An analysis of bachs english suites

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.

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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.

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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.

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His version is equally rewarding - two great performances. Bach may indulge in extra-musical fun as well. Watchorn is slower, richer, and concentrates more than Leonhardt on the beauty of the music. Bach plays games with the tactus, the beat that determines measures and phrases. The allemande rights the performance. However, I don't want to minimize the other versions; they are excellent, aany one of them will provide the essence of the music. In , a wide range of Italian repertory, including the music of Antonio Vivaldi, became extremely popular at the Weimar court. Chapter 3 presents a complete descriptive analysis of the English Suites, with special emphasis given to their performance on the harpsichord. Bach appears to have been greater in England than in any other country outside Germany. I particularly enjoyed her transition to the recap. The music so cuts loose, you can easily forget that you're dancing within such a defined space.

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.

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A Performer's Guide to the English Suites