Prelude and Fugue in Eb Major, BWV 552 is the most beloved organ piece by J.S. Bach for a lot organists. It's true for Ausra as well. Listen in as she played it during our Bach's 333rd Birthday Recital at Vilnius University St John's church.
Registration - Full Principal Chorus (Organ Pleno) with 16' and mixtures in the manuals, 1 3/5' on the Great to imitate a Tierce mixture which was common in Bach's area at the time. Principals 16', 8', and 4' and Posaune 16' in the Pedals.
Let us know your thoughts while listening to this fabulous piece.
Would you like to master Prelude and Fugue in Eb Major, BWV 552 by J.S. Bach?
I have created this score with the hope that it will help my students who love early music to recreate articulate legato style automatically, almost without thinking.
Thanks to Jeremy Owens for his meticulous transcription of fingering and pedaling from the slow motion videos.
Advanced level. PDF score. 18 pages. 50% discount is valid until March 7.
Check it out here
This score is free for Total Organist students.
By Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene (get free updates of new posts here)
The other day I was practicing Bach's Eb major prelude and fugue, BWV 552 preparing for our upcoming joint recital with Vidas and I thought not every episode gives me the same level of difficulty.
Strangely enough, I find the Prelude to be more demanding than the Fugue in general.
The episode A (the French Overture style Ritornellos) of the Prelude with its absolutely beautiful polyphony require quite a bit of a command of articulation.
On the contrary, the episode B (the echos) is much easier to play because of multiple repetitions and rather homophonic texture.
Vidas told me that the culminations of the fugato (section C) gives him the most trouble out of the Prelude. To me it's not so much. Maybe it's because we have different strengths when talking about the technique.
In the 1st of this triple fugue written in Style antico I struggle more only with the ending. The rest of it only has some serious work for ears.
Vidas said that for him the 2nd fugue (manualiter Courante) usually is very demanding technically. I'll have to check my previous recording about the tempo. Usually organists play it too fast.
Playing the 3rd fugue (the Gigue) gives me real joy. Yes, it's demanding physically and polyphonically but the pleasure surpasses the pain. Incidentally, if you add more ornamentation in the last few lines, then the climax feels stronger.
Here's how I practice BWV 552 at this stage - in a moderately slow tempo I play the easy episodes only once and repeatedly work on more difficult sections.
What are your impressions of this magnificent piece (listening and/or practicing)?
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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