Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in F Minor, BWV 857, Pieter Dirksen

Every Friday the Netherlands Bach Society adds a new high quality video recording to its website as part of its All of Bach initiative. Their goal is to perform all of J.S. Bach’s works in the run-up to the organization’s centenary in 2022. One of the recent additions to their Youtube channel is harpsichordist and musicologist Pieter Dirksen’s performance of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in F minor, BWV 857. This is the twelfth piece from Book 1 of The Well-Tempered Clavierpublished in 1722.

Contrast is a characteristic of many of Bach’s prelude and fugue pairings—an introspective prelude leading to a sunny, transcendent fugue, for example. Here, an atmosphere of beautiful and inescapable melancholy pervades both. Listen to the way the motivic cells move from one voice to another, engaging in a sublime conversation and branching out in a process of continuous evolution. This music develops with an awe-inspiring sense of inevitability. Notice the way an allusion to the Prelude’s theme returns in the Fugue around 5:43.


About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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