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Composed: c. 1723

About this Piece

Where many of Bach’s fugues open with a free and virtuosic introduction, the Fantasia and Fugue in C minor is decidedly restrained, focusing on a lyricism that expresses a mournful “lamento” tone in the fantasia section as the lingering high melody seems to savor each note suspended in air and shifting lower harmonies tease resolution that never seems to come. Unlike many of the organ works composed in Bach’s second Weimar period, there is no cadenza in either the fantasia or fugue, and even the latter with its stacking of themes introduced in the fantasia could be imagined as owing to Bach’s keen sense of choral music. —Ricky O’Bannon