Skip to Content

Return to Calendar

Photo of University Hall

University Calendar

Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier (Book Two)

October 20, 2013, 5:00 pm
Location Chapin Hall (John J. Cali School of Music) - Leshowitz Recital Hall
CostFree, no tickets requiredPosted InCali School of Music

This unique concert will present Bach’s magnum opus, consisting of 24 Preludes and Fugues. The performance will feature a round-robin of performances, each player presenting one Prelude and Fugue, in the order that Bach published them..

Bach’s WTC Book Two dates from 1742, twenty years after Bach wrote his first volume of 24 Preludes and Fugues. Tuners were experimenting with a tuning system that would allow compositions to be written for keyboard in all twelve keys, to sound more or less equally in tune. One of Bach's primary purposes in composing each volume of the Well-Tempered Clavier was to demonstrate the feasibility of this "well-tempered" tuning system. And indeed, there is a Prelude and Fugue in all twelve keys, major and minor, for a total of twenty-four pairs of works. These volumes have long been a staple of every keyboard player’s training. Robert Schumann, several generations later, in his collection of Aphorisms, stated that the “Bach’s Preludes and Fugues should become our daily bread.” The fugues of these works represent the pinnacle of piano repertoire.

For further information, contact Professor David Witten 973-655-4379