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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Is Toccata and Fugue in D Minor not actually by Johann Sebastian Bach?!


We all know how it goes. I just added it as a selection on my Halloween playlist posting. However, apparently there is a lot of debate as to whether Toccata and Fugue in D minor, what most people consider Bach's most recognizable work, is actually a composition by Bach at all.

According to the Post-Gazette article, the piece just does not fit as something Bach would have written stylistically. Peter Williams writes that, "It is a little worrying when literally the first and last notes of a piece of music raise doubts." Bruce Fox-LeFriche points out that "No other Bach fugue contains such feeble part-writing, complete absence of contrasting rhythm, contrary motion or a least a few notes that don't slavishly follow the subject."

In fact, the Toccata and Fugue doesn't resemble anything Bach ever wrote for the organ. Some scholars actually believe that the piece may be a transcription of a piece originally written for violin.

Whatever the case, I am certainly a little bit shocked to find this out and can't believe I hadn't heard anything about it before.

[Thanks to The Electric Commentary]

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