Prelude and fugue in C major

Prelude and fugue in C major

BWV 547 performed by Leo van Doeselaar
Walloon Church, Amsterdam

  • Menu
  • Prelude
  • Fugue

Behind the music

Extra videos
Extra videos

Movement and motionlessness

Just when the end appears to be in sight, the pedal enters unexpectedly

In this piece, Bach plays with movement and motionlessness. The 9/8 time signature of the Prelude almost automatically evokes a rocking motion, which is underlined in the first bar by the clear division into three groups of three notes. It is almost like a procession striding into the church and is reminiscent of the opening chorus of cantata BWV 65. Whereas there the orchestra sounds “like a wonderful organ”, in this case we really hear Müller’s wonderful instrument from 1734. From the opening of the Prelude onwards, a world of movement unfolds. The hands start to play faster notes and the pedal enters below with a hop, step and jump.

Bach plays with motionlessness as well. Towards the end of the Prelude, we hear long, motionless notes in the pedal and at a certain moment the movement seems to falter to a halt in a series of chords that go off the harmonic rails. In the Fugue, too, Bach strategically breaks the ongoing movement. Just when the end appears to be in sight, he makes your heart jump when the pedal suddenly enters unexpectedly! This brings the feet of organist Leo van Doeselaar into action again as well. The fugue theme is heard in a tempo that is twice as slow. In the Fugue, too, there is a short chromatic ‘faltering’ near the end, after which the pedal comes to rest on the home base with a throbbing low C, while the rest of the parts run the final stretch.

Prelude and fugue in C major
organ works
Leipzig? Also dated earlier (1719)

With support from

The Miller Family Charitable Foundation

Extra videos

Organist Leo van Doeselaar

“When you least expect it, there's the pedal entry.”

Vocal texts




  • Release date
    22 March 2019
  • Recording date
    10 February 2018
  • Location
    Walloon Church, Amsterdam
  • Organist
    Leo van Doeselaar
  • Organ
    Christian Müller, 1734
  • Director and editor
    Bas Wielenga
  • Music recording
    Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Pim van der Lee
  • Music edit and mix
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera
    Merijn Vrieling, Ivo Palmen, Martin Struijf, Bjorn Tiebout
  • Director of photography
    Merijn Vrieling
  • Lights
    Zen Bloot, Henry Rodgers, Patrick Galvin
  • Video engineer
    Vincent Nugteren
  • Set technique
    Dennis van Hoek
  • Data handling
    Jesper Blok
  • Project manager nep
    Peter Ribbens
  • Interview
    Onno van Ameijde, Marloes Biermans
  • Producer concert
    Imke Deters
  • Producer film
    Jessie Verbrugh
  • With support from
    The Miller Family Charitable Foundation

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