Bach Toccata, Adagio & Fuga in C, BWV 564

Bach Toccata, Adagio & Fuga in C, BWV 564

BWV 564Edit

Bach’s Toccata, Adagio in Fugue in C major BWV 564 is an example of Bach’s innovation during the late Baroque period. Unlike the traditional Prelude and Fugue, BWV 564 consists of three movements.

The Toccata begins with a passaggio solo in the keyboard, followed by a virtuosic pedal solo, the pedal solo is rather extensive in length. The opening of the solo is almost identical to one of Buxtehude’s pedal solos in his Praeludium in C, BuxWV 137, (measures 1-4). The rest of the Toccata draws itself from motifs that are taken from the pedal solo for full organ.

The middle movement, the Adagio, is unusual in Bach’s compositions. It has Italian influence. For example, the pedal used a pizzicato style articulation and a realized continuo part with a solo above. It is also in a minor key, similar to the convention of the Italian concerto.

The final movement, the Fugue, contains a counter-subject which has dialogue with the subject, which for Bach is unusual, but very innovative.