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WTC I/23 in B major -- Prelude. from Siglind I/ The prelude-type The very first harmonic closure occurs - one could say implicitly - on the middle beat of bar 2. Here the F#7 This cadential close, however, is structurally not decisive .
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In the coda, the tendency of withdrawal is thwarted by three features: The prelude thus ends in a assertive mood. The subject of the B major fugue is two bars long. It commences with an up-beat gesture after an initial eighth-note rest and concludes after an ornamented C representative of the dominant harmony with a return to the keynote on the downbeat of bar 3. The pitch pattern exhibits almost exclusively seconds, interrupted only for the interval C -F. This leap of a perfect fifth is not of expressive quality, and thus does not immediately match the stepwise motion around it.

Upon closer inspection of the pitch pattern in the subject it becomes clear that what occurs here is a change in pitch level rather than an interval between two notes. The initial ascent, launched from the keynote, breaks off with a quarter-note on the first strong beat, only to start afresh from the lower F and climb even higher up. The subject thus consists of two subphrases which relate to one another in such a way that the first appears as an abandoned attempt of what the second then completes in a more powerful format.

A look at the rhythmic design confirms this assumption. Considering that the longest note value, the half-note C , is ornamented by a trill and thus sounds very animated, the quarter-note C at the beginning of the subject is in fact a powerful rhythmic interruption and marks the point where the regular motion comes to a halt, to start newly from F.

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Bach: Prelude and Fugue No.23 in B major, BWV 892 Analysis

The harmonic background of the subject is difficult to determine as Bach harmonizes it differently in almost each statement. It seems, however, safe to claim that there is a two-fold progression, with an interrupted cadence either on the downbeat of the second subject bar as e. In a subject with two subphrases one can obviously expect two climaxes. As it was already established that the second subphrase completes the aborted efforts of the first, the weighting between the components is obvious. The first climax is easy to determine since the melodic rise B to C , the harmonic movement tonic to dominant , the rhythmic value quarter-note and the metric position middle beat all support the final note of the first subphrase.

Determining the climax of the second subphrase is, however, not so simple. Here the pitch motion reaches its peak on E, a note which is neither harmonically nor rhythmically or metrically supported.

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By contrast, the ornamented C represents two important steps of the cadence, apart from being in a rhythmically and metrically stronger position than the off-beat eighth-note E. As a result, a climax on E will give the subject and, with it, the entire fugue a more virtuoso touch by stressing superficial features pitch , while a climax on the trilled C gives the subject more depth by emphasizing its structural traits.

There are two kinds of modifications occurring in the subject statements throughout the fugue, one at the beginning and the other at the end of the subject. The initial intervals of both subphrases are adjusted in all tonal answers see bars 3, 7, 31 , while in the inverted answer, only the beginning step of the first subphrase is enlarged see bar Parallel statements do not occur; nor do true strettos in which a crucial segment of one subject entry is overlapped by the beginning of the subsequent statement.

The only instance where an entry commences at less than two bars' distance from the beginning of the previous one, occurs in bar 21, i. Thus the process one is hearing - as opposed to seeing in the score - can be said to be concluded by the time the subsequent statement enters. Bach invents one counter-subject for this fugue.

It is introduced against the answer of the subject in bars Beginning two eighth-notes later than the subject itself, the counter-subject also displays two subphrases separated by a change in pitch level see bar 3 beat 4. The phrasing falls one eighth-note after that in the subject, and, interesting enough, in its first appearance the counter-subject even ends with a metrically delayed resolution, i. Besides this similarity in phrase structure, the counter-subject is also related to the subject in pitch pattern as it displays an overwhelming majority of seconds and a scalar ascent in the second subphrase.

Independence in dynamic design is also limited. Whether a performer follows the first subphrase in its pitch outline with a diminuendo and thus links the tension decline over the phrase cut between the subject's two subphrases , or whether the performer expresses an active gesture in a downwards crescendo and thus imitates that in the subject's first subphrase , not much individuality can be gained. In the second subphrase, both pitch and rhythm favor the syncopated highest note - with the result that this climax very nearly coincides with that of the subject.

There is, to conclude, fairly little challenge for the subject. Furthermore, the counter-subject is not a very faithful companion. In its complete range it recurs only three times see A: Additionally, the second subphrase appears once without the first see A: Finally, there is an even more truncated second half of the second subphrase see S: Here are two possible ways in which the counter-subject may be heard against the subject - depending on the performer's preference for a more virtuoso pitch-oriented or more structurally supported interpretation of both components:.

The first episode introduces the listener to several motives which, as they are independent from both subject and counter-subject, must be regarded as genuine episode motives. When attempting to distinguish these motives, closer inspection reveals that they all derive from a single common source. The different versions share the shape of a concave curve in which the longest note which provides both the harmonic and the dynamic climax falls on the lowest pitch.

The example below gives the three versions of this one motive; see bars and ex. In the three more substantial episodes excluding the merely half-bar long E 3 and the final cadential close , M1 can be found at every opening.

WTC I/23 in B major - Prelude

In each case, M1 is accompanied by M1a in such a way that these two run in parallel thirds or sixths throughout their "tail". Also in each of the three cases, M1 is sequenced by the variation M1b , which is then followed by an extra "tail". Before this sequence and in stretto to the original M1 , there appears a variation in which the quarter-note is replaced by two eighth-notes in octave displacement.

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The video does not play. There is too much buffering. The audio is poor or missing. Video is unrelated to the product. Please fill out the copyright form to register a complaint. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Well-Tempered Clavier, Boo Product details Original Release Date: October 11, Release Date: October 15, Label: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Customer reviews There are no customer reviews yet. Tonic Chord May 8, 0 Comments. Ending with a Perfect Cadence in the key of the Dominant, F sharp. Dominant Pedal Bars 35, Ending with Perfect Cadence in the key of the Tonic, B.

Theme I almost immediately it is stated, is taken by the second voice in contrary motion Bar 1, Bass part. A third part is occasionally added to impart fullness to the harmony, as at Bars , and also at Subject in Bass [B major].