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Bwv 881 Analysis Essay

arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

A kindred musician friend and Baroque scholar residing on the East Coast tipped me off that my “first love” reading of Bach’s Prelude in F minor a few months back, was just the very top layer of a more in depth relationship to come.

And as time bore out, she was right because my earliest infatuation eluded recognition of voices that now have the dignity they deserve. (Gentle words of advice. Give a piece time to ripen)

Ironically, a perfect opportunity arose to delve more deeply into the music in the company of a Prelude smitten piano student. Awakenings ensued that enriched our understanding of a gorgeous masterpiece from the composer’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2.

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Published by arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirley kirsten Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches View all posts by arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

What a divine pairing from J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2! The ethereal, “sighing” Prelude is joined by a somber, though monumental Fugue in three voices.

The Subject with its characteristic three-8th note repetitions followed by two-16ths, meanders in stepwise movement with small skip deviations while its borrowed melodic and rhythmic components weave through the composition as spin-offs. (That’s why a student should carefully analyze the Subject’s character and chemistry at the very outset of learning)

In the counter-subject realm, this FUGUE does not adhere to strict rules of FORM, but instead it reveals a host of ideas that should be recognized and mapped out as to occurrence and recurrence.

In this early learning experience, which is admittedly my falling in love PHASE, I still make sure to keep an analytical eye and ear open to what this masterpiece is about as I play through it in a slow, deliberate tempo discovering its architectural features.

Page ONE:

Later Play Through:

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Published by arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirley kirsten Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches View all posts by arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

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