Well Tempered Clavier (WTC)
Major Keyboard work in all 24 keys comprised of preludes and fugues in each key.
~After this work, Bach never wrote in some keys again
~Published in 1801 after his death
~Transcribed by Mozart; known by many serious musicians.
(WTC) Pachelbel
wrote some suites for keyboard – wrote in same type of key sequence as Bach (but put minors before the majors)
(WTC) Mattheson
First to write in all 24 keys [for organ] just figured bass exercises
(WTC) JKF Fischer
Ariadne musica – 19 short preludes and fugues in 19 different keys
~probably the most strong influence on the WTC
~Not ‘great’works like Bach’s
WTC Editions
Alfred – nice study edition
WTC Key Scheme
C,c,D-flat,c sharp,D to B-flat – every key, parallel minor, go up chromatically
WTC Preludes
Short, highly unified pieces in which the tendency is to operate with a short motive.
Prelude #5 in D major
scale fragments
Prelude in d minor
broken chord patterns
Prelude in F major
broken chord pattern
~good for practicing performing long trills, prefixes from above and below.
Prelude in E-flat major
~not a single patterned prelude
~prelude and double fugue all by itself
Prelude in c minor
tempo marking written by Bach near end, but not at beginning
Prelude in e minor
Prelude in C major
~style brise (lute music)
~breaking of chords to create contrapuntal effect.
(WTC) trio sonata
two voices with Bass, often moving in parallel type motion
(WTC) Arioso style
b-flat and e-flat minor prelude – vocal, song like
(WTC) Fugues
~48 total 45 are 3 or 4 voice fugues
~26 3-voice
~19 4-voice
~1 2-voice
~2 5-voice
C major fugue (WTC I)
one long exposition with no episode
G minor fugue (WTC I)
countersubject is retrograde inversion of the subject
Tureck’s fugue principles
fugue subject is a fixed idea/constant motive (it doesn’t develop like a sonata theme)
~articulation and phrasing should be consistent.
~Cannot voice a fugue accurately unless you hear all the voices on their own.
~Alternation between exposition and episodes (sequence, modulation, etc.)
Fugue in C major
unique: it’s all exposition (no episode)–subject is always being presented
G minor
countersubject is a retrograde inversion of the subject
Fugue characteristics
~Continuously driving rhythms
~Figuration patterns
~sequential phrase structures
~Striking intervals in the subject
Devices of learned counterpoint
~Augmentation, diminution, and retrograde are seldom used
~Inversion and stretto (to narrow or tighten) are used quite often
Stretto in a fugue
~entrances of fugue come closer and closer together
~Creates excitement and tension- leads to climax
~B-flat minor fugue – stretto happens every half note apart
Inversion in a fugue
~d minor fugue #6
~G major fugue #15
How preludes and fugues are related
~German composers saw the big picture (french thought smaller) they either contrast or complement each other
~Very seldom find a motive that is in both the prelude and fugue (WTC I: c minor) WTC I: b minor #24 – uses all 12 tones in the fugue subject.
~French Suite
~English Suite
3 sets of 6
Naming the suites
Bach probably didn’t name the French and English suites, but he named the partitas
French suite
Most dance types are french
English Suites
Bach may have been influenced by studying the suites of Dieupart in London
French suite
~Essentially 2-part writing
~no introductory pieces
English Suites
~more dissonant
~More rhythmically complex
~Have important introductory movements
~Brilliant (showy)
~Highly ornamented in the french style
Basic Dance forms
ACSG: Allemande, Courante, Sarabande(English suite: 2 optional dances between the sarabande and gigue), Gigue
English Suite in A Major
~Fantasy: could very easily be the opening of a toccata.
~The rest is in the style of a gigue
~opening movements can work well by themselves.
English suite no. 2