ABRSM 2021 & 2022 - Grade 4
All 9: A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3
This Prelude was originally written for the lute, but works well on the keyboard too.
E-flat or D in bar 23
I grew up with the Eb-in-bar-23 version. My understanding is that we know about this piece through a copy made during Bach's lifetime by J. P. Kellner; we don't have a version in Bach's hand. In the Kellner version (available on imslp.org) it is clearly an Eb and his handwriting is very neat; there's no room for doubt here.
Subsequent editors have questioned the Eb, presuming that Bach intended an uninterrupted D pedal. To my ear both work well, but if preparing students for an exam I would explain what we know, but encourage the D for an exam performance, simply because that is the ABRSM score. The story sheds light on questions of authenticty, the role of editors, and the importance of, or not (!) following the score.
Thanks for drawing my attention to this Elizabeth.
We can also see in this handwritten score the C clef placed on the bottom line of the upper stave. I'm not aware of any instruments using that clef nowadays. Perhaps it's a lute thing?