Essay on Johann Sebastian Bach: BWV 543 “Prelude and Fugue in A Minor”

Essay on Johann Sebastian Bach: BWV 543 “Prelude and Fugue in A Minor”

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Johann Sebastian Bach wrote many amazing masterpieces, many still given life today through performance around the world. There are, however, many pieces that do not shine as brightly in the public eye. One of these pieces is Bach’s BWV 543, entitled “Prelude and Fugue in A minor” and otherwise nicknamed “The Great.” This music is said not to be a famous piece for organ but does itself justice when compared to his similar and more famous works. With its many musical structures weaving in and out of the piece and its highly virtuosic nature, after hearing the BWV 543 performed it is easy to understand why it is nicknamed as such.
To begin to understand the nature of a piece, such as the “Prelude and Fugue in A Minor,” one must first understand Bach and the influences upon him. Before his knowledge on the fugue became famous and was used to educate future fugue composers, Bach was born into the Baroque era. He was constantly surrounded by war, chaos, and a strong urge for forward movement in religion, science, and art. The world had been through struggles over land, a movement to explore a new world, and people being executed under the pretense of being witches. The effects rang clear and true through all the people who lived in this era, including Bach. This chaotic world, along with the great influence from the exposure to the music of other parts of Germany, Italy, and France, produced a perfect climate for Bach’s brilliance.
The music he produced had a lot of control with a lot of flair. He liked improvisation, but did not leave that up to the performer. Instead, he wrote very virtuosic passages for his pieces, with which the performer did not have much room for imaginative playing. Then there is his knowledge on how to writ...

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...ther with transposed subjects and countersubjects until the piece ends with a final cadence in the original key of a minor. Throughout the entire fugue there are many virtuosic passages that would befuddle the average musician. It is amazing that Bach was able to create such intensely dense music while following the strict guidelines for music of his time.
Johann Sebastian Bach was known as a musical master wrote many amazing masterpieces. One of the lesser known pieces is Bach’s BWV 543, entitled “Prelude and Fugue in A minor” and otherwise nicknamed “The Great.” This music is said not to be a famous piece for organ but does itself justice when compared to his similar and more famous works. The tight structure of the piece intertwined with its highly virtuosic nature is a great example of the influence the Baroque era had on Bach and his musical thought process.

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