Dear All, here is my version of WTC 1 Prelude and Fugue Eb / D# minor, BWV 853.
In my project to record WTC 1 on Hauptwerk organs, the prelude in Eb minor BWV 853 was the hardest one in order to identify the appropriate organ model and registration. This is because the prelude’s embellishments are geared towards being played on the harpsichord, with the many arpeggios that accompany the melodic parts both in lower and higher pitches. I believe though that the solution with the very expressive vox humana of the Velesovo organ model works quite well, as it provides the prelude with the tombeau feeling that is the underlying theme of the piece.
Regarding the fugue - here we have one formal masterwork, the only fugue in WTC 1 which introduces augmentation of the subject as a contrapuntal element. The augmentation enters in masterful strettos with the original form of the subject, making the fugue one of the most scholarly fugues in the entire WTC.
I kept the registration for the fugue almost unchanged (as compared to the prelude) and played the piece in a rather "formalistic" manner, which provides the fugue an almost Michael Nyman type of effect. I hope the video does not overdo the Nyman / Greenaway reference, but I could not resist to exploit some of my favorite Claesz, van Kessel and de Champaigne paintings, which exhibit a baroque understanding of life and death, as well as the (potentially bizarre) fascination of science.
If you want to know more about my WTC project, please go to http://www.bachwelltemperedclavier.org
, the website that accompanies my activities and adds reviews of namable recordings and musical analysis.
Please note that this recording is copyright protected. (c) Philip Goeth 2012, ISRC MT-A67-12-00048.