and Fugue in E-flat Major

Prelude and Fugue in E-flat Major

The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1

Chapter:
(p.65) Chapter 8 Prelude and Fugue in E-flat Major
Source:
The Art of Fugue
Author(s):

Joseph Kerman

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520243583.003.0008

A terminological point: a toccata, for the seventeenth century, was a segmented composition consisting of a number of free improvisatory sections and contrapuntal ones that may or may not count as actual “fugues.” The Prelude in E-flat Major also belongs in this genre. It has one improvisatory section with two short subsections—known as toccata fragments—and a large double fugue exhibiting so many free, improvisatory, “irregular” features that it could never have found its way into the Well-Tempered Clavier as a “fugue,” only as part of a special prelude. A highly developed double fugue is brought into being by two distinct toccata fragments, remnants or evocations of keyboard improvisations in which the fugue's two subjects are adumbrated, one by one.

Keywords:   fugues, prelude, E-flat Major, toccata fragments, keyboard improvisations

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