- in Attachments the free musical score.
The three prelude-fugue pairs in Op. 37 are in C minor, G major, and D minor. Though the work was published in 1837, some of the music began to take shape as early as 1833 during a visit -- one of many -- the composer made to England. Mendelssohn had become acquainted with the English organist Thomas Attwood, and the seeds of the fugues of Op. 37, No. 1 and Op. 37, No. 3 were planted in some improvisations that Mendelssohn did at Attwood's encouragement. The other fugue, that in G major of Op. 37, No. 2, was written in 1836. All three of the preludes were composed in early April 1837, and later in the year the whole bunch of six pieces was printed with a dedication to Attwood.
The spirit of the great Leipzig master positively oozes from the pages of Op. 37, and yet Mendelssohn's own technical skills, and, in the end, whatever his detractors might say, strength of personality (a mild-mannered, ingratiating, inoffensive personality is, after all, still a personality), are so great that one sometimes doesn't even notice the retrospective qualities of the work. More than one listener has sat and marveled at how near to form yet utterly different in spirit Mendelssohn's preludes and fugues are to Bach's.