Instrument: Harpsichord, John Philips 1980 (after Ruckers 1646)
Playing time: 71'
Recording date: September 1990
The Italian Concerto & French Overture make up Part II of Bach's Clavierübung series. The former is a masterful attempt to capture a soloist-orchestra dialog on a single instrument, while the latter is the last of Bach's dance suites for keyboard.
The 4 Duetti come from Clavierübung III, which consists primarily of the German Organ Mass. The duetti form a sort of appendix to this publication, and have long been considered most appropriate for harpsichord. They are in the basic style of the two-part inventions, but with counterpoint which is both more elaborate & refined. The 4 are seemingly grouped as two sets of two, which each present something of the character of a prelude & fugue.
BWV 998 is an early work, apparently intended for the composite instrument lute-harpsichord, and now played on either lute or harpsichord.
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