His seven toccatas for the harpsichord are variously dated between and , but fall largely into the period of his service as court organist in Weimar.
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The first of these two works opens with the expected flourish, followed by the introduction of a measured descending chromatic figure, followed by a more rapid fugue. The C minor Toccata also opens with a brilliant prelude, leading to an Adagio and then a fugue, no won a much longer subject, interrupted briefly by the freer figuration of the opening, before the fugue resumes, now with a second theme added.
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The Toccata ends with the embellished chords linked by runs that provide a common feature of the form. The Toccata in D minor, BWV , traditionally regarded, on the evidence of a pupil of Bach, as his first use of the form, starts with a longer introductory prelude followed by a double fugue in which the two overlapping subjects are very nearly identical.
There is a slow movement, marked Adagio, leading to a final double fugue. This opens with a short prelude, leading to a double fugue for four voices. The embellished Adagio is followed by a final three-voice fugue on a more extended subject. The short and relatively simple Prelude opens with a striking motif that appears to be written for a pedal.
Toccata and Fugue in D minor (tr Hunsberger)
Yet this is not the case, according to harpsichordist Bart Jacobs, as the highest note cannot be played on an organ pedal. An elegant double fugue is followed by a capricious Adagio, which is rather reminiscent of a recitative. The Toccata ends with a second, more brilliant fugue, which bears a strong resemblance to an anonymous piece in the library of the Naples Conservatory of Music. It poses a dilemma for musicologists. Although Bach often arranged Italian concertos and also borrowed the occasional fugue theme from the Italians, he never adopted a whole fugue.
But maybe it was the other way around and the anonymous Italian copied the fugue from Bach, or — as a last resort — both composers based their piece on a lost original. From the more recent versions, Elizabeth Plank is persuasive in this piece and her intonation superb if more emotionally constrained , but her recital is less wisely constructed than this album, even if containing some wonderful performances. Elina Piva for Decca presents a fine technical command, but lacks the shading and overall flair.
Her dynamic range also sounds quite limited. This goes straight to being perhaps the best version on record.
Toccata Musical Productions
A well thought-out, fascinatingly programmed and superbly-played album, It simply has to be heard. Netzer for harp Khachaturian — Oriental Dance, Toccata arr. Dulova for harp Paradies — Keyboard Sonata No. Netzer for harp Turina — Tocata y Fuga, Op. Skip to content Loading.