Johann Kaspar Ferdinand Fischer
(ca. 1665-1746)
Praeludium VIII
(from Blumen-Büschlein, Opus II )
Praeludium and Chaconne

Transcribed for Organ Solo by
Ennis Fruhauf

Complimentary 16 page PDF Booklet


Little is known of the life of Johann Kaspar Ferdinand Fischer, who was born sometime between 1665 and 1670. He is presumed to have served as Hof-kapellmeister to Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden, a professional tie that existed throughout his career. He passed away in Rastatt in 1746. Notable in his compositional output are numerous works for solo keyboard, including his Ariadne Musicae, a cycle of miniature preludes and fugues known to Johann Sebastian Bach.

Fischer’s Praeludium VIII in G Major is exerpted from a collection of compositions for keyboard solo entitled Blumen–Büschlein, Opus II. The opening prelude is notable in its inclusion of a section written in block chords that bears the indication, “Harpeggiando per tutto con discrezione e senza riposar,” which has been offered here in a detailed realization that follows the spirit of his instructions. The ensuing chaconne is composed in the tradition of a basso ostinato: a simple bass line four measures in length is repeated in paired presentations, underpinning and imbuing each variation with its inherent melodic and harmonic structure. A telling contrast is introduced by a modulation to the parallel minor key. With the eventual return of the original G major tonic, additional movement and intensity is introduced by the contraction and repetition of the original theme, compacted from four measures to two. The chaconne concludes with a gentle return of the four-measure thematic structure heard in the beginning.

This musical gem will provide a congenial addition to recital repertory with its charming sonorities and transparent textures and structure.  It is not difficult technically and will be effective on larger or smaller instruments.

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