Fantasia and fugue in A minor

Fantasia and fugue in A minor

BWV 904 performed by Francesco Corti
Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam

  • Menu
  • 1. Fantasia
  • 2. Fugue

Behind the music

Extra videos
Extra videos

Descending lines

Modest luxury, rather than dexterous virtuosity

Harpsichordist Francesco Corti describes this Fantasia and fugue in A minor as ‘unusual’. As is often the case with Bach, little is known about the origins of the piece. It is not even clear whether he intended it for organ, clavichord or harpsichord. In his interview about the work, Francesco Corti explains why he thinks the harpsichord is more suitable than the organ.

The Fantasia begins with a series of descending notes in the bass, and descending lines continue to dominate the rest of the piece. The Fugue builds up steadily to a four-part web of harmonies. Then halfway through, there is a chromatically descending line as a second theme, which takes the idea of the descending bass in the Fantasia one step further. And then Bach weaves both themes together to form a rich harmonic whole. Rather than dexterous virtuosity, this is modest luxury - rather like eighteenth-century, ungilded, mahogany carving.

Fantasia and fugue in A minor
harpsichord works
Köthen or Leipzig

Extra videos

Harpsichordist Francesco Corti

“Bach manages to turn a classic, solidly constructed fugue into an entertaining piece.”

Vocal texts




  • Release date
    25 May 2018
  • Recording date
    3 February 2017
  • Location
    Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam
  • Harpsichordist
    Francesco Corti
  • Harpsichord
    Bruce Kennedy, 1989 after Michael Mietke
  • Director and editor
    Lucas van Woerkum
  • Assistant director
    Stijn Berkhouwer
  • Music recording
    Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Pim van der Lee
  • Music edit and mix
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera
    Jochem Timmerman, Rene Holbrugge, Kenneth Dirkzwager
  • Intern camera
    Klazina Westra
  • Lights
    Zen Bloot
  • Set technique
    Justin Mutsaers
  • Data handling
    Jesper Blok
  • Project manager nep
    Peter Ribbens
  • Interview
    Onno van Ameijde, Marloes Biermans
  • Producer concert
    Marco Meijdam
  • Producer film
    Jessie Verbrugh

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