Bach Prelude and Fugue in F minor

One of the pleasures of returning to these pieces after several years is rediscovering the music and also finding new ways of expressing it. I can’t remember exactly when I first learnt the F minor prelude and fugue, possibly about ten years ago; I wish I’d written the date rather than just ticking off the opening bars in the index! This time around I’ve become much freer with the ornaments. Grade 5 theory might have been responsible for my previous allergy to ornaments: there were prescribed interpretations of the various little symbols involving fairly complex mathematical calculations (for a ten-year-old!) and I loathed writing them out. Later on, I researched how I should perform each trill and mordent, then I listened to other pianists and discovered that each had their own solution to the ‘problem’. Ornaments are decorations after all, and should be left to the performer’s discretion. This is one of the longer sets, in this recording just over five minutes. The fugue is in 4 parts and common time, the chromatic subject starting on the second beat of the bar and stated in crotchets (and a final minim) for the first three bars before the second voice comes in with the answer.