Johann Sebastian Bach
Important Note on the performance of
Fugue 1 of the 48 by Wanda Landowska.

“The first Fugue, in the key of C major, is magnificent and triumphant. We generally hear the first F of the theme dotted, followed by thirty-seconds. But this theme in the authentic Bach version has neither dot not thirty-seconds.

It was while examining minutely the autograph of the first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier, called the Volkmann Autograph, that I observed the dot and the thirty-seconds were added afterward, in fresher ink. In all probability this retouching was made by Altnikol or Kirnberger, doubtless in an attempt to avoid some fifths or dissonances.

Besides, the rhythmic design — an eighth followed by two sixteenths — is one of the most frequent in Bach, appearing as often in the theme of the fugues of The Well-Tempered Clavier as in other pieces.”

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Landowska’s performance of this Fugue.

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