It turns out that this composition is a remnant of what we call today the Dorian mode - it's constructed like natural minor but with raised 6th scale degree - hence no Bb.
So Bach really remembered the tradition and times when major and minor keys were not invented yet. Instead composers at that time used modal system of sometimes 8, sometimes 12 modes. This was before the Baroque period (although this example indicates that modes were still significant factor for Baroque composers, too).
You are probably wondering why the ending chord is E major? It's called Picardy Third: a technique to end Baroque minor pieces in major. This is because keyboard instruments back in the day were tuned with at least several major thirds. Hence a major third E-G# in this chord sounds more pure and stable that a minor third E-G.
Are you playing any Baroque piece that is written in a minor key? Chances are that it may also be modal. Share your ideas in the comments.
Writing "A young rascal". Recording SOP Podcast No. 2 with George Ritchie. Continue writing fingering and pedaling for the Toccata by Charles-Marie Widor. Editing Part 3 of Sonata No. 2 by Teisutis Makačinas. Transposing hymn setting "He Was Not Willing". Practicing "Virtuoso Pianist" by Hanon in C Frygian mode (from C with 4 flats). Playing Office No. 35 from “L’Orgue Mystique” by Charles Tournemire. Improvising in Frygian mode. Composing "A Storm". Reading "The Accidental Creative".
I've often been asked to appear in public in various venues. I approach it by making it fun and interesting - worthy of the 30-60 minutes of time I'm asking for to participate.
On Friday, I will be performing a private recital for a group of tourists for Germany and on Saturday - a musical poem based on the story of The Little Mermaid.
Improvisation recitals are amazing ways to tell stories that resonate with people. It's a great way for your organization to make compelling connection with many people.
Email me if you want to chat about an organ improvisation recital for your organization.