Bach-Liszt – Organ Prelude in A Minor, BWV 543. Detailed Piano Tutorial and Real-Time Practice


bach-prelude-pianocareer03Hi guys! Are you up for a challenge? :P

Today’s video lesson is dedicated to an amazing black-belt masterpiece for the advanced level (one of my all-time favorites!) – Liszt’s transcription of Bach’s Organ Prelude in A Minor (from the Prelude & Fugue cycle BWV 543) 8).

Besides being a detailed tutorial that will help you to analyze, practice and master the Prelude – this video is also a part of a new project that I recently launched for the members of my Piano Coaching Program at

This project is entitled Real-Time Practice – and its purpose is to take you ‘behind the curtain’ and offer you a realistic insight into how professional pianists practice (and you’ll find out more by watching the video below)!

In today’s tutorial, we will:

  • analyze the artistic concept, characters and dramaturgy of the Prelude;
  • set and bring out important expressive tasks – dynamics, phrasing, voicing, articulation, tempo etc.;
  • ‘decode’ all the polyphonic puzzles;
  • conquer the many technical challenges;

…and, since this is also a Real-Time Practice video, you will find step-by-step practice tips for each and every phrase! ;)

Part I of this tutorial (focused on bars 1-35 from the Prelude) is available here on (and also on my YouTube channel).

Part II (dedicated to the final section of the Prelude) is available only in the Members Area of (and there you can also download the edited score of the Prelude, with my detailed dynamic/tempo/voicing/character recommendations).

Before watching the video, you can download the unedited score of the complete Prelude & Fugue in A Minor – by clicking on the link below:
Bach-Liszt – Prelude & Fugue in A Minor, BWV 543

And now let’s get started! ;)

Bach-Liszt – Organ Prelude in A Minor, BWV 543.
Detailed Tutorial and Real-Time Practice

 Part I: Practicing bars 1-35.

Video highlights:

00:02. Introduction. On our menu today…
01:12. Real-Time Practice – a new project on!

01:51. The Prelude in A Minor – a short overview.
02:19. The artistic concept and main expressive tasks of the Prelude.

02:52. The Introduction (bars 1-9). The 1st phrase. Avoiding a ‘mechanical’ character. The organ and the violin. Voicing and phrasing.
05:54. The 2nd phrase [with triplets]. Step-by-step practice tips.
09:00. Pedaling. Underlying harmonies.
11:34. The 3rd phrase. Voicing and phrasing.

14:43. The section starting in bar 10 and its dramaturgy. Creating the gradual (and horizontal) dramatic increase leading to the culmination. Phrasing and dynamics.
16:46. Creating a ’rounded phrase shape’ for the the first couple of phrases of this section. Conquering the technical challenges. Practicing without pedal.
21:00. Practice tips for bar 20 (where we have hand crossings).
21:26. Voicing tips for this section (bars 10-21).
22:17. Connecting this section.

23:43. The culminating fragment (bars 22-25). Practice tips for the RH passage and the trill. The importance of horizontal thinking.
26:37. Pedaling recommendations for keeping the A ‘organ point’ in the LH sounding for as long as possible.
27:43. Bar 24. Practicing the LH octaves.
29:50. Reaching ff in the beginning of bar 25. Playing with a very powerful yet non-percussive sound. RH practice for this bar.

31:40. The section starting in the 2nd half of bar 25: the presentation of the Theme in the low register. Dramaturgy, character, dynamics, voicing.
33:19. Practicing the ‘layered’ polyphonic structure from bar 29.
37:00. Dynamic recommendations.
38:50. Always imagine how a phrase/motif/spot should sound before playing it!
39:22. Pedaling ‘research’ for bars 30-31.
40:41. Creating little dynamic ‘waves’ with each ‘rise and fall’ of the melodic layout.
42:08. Practicing the phrase with 32 notes (starting in bar 33).

48:12. Conclusion.

Get access to PART II of this tutorial (a step-by-step Practice Guide for the final section of Bach’s Organ Prelude in A Minor) by becoming a member of my Piano Coaching Program at! 😉

In the Private Members Area you will also discover many hundreds of other exclusive tutorials for ALL levels (including step-by-step courses and interactive projects) that reveal the professional secrets of the Russian piano school, helping you to acquire a whole new perspective on piano playing, to develop and transform your technical & expressive skills so that you can play freely, confidently and brilliantly! 8)

One more important thing: when leaning a new piece, don’t forget to listen to recordings of great pianists!

Out of all the recordings I could find on YouTube, my favorite at the moment is by Lise de la Salle. I also encourage you to listen to some other recordings as well (for having a deeper understanding of the expressive potential of this music) – such as Alexis Weissenberg’s.

Practice with love and inspiration,

P.S. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or (and now also on Pinterest!) to get instant updates, support and motivation! ;)

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