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JS Bach Prelude BWV 1006

J.S. Bach, "Prelude BWV 1006"

Transcription and Fingering: Renato Bellucci

The Prelude from suite BWV 1006 is without a doubt the bridge to a perfect world where everything works perfectly and everything is in the right place. It shows clearly how well  wired the brain of the German master was. The more I listen to the piece the more stunned I am and it is simply inconceivable to think that it could have been written any better. Any other Baroque prelude this long by any other composer would make us bored to death. Only Bach could improve on Bach and Prelude 1006 is the pinnacle of his chamber writing. Grandiose, magnificent, spectacular, are the adjectives that come to mind when I hear the work. The opening statement that seems to announce light joy changes to a  more solemn character only a few staffs into the work. The work reaches amazing peaks that send shivers through the soul and the only thing you want to do is play it or hear it again.

Narciso Yepes and John Williams are the best Bach guitar interpreter because of their absolute clarity of ideas when it comes to musical phrasing. Yepes did not record this work unfortunately (or at least I am not aware that he has). Williams' recordings of the piece and his interpretation are an excellent guide and so is the recording in Seville available on video (The Seville concert).

Williams fingering, although very intelligent, is tailored for his technique which I recommend you stay away from because although it works very well for Williams, it has been the doom for many players.  The piece must be studied with a commitment in mind. It cannot by any means be approached lightly. It requires the very best of the performer. You will have to make your own exercises to overcome certain passages and must leave nothing to chance. It takes years to take the piece to concert level and still, most players will never feel that they can perform it in public because in order to play a piece in public, you must be so much "above the work" in order for the work not to have the best of you. Be prepared to work the Prelude for many years, definitely worth every effort and getting closer to perfection is always the best thing you can do. Be patient.

Bach Archive, Liepzig, Germany

Bach Archive, Liepzig, Germany

Staff and Video 1

Analysis:
Bach sets the tonality straight from the very beginning. The E chord is the most powerful one on the guitar. So much so that heavy metal bands use it to start their recitals.. It catches your attention immediately and makes the instrument vibrate fully.
Depending on the speed at which you intend to play the piece, you may find the p-i-p or the a-i-a more suitable. Fingers a and i are the same lenght which makes them suitable and p-i are very well wired in our brains, therefore, decide accordingly.
Measure 2 is like the answer to the statement in measure 1.

Video 1
Asunción, October 27, 2009
Revision: Asunción, January 31, 2013
Revision: Asunción, February 19, 2014
Update: Asunción, June 6, 2014

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