PRELUDES & FUGUES – J S Bach and Dmitri Shostakovich


Wednesday 21 March
Bach (Book I): Nos. 1-12
Shostakovich: Nos. 1-4

Wednesday 11 April
Bach (Book I): Nos. 13-24
Shostakovich: Nos. 5-9

Tuesday 24 April
Bach (Book II): Nos. 1-8
Shostakovich: Nos. 10-15

Tuesday 8 May
Bach (Book II): Nos. 9-16
Shostakovich: Nos. 16-19

Tuesday 22 May
Bach (Book II): Nos. 17-24
Shostakovich: Nos. 20-24

J S Bach compiled two books of 24 Preludes and Fugues which he wrote at different times: the first was finished by 1722, the second by 1744 (or possibly earlier). Each book follows the same key scheme progression of major/minor pairs, beginning with C Major and ascending the 12-note chromatic scale (C Major, C minor, C-sharp Major, C-sharp minor etc.).

In 1950/51 Dmitri Shostakovich wrote a single cycle of 24 Preludes & Fugues which was intentionally modelled on the Bach work. In Shostakovich’s scheme, however, the pieces proceed in major/relative minor pairs around the circle of fifths: first C Major and A minor, then to one sharp (G Major, E minor), two sharps (D Major, B minor) and so on.

Gusztáv Fenyő will adhere strictly to each composer’s published order. The first part of each concert will be devoted to Bach, the second to Shostakovich.

The division of Bach’s second book into three programmes rather than two, as for the first book, reflects the longer length of the individual pieces; Shostakovich’s Preludes & Fugues also vary in length. The Preludes & Fugues of both composers have been divided between the five programmes partly to create programmes of roughly similar duration, but also, where possible, to create an appropriate conclusion to each concert.