Tablet - Portrait

Tablet - Landscape


Johann Sebastian Bach

Around 1720, Bach wrote this and other similarly less-challenging keyboard preludes for pedagogical purposes, but did not group them into a set. This D minor piece, however, is often encountered on the recital stage or recordings as the fifth of the Little Preludes (12) (BWV 924-30, 939-42, and 999), which are arranged according to key sequence. While the works are simply constructed, their craftsmanship exhibits Bach's genius both as a teacher for the novice keyboard player and as a composer of inspired music. Like many of the Little Preludes (12), this D minor effort features a main theme whose terse manner makes it more a repeating motif than even a short-breathed melody. Simply derived from a broken chord, it has a fluid manner not unlike the main theme in the first movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata, but more animated and far less intimate in character, owing to faster pacing and much livelier and more varied accompaniment. Near the end, Bach adds a showy, scale-like passage that may offer a measure of challenge to the novice performer. This little gem has a duration of about a minute.