Instrument: Harpsichord, Anonymous Italian, early 18th century
Playing time: 151'
Production date: 1993
The English Suites were apparently written in the early 1720s, and were copied out in 1725; the first suite is simpler in form, and probably dates from c.1718. The title "English" continues to be mysterious; according to older sources it was derived from an English commission for these works, but none of this has been verified.
These suites form a direct continuation of the French style begun by Bach in the earlier French Suites. In this case, the suites are longer (the final five including massive da capo preludes) and the connection with functional dance music is more ephemeral. These suites therefore represent a critical stage in Bach's development of his mature Partitas. Of course, they are also pleasant to hear, if not full masterpieces.
There has also been some recent discussion that these suites are older than the French Suites.
To purchasing information for this disc.
To FAQ references to this recording.
To FAQ CD index page.Todd M. McComb