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Bach, Johann Sebastian Johann Sebastian Bach
Germany Germany
(1685 - 1750)
7098 sheet music
7775 MP3
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Instrumentations :
› Piano solo (66)
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› Gioia, Gianfranco (1)
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Viola Sheet music 2 Violas (duet) Johann Sebastian Bach
Bach, Johann Sebastian: Prelude in C Minor for Viola Duet

Prelude in C Minor for Viola Duet
BWV 847 No. 1
Johann Sebastian Bach

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Composer :Johann Sebastian BachJohann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)
Instrumentation :

2 Violas (duet)

Style :


Arranger :
Publisher :
Johann Sebastian BachMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Copyright :Public Domain
The Well-Tempered Clavier is two sets of preludes and fugues for keyboard. Each set consists of twenty four preludes and fugues in all of the major and minor keys in ascending order. They were published in two separate "books," Book I, which was composed in 1722, and Book II, composed in 1744. The title of the work refers to a then new system of tuning, called equal temperament, in which an octave was divided into twelve equal intervals. This method of tuning replaced an earlier one called meantone tuning, in which the key of C major and those near it were purely intonated, while keys with many sharps or flats would be out of tune. In the meantone system, each tone and semitone is subtly different, while the equal tempered system eschewed perfect intonation for an equal division of the octave, such that each tone and semitone was equal. Bach certainly recognized the value of such a system--it allowed for greater freedom of modulation and use of chromaticism--and his Well-Tempered Clavier served as an effective promotion of this new tuning method. It is a vivid demonstration of the flexibility and practicality of the equal or "well" tempered keyboard. It is also an example of Bach's compositional genius and good taste: as his first biographer Johann Forkel noted, despite its perfectly idiomatic music and attention to specific technical issues, Bach likely composed this work away from the keyboard while on a trip with his patron, Prince Leopold.

The Well-Tempered Clavier, according to Bach's own hand, is a collection first and foremost of pedagogical works--it is thought that these pieces were designed for the instruction of Bach's sons--secondly as divertissements. The original title page bears the inscription: "For the needs and use of Musical youth, as well as those already experienced in this study for the passing of time." Each fugue is preceded by an improvisatory prelude, in which a particular melodic motive is developed and embellished, often over a fixed harmonic pattern. The fugues are perhaps less academic that some of Bach's other contrapuntal music: they feature all of the complex fugal techniques one would expect, but the technical features of the fugue--stretto, augmentation, and diminution--are not obtrusive, as they might otherwise be in a more pedantic work. Bach also employs strong rhythmic figures, derived from dance music, to great effect in this work.

Like many of Bach's great pedagogical works, the Well-Tempered Clavier is a collection of pieces whose musical value is as great as their instructional value. Each piece tests different techniques and addresses different technical challenges; however, Bach is careful not to sacrifice musicality for pedagogy, so that fugal subjects are simple yet interesting, motives are tastefully developed, and melodic lines are supple and shapely. There is no paucity of purely musical ideas in this work. Book II, composed some twenty-two years after the first, is noticeably less pedagogical in its emphasis, and is obviously addressed to the accomplished player rather than the "Musical youth" described on the title page of Book I. Book II also does not, in the printed score, make a point of equal temperament: by 1744, this new system was no longer new, and no longer required Bach's advocacy.

This prelude (BWV 847) in C Minor, like its predecessor in C Major, is known to virtually every keyboard student. Its first half is fast and motoric, with a little tick-tock figure occurring on the downbeats. A transitional passage brings some relief from the driven nature of the rhythm, and this dissolves into a brief toccata that retains a kinship to the earlier music even as it surges up and down the keyboard.

The fugue offers surprising contrast: a studied, rather playful figure consisting of a triplet, almost a little trill, followed by two more notes. This figure repeats and spins out enough material to support a multivoice fugue, maintaining a strong presence even during an episode of otherwise generic passagework. .

Source: Allmusic ( clavier-48-collection-of-preludes-fugues-in-2-books-bwv -846-893-bc-l80-127-mc0002658014).

Although originally written for Harpsichord. I created this Interpretation of the Prelude in C Minor (BWV 847 No 1) for Viola Duet.
Source / Web :MuseScore
Sheet central :Le Clavier bien tempéré I (213 sheet music)
Added by magataganm the 2017-03-07

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This sheet music is part of the collection of magataganm :
Viola Arrangements

Viola Arrangements
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