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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach Composer

Fugue for Lute in G-, BWV1000

Performances: 34
Tracks: 34
  • Fugue for Lute in G-, BWV1000
    Key: G-
    Year: c.1725
    Genre: Prelude / Fugue
    Pr. Instrument: Lute
Sometime shortly after moving from Cöthen to Leipzig in 1723, and prompted perhaps by his friendships with lutenist Christian Weyrauch and a handful of other Leipzig lute-lovers, J.S. Bach extracted the second movement (fuga) from his Sonata No. 1 in G minor for solo violin, BWV 1001 (1720), and reshaped it into a compact, demanding work for solo lute. The lute version, which is cataloged as BWV 1000, survives in no definitive manuscript version, but there is a contemporary copy in tablature (a system of notation that Bach himself never once used; the copy was likely made by Weyrauch). Nowadays, however, any number of transcriptions and re-transcriptions made by third parties are made to pass as BWV 1000—a necessary evil, as this Fugue in G minor for lute is played almost exclusively by Classical guitarists, whose instrument differs from the Baroque lute in very basic ways. (And the debate still rages over exactly what kind or kinds of lute—if indeed any kind of lute at all, and not actually Lautenwerk harpsichord—Bach intended to play his lute music.)

In any case, the Fugue in G minor, BWV 1000, is the first of Johann Sebastian's Leipzig period lute works; it is usually played in conjunction with the slightly earlier Prelude in C minor, BWV 999, forming a makeshift prelude and fugue unit (in two different keys, unless the pieces are transposed, as they very often are) like those in the vaguely contemporaneous Well-Tempered Clavier Book I.

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