Works For Cembalo
Format: COMPACT DISC
J.S. Bach's 6 English Suites (BWV 806-811) were written around 1715 during Bach's time at the court in Weimar (1708-1717). In spite of their title, most of the English suites begin with a large-scale polyphonic Prelude in the style of the Italian concerto grosso, whereas most of the dance movements are written in the French manner. The Prelude of the sixth suite (BWV 811) featured on this album is preceded by a slow introduction, which gives the piece some extra length and weightiness. The Gigue of this suite is particularly challenging because of its frequent organ points that are sustained by long trills, to be played against other voices in the same hand. Technically, this texture can be seen as a precursor of the so-called "Beethoven trill". The Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-flat major (BWV 998), written about twenty years after the English Suites, were conceived for "lute or harpsichord". Written in the soothing key of E-flat major, these pieces evoke a pastoral mood. The final selection on this recording (Suite) is Gustav Leonhardt 's (1928-2012) G minor arrangement of the second Violin Partita in D minor (BWV 1004). This transposed version makes exquisite use of the harpsichord's sonoraus potential. The famous Ciaccona, well known from a number of famous transcriptions for piano, concludes this suite. The harpsichord played on this recording was made in 1976 by Martin Skowroneck (1926-2014) after an original two-manual harpsichord from 1728 by Christian Zell. The instrument's plectra are made of bird's quill.