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Certain pitches draw my attention more than the others. The D Major harmony in Fugue 1 marked a climactic point. Now in Fugue 2, the lowest pitch of the bass again arrives in measure 20. It is preceded by a diminished 5th harmony (E natural to A flat), and plunges to D. The subject in the soprano appears on the tonic C for the last time until the end. The motific subphrase C-B-C is then treated in stretto form, followed by its restatement in the Bass and lastly in Soprano. Is there a Golden Mean to this fugue? YES! Measure 20 it is! Finally, as far as texture is concerned, there is more use of voices moving in parallel lines at the same time, as opposed to the stretti of Fugue 1. I find it to be a texture that Bach uses mainly as a filler and not a tension builder. Though very rhythmic and perfectly structured, Fugue 2 engages in conversation without overly developed emotional tension.

We embark onto the first microcycle. This prelude is the less linear, more ornamental counterpart to the C Major prelude. It is similarly sructured in half measure harmonic rhythmical pattern. Its development is harmonically driven.

We know that Bach added the sections with tempi markings in a later version of this Prelude. In the original version, Bach ended the piece with measure 25 followed by the few measures of the final Allegro. This brings an important perspective to the proportions of the Prelude. Without the added sections, this Prelude does indeed show a Golden Mean ratio around mm 18-19. The Golden Mean ratio is clearly observed in earlier C Major Prelude. So, in this way also they are related in the microcosmos of the WTC volume.

Now to make a counterargument to creating a complex and uniform tempo relationships throughout the entire prelude... Surely it is odd to see such free Tempi in otherwise rhythmically very strict structure. In my opinion, the Presto-Adagio-Allegro sections must be more proportional to each other than the rest of the Prelude. This frames the section as an extended cadential diversion, but also allows the performer to return original tempo in the final Allegro. However, this choice must not be taken lightly. It is worth noting how the last note is the warm Major third of the tonic, which seems to connect seemlessly into the rest that begins the Fugue.

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Fugue is an episode of contrapuntal discourse. Outside of musical context it refers to an episode specific to fleeing from one's own identity.

In those genres of music where one instrument is featured, such as concertos and accompanied works for solo instruments, there is always a prelude to the featured instrument. In the case of Bach's Preludes and Fugues, I feel the opposite. The preludes feel like the human voice introduced before it's incorporation into multi-voice discourse.

It is easy to force the connections between each prelude and fugue. I will pick only ONE following the emphasis on harmonic texture of the prelude. What stands out the most is the arrival at a clear D Major harmony in measure 19, and the scalar descend into the lowest bass notes in measure 20. Looking back at the Prelude's harmonic development, measure 19 and 20 (of the Prelude) mark the clear transition into the develpment towards the end. 4 measures at the end, similar to the Prelude, hold the tonic pedal point and end in a rising C Major scale.

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