Easiest North German Preludes & Fugues (not "The Eight")
  • I've tackled about half a dozen selections from the Orgelbuechlein, BWV 525/3, Nicolaus Bruhns' Praeludium in g, and an assortment of repertoire from the Romantic era. (I've been more judicious in my selection of Romantic repertoire, especially French Romantic, because it often seems impossible to achieve constant legato with my hand size, and I can't cheat like one can on the piano.) Toes-only pedal technique is not an issue at this point, and I feel comfortable tackling pedal solos going forward.

    Beyond "the Eight", all of the monumental Preludes & Fugues in the repertoire seem relatively equivalent in difficulty from my perspective, and so I'm looking for advice on a straightforward entry point to quickly broaden my repertoire. BWV 546 was suggested online and seems manageable; I'm wondering if even easier pieces exist. I own most of the works of Bach and all of Buxtehude, and am not above purchasing additional scores if the price and quality is right.
  • Several of Vincent Lübeck’s works are moderately easy.
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  • Johannes Peyer
  • I would recommend taking a look at BWV 552 (St Anne Prelude and Fugue). While I am still learning it myself, it does seem easier than some of Bach's other works. My opinion on that might change as I learn more of the piece, however.

    If you are willing to give French organ music another try, take a look at the Grand Triumphal Chorus by Alexandre Guilmant. I can play it without having to stretch my hand more than an octave.

    Here is a link to the sheet music: https://www.free-scores.com/download-sheet-music.php?pdf=54543. There is one error in the music: in measure 72 the G should be a natural.
  • Georg Bohms's praeludia are nice, impressive, and not overly difficult.
    You might take a look at Bach's Pastorale, a very nice piece, especially for Christmas, when pastorales typically were played.
    By the way, most scholars now agree that the 'The Eight Little' are by Krebs, not Bach. ( always did think that they were unworthy of Bach.
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  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,373
    Whatever consensus there might have been around Krebs has also collapsed since Spitta first cast about for a likely suspect.

    BuxWV 157 is a piece that finds its way into a lot of organ methods.
  • tandrews
    Posts: 104
    I've been waiting for a Krebs/Bach topic to show up for a long time!
    500 x 648 - 141K
  • Thanks for the suggestions. I agree that "the Eight" are not exactly the finest fare attributed to Bach, and was hoping to bypass them as much as possible.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,676
    tandrews, your picture is a nice mixture of Mozart and Bach. It's like a Mach piece, really.
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  • I'm not so sure I'd recommend tackling the St. Anne, yet. It's a big piece and it requires some stamina. It's technically not the easiest either - it requires a lot of fast movement in both the manuals and pedals. But it could work if you want a longer project. The entire piece lasts about 15 minutes and it's on the RCM ARCT list, just to give some context. (ARCT is the highest level in RCM)
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  • Try, perhaps, BWV 545 Prelude and Fugue in C Major. It's not easy but it's not the most difficult either.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,560
    you can see and hear a preview of this one on my website (granted, i am late german/american)


    audio preview

  • The Bach C-Major (BMV 545) mentioned above by Casavant is a fine piece, has great thematic and rhythmic affinities with Bohm's Praeludium in the same key, and may have been modeled after it. Though this is disputed, we have it on the testimony of C.P.E. Bach that his father studied with Bohm and was very impressed with his music.
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  • mikevp
    Posts: 12
    You might want to consider something like p/f in e minor BWV 533 or p/f in A major BWV 536.
    Have a look at what's in the RCCO/RCO/AGO colleague exam or a conservatory syllabus for organ. There's lots of interesting Böhm or Buxtehude listed in both.
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  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,060
    I think the 8 still are great teaching pieces, and there are some excellent movements! That said, to the point, the Buxtehude manualiter praeludia are all pretty easy and are structured similarly to the larger-scale pedaliter cousins. They're also super easy to throw together quickly, especially if you have an organ with limited resources.
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  • MarkS
    Posts: 266
    They are not paired with preludes, but the Fugue in b minor BWV 579 'on a theme of Corelli' and the 'Little' g minor fugue BWV 578 are both somewhere in between 'the eight' and the big P&Fs in terms of difficulty and make good 'stepping stones' towards that end.
  • Maybe Rastatt is too far south, but surprised no one has mentioned Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer's Ariadne Musica. Great and accessible collection.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,333
    Try fugues by Walter and Buxtehude. Or just look up "Fugue" on ismlp and you will get 500 examples.