During a prolific period in his artistic life, both musically and as an author—he often referred to himself principally as a composer who had drifted into authorship – Anthony Burgess composed a set of 24 Preludes and Fugues called The Bad-Tempered Electronic Keyboard, written to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach. This ingenious and inventive piece, with its brief romantic and music hall elements, oscillates between the classicism of Bach and the modernity of Shostakovich, whose own set of Preludes and Fugues had been written in 1950–51.
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