It breaks my heart every time I hear it. Many pianists can't wait to get through it. Bach BWV Introduction: The great collection of six large harpsichord suites with introductory preludes by Johann Sebastian Bach, known for well over two centuries as the English Suites, has received the consistent attention of keyboard players since the second quarter of the eighteenth century.
That choreographed dance is similarly subject to ephemeral performance considerations and variations of tempo and affect is made clear by Little and Jenne. Hewitt in general takes an airy approach to the suites, even whimsical at times, that mostly serves her very well.
Watchorn and Leonhardt are models of elegance with incisive urgency; both readings are on the slow side. For example, Hewitt notes that the keys of all the suites, set out in order — A a g F e d — play the opening line to "Jesu, meine Freude" Jesus, my joya favorite chorale of Bach's.
Originally, their date of composition was thought to have been between andbut more recent research suggests that the composition was likely earlier, aroundwhile the composer was living in Weimar. Angela Hewitt's Bach is also bang on schedule: just one more volume to come inten years after the series began.
But that presents a problem. Thanks are especially due to my advisor, John Daverio, who, with patience and wisdom, steered this work through its various stages, and whose experience and expertise have greatly enhanced the quality of the finished product.
The reasons for the lack of attention devoted to these important staples of the Bach repertoire are not entirely clear, though the lack of a surviving autograph or a composer-supervised edition, as in the case of the six Partitas, BWV has clearly been a factor.
To beat Hewitt, however, they'd have to jump the moon.