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Wydawnictwo: Chandos
Nr katalogowy: CHAN 0826(2)
Nośnik: 2 CD
Data wydania: październik 2021
EAN: 95115082621
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Epoka muzyczna: barok
Obszar (język): niemiecki
Instrumenty: klawesyn
Rodzaj: suita

Bach: Complete English Suites

Chandos - CHAN 0826(2)
Sophie Yates, harpsichord
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CD 1:
Suite I in A major, BWV 806
Suite II in A minor, BWV 807
Suite III in G minor, BWV 808

CD 2:
Suite IV in F major, BWV 809
Suite V in E minor, BWV 810
Suite VI in D minor, BWV 811
There is no surviving autograph manuscript of Bach’s ‘English’ Suites, and for such a set of magnificent pieces, an important and well-loved part of the baroque keyboard ‘canon’, surprisingly little is known about its history. What we do know is that the suites are amongst Bach’s earlier works – probably written in the second decade of the eighteenth century – and that the appellation ‘English’ was not given to them until the 1750s.

In order to understand these fascinating works on a deeper level, we have to appreciate the importance of dance in the cultural context of eighteenth-century Europe. As a social skill, the ability to dance correctly was considered so vital that every court had a Dancing Master, often French, who taught the different types of dances to aspiring courtiers. Because of this, dancing, and by extension the instrumental dance suite, was one of the factors contributing to French taste’s becoming a defining characteristic of the baroque style.

As we know that the Dancing Master traditionally taught by playing tunes on the violin, it is quite possible that Bach’s own renditions of the dance forms were influenced by the playing of Jean-François Monjou – Dancing Master at the Cöthen court, where the young Johann Sebastian worked from 1717 until 1723. On that basis, acclaimed early keyboard specialist Sophie Yates has recorded these works on a double-manual Flemish harpsichord by Andrew Garlick, a copy of the petit ravalement instrument by Ioannes Ruckers, 1624, now at the Musée Unterlinden, Colmar, France.

Recording: Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire; 7 – 9 April 2021. Instrument: Double manual Flemish harpsichord by Andrew Garlick, Buckland St Mary (Somerset), copy of the petit ravalement instrument by Ioannes Ruckers, 1624.

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