Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sviatoslav Richter Plays Bach

The English Suites (BWV 806–811) refer to a set of six suites written by the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach for harpsichord and generally thought to be the earliest of Bach's 18 suites for keyboard, the others being the 6 French Suites (BWV 812–817) and the 6 Partitas (BWV 825–830).
Originally, their date of composition was thought to have been between 1718 and 1720, but more recent research suggests that they are likely to have been composited earlier, around 1715, while the composer was living in Weimar. Bach was obliged to write a new cantata every week during his time at the Weimar court, and the English Suites he composed at this time express Bach's longing for new, instrumental music and held therefore a very special place in Bach's life and work. Later in Köthen and Leipzig he worked on a full-time basis with professional orchestras, providing him an ideal context in which to create orchestral and purely instrumental compositions.
Like the French Suites, the use of the term English to describe the Suites was a later addition. The name is thought to date back to a claim made by the nineteenth-century Bach biographer Johann Nikolaus Forkel that they were composed for an English nobleman, although no evidence has emerged to substantiate this claim. There are several striking characteristics about the English Suites. Bach includes a highly virtuosic prelude for each, in a departure from the prevailing tradition dictating a strict progression of the dance movements ("Allemande", "Courante", "Sarabande" and "Gigue"). By comparison, the later French Suites and Partitas are less strict in form. The "Sarabande" and "Gigue" movements in each of the English Suites is never separated by more than a single (twinned) "Menuet" or "Menuet-like" movement. Finally, the English Suites are predominantly in the minor key.

Source :

Sviatoslav Richter
J. S. Bach


English Suite n° 1 in A major, BWV 806
1 Prélude  2:07
2 Allemande  4:26
3 Courante I  1:45
4 Courante II  2:27
5 Double I  2:25
6 Double II  2:27
7 Sarabande  4:37
7 Bourrée I  1:44
9 Bourrée II  2:08
10 Gigue  2:34

English Suite n° 3 in G minor, BWV 808
11 Prélude  3:34
12 Allemande  3:05
13 Courante  2:21
14 Sarabande  4:54
15 Les Agréments de la même Sarabande  5:21
16 Gavotte  I 1:27
17 Gavotte II ou la musette  1:37
18 Gigue  2:51


Sviatoslav Richter - p

Recorded in France ; June 1991


аффтор said...

thanks a lot!
I'm impressed with the range of your interests, your taste, and its resemblance to mine in some details.

Melanchthon said...

Peter said...

Dear Melanchthon,

thank you.

kike said...

Thanks Mel, Bach is music to my soul.

best regards, K.

baar said...

Thank You,Mel!

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Thank you!!