The Prelude and Fugue in A major is not very well
known, but it is still an interesting and well-written
work. The relative simplicity and brevity (32 measures)
of the Prelude, together with the seamless counterpoint
of the Fugue, make them ideal for service music as a
prelude and postlude.
The Prelude opens with an arpeggiated figure that
recalls Buxtehude's Praeludium in D major, BuxWV 139.
This motive forms the backbone of the piece,
reappearing most noticeably at the end. In between this
framework, several dance-like motives are developed,
and some wonderful effects are created by the dialogues
between the four voices.
The Fugue, with its eight-measure ostinato subject, the
rocking motion of the countersubject and the
accompanying eigth-note figurations in the other
voices, has a smooth, triple-time dance feel. This
effect is heightened by the numerous stretti which
occur throughout the section. After the final entrance
of the subject in the pedal, a syncopated figure in the
soprano carries the motion forward to the final,
picardy third chord.
Although originally composed for Organ, I created this
modern intrepretation for String Quartet (2 Violins,
Viola & Cello).