David Ezra Okonsar | J.S. Bach: The French Suites, Vol. 1 (No. 1-2-3) BWV 812-814

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J.S. Bach: The French Suites, Vol. 1 (No. 1-2-3) BWV 812-814

by David Ezra Okonsar

J.S.Bach The French Suites VOL.1 (N.1-2-3) BWV812-814 performed on the piano
Genre: Classical: Bach
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. French Suite No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 812: I. Allemande
3:48 $1.99
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2. French Suite No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 812: II. Courante
2:47 $1.99
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3. French Suite No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 812: III. Sarabande
3:52 $1.99
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4. French Suite No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 812: IV. Menuet I & II
2:50 $1.99
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5. French Suite No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 812: V. Gigue
3:20 $1.99
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6. French Suite No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 813: I. Allemande
3:16 $1.99
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7. French Suite No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 813: II. Courante
2:28 $1.99
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8. French Suite No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 813: III. Sarabande
3:39 $1.99
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9. French Suite No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 813: IV. Air
1:26 $1.99
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10. French Suite No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 813: V. Menuet I & II
2:47 $1.99
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11. French Suite No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 813: VI. Gigue
2:42 $1.99
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12. French Suite No. 3 in B Minor, BWV 814: II. Allemande
3:32 $1.99
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13. French Suite No. 3 in B Minor, BWV 814: III. Courante
2:38 $1.99
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14. French Suite No. 3 in B Minor, BWV 814: IV. Sarabande
4:06 $1.99
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15. French Suite No. 3 in B Minor, BWV 814: V. Menuet I & II (Repetatur Menuet I)
4:26 $1.99
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16. French Suite No. 3 in B Minor, BWV 814: VI. Angloise (Gavotte)
1:30 $1.99
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17. French Suite No. 3 in B Minor, BWV 814: VII. Gigue
2:15 $1.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
About The French Suites 1-3 (BWV 812-814) By Johann Sebastian Bach

The French Suites were probably composed at the end of the composer's stay in Cöthen, 1717 - 1723. The first five were cloned in the Clavierbüchlein composed for Anna Magdalena in 1722.

In Cöthen, Bach mainly composed mom-religious works and he was at the apex of his instrumental style.

Different views exist on why these Suites are called "French".

Most probably, it is due to the insertion of highly popular French dances in Versailles as: Menuets, Gavottes, Bourrées and Lourées between the usual line of dances: Allemande - Courante - Sarabande - Gigue.

Also, we know how great was the impact of the French composers Bach studied the works when he was at Lünebourg and Celle. He has been certainly greatly influenced by the French harpsichord players he openly admired.

French Suites have between six and eight movements. They all have repeats in each section and the first three ones, in minor keys, are in a grave mood while the latter three, in major modes, are "lighter".

The Allemande which opens the first French Suite BWV 812 is an extremely refined and noble piece. It is made of an endless serpentine line moving between hands, where the composer displays the incredible amount of subtle contrapuntal imitation game between voices in the most lyrical way.

The Italian type of "Courante" which follows, literally runs from one hand to the other and from top to the bottom of the keyboard range and never loses pace.

The beautiful Sarabande is subtle and lyrical, based on a motive appearing alternatively at the top and the low voices. A calm and serene four-voice Sarabande which develops in a seemingly naive atmosphere made with an amazing composing mastery.

The two charming Menuets follow that almost religious Sarabande. The theme of the first Menuet re-appears inverted in the relative major key (F Major) in the second part of it. The second one, more souple is based on a theme which appears endlessly every four bars at the two top voices.

As usual a grave and noble Gigue, highly characterized by its dotted rhythm ends the Suite.

It is not like any final movement of a suite which are usually happy and brilliant. Rather it uses the solemn and majestic rhythms and idioms of a French-type Overture: dotted rhythms and fast runs.

All this is built upon a strict fugal organization with four entrances of the theme. The second part still displays the four thematic entrances, but this time inverted.

Eventually this type of Gigue can be found on some French lute players compositions.

The French Suite N.2 in C Minor BWV 813 starts with a grave and noble Allemande featuring a three part ecriture with an extreme diversity in rhythms and elaborations.

Souple and smooth, the next Courante is contrasted with the preceding Allemande. It is an Italian style fast Courante with mainly two voices.

Compared to the Sarabande of the previous Suite, this one is richly ornamented and presented as a single melodic line over a two-voice accompaniment.

The "Air" which follows is a brilliant and virtuoso duet, still dance-like in its elaboration.

A short and very gracious pair of Menuets with extreme simplicity and charm come next after the shining "Air".

A real French-style Gigue with its dotted rhythms but composed in three eights is, again, the finale of this Suite.

The Allemande French Suite N.3 in B Minor BWV 814 is more of a Prelude and less of a dance. Two voices in imitation run throughout and it is very sober in style.

The Courante is in the authentic French style, written in 6/4 time. A rich imitative structure prevails, with motives jumping between voices.

The Sarabande appears as a soloist's "Air", more tormented than the preceding one in the second Suite. Melodic elements also travel between voices and ranges.

From the following set of Menuets, the first one is a very straightforward but amazingly charming piece with two voices. The second one with three voices is more majestic and expressive.

Here appears the first French court dance piece: this "Angloise" also titled "Gavotte" does not appear in older publications. It is actually a two-beat French Gavotte yet with a more meandering melody which may justify its (first) title "Angloise".

After a fugue-like Gigue in the Suite N.1 and a French type one in Suite N.2, Bach composes here a real Italian-type Gigue which looks like a Passepied. Controversy still exists about the origins of the dance form Gigue, some argue for English sources, others claim it from Italian or French origins.

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