Pieter Dirksen The Authorship of the Prelude and Fugue in f minor ( BWV 534)
Het ORGEL 96 (2000), nr. 5, 5-14 [summary]

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710-1784)Though the sources do not support a clear attribution, and despite several unusual features, the 19th-century attribution of the Prelude and Fugue in f minor (BWV 534) to Johann Sebastian Bach was never seriously questioned until quite recently (in an article by David Humphreys in 1985). The now generally accepted rejection from his œuvre of course makes the question of authorship question acute. Though the known transmission can be traced back to a (lost) copy, once in the possession of Johann Christian Kittel (1732-1809), it is highly unlikely that he was the ‘ghost’ author of BWV 534. The style of the piece and the nature of the transmission make an attribution to Bach’s eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann (1710-1784) much more plausible. Indeed, though the work is unique in certain respects, several of its features point to the style of this composer, while the peculiar quality and pathos of the whole may be seen to as an echo of the improvisations of this legendary organist.