Haupz Blog

... still a totally disordered mix


2021-03-01 — Michael Haupt

Twenty-four is a nice number, right?

There is one musical work the title of which you've surely heard: The Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach. It consists of 24 preludes and fugues in all the major and minor keys, and you certainly know the C-major prelude (listen to the end to also hear the fugue). This piece is immensely popular, and Charles Gounod wrote an Ave Maria that reuses it as accompaniment (here is Bobby McFerrin and audience's wonderful rendition).

But I digress. The point is that there are those 24 pieces that each tap into the potential of the respective key. There are more pieces like this. The Well-Tempered Clavier actually has a volume I and a volume II, so it's actually two times twenty-four preludes and fugues. Dmitri Shostakovich also wrote 24-sized packages - also twice, as op. 34 (just preludes) and op. 87 (preludes and fugues - this video only has the first half, the complete recording is here).

That got me interested, and of course there's a list. There are many names on there that I know I can associate with good music, so I guess I have some listening to do.

Tags: music