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After over a week of tormenting the neighbours, I have finally reached a point where I am ready to share my efforts with the people of the cyber world.  With a bit of luck, Bach has stopped rolling in his grave too...

 

This piece is short and sweet, but bleemin' difficult.  Firstly, it's damned fast - faster than what I've managed thus far.  Secondly, not only does the left hand share the melody with the right, it also has to execute a whole bunch of ornaments.  VERY tricky as the left hand tends to lack the dexterity of the right.  Which, if you read the excerpt below, you'll discover as being the whole reason why Bach wrote these preludes in the first place!

 

 

 

The following account is from the first biography of J.S. Bach, written by Johann Nikolaus Forkel (1749-1817).

"The first thing he did was to teach his students his particular manner of touching the instrument... For this purpose he made them practice, for months on end, nothing but isolated exercises for all the fingers of both hands, with constant regard to this clear and clean touch... But if he found that anyone, after some months of practice, began to lose patience, he was so obliging as to write appropriate little pieces in which those exercises were combined together.  Of this kind are the Sechs Kleine Praeludien and even the fifteen Inventionen.  He wrote thses down during the hours of teaching, and in so doing attended to the momentary need of the student.  But afterwards he transformed them into beautiful, expressive little works of art."

The 12 Kleine Praeludien were probably composed under circumstances similar to those related above.  Seven of these selections are found in the Clavier-Buchlein vor Wilhelm Friedmann Bach, a book used by J.S. Bach in the musical instruction of his son, beginning when Wilhelm Friedmann was only nine years old.  The remaining presludes have been preserved only in a copy from the estate of Johann Peter Kellner (1705-1772), a personal friend of J.S. Bach, and one of his most ardent disciples and admirers, to whom we are indebted for the persevation of hundreds of Bach's works.

The 12 Short Preludes were first collectd and published in the middle of the 19th century by F.K. Griepenkerl, who arranged them in ascending order of keys, beginning with C Major and ending with A Minor.1

 

 

1.  Source: J.S. Back 18 Short Preludes for the Keyboard by Willard A. Palmer, Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.

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