Bach: Clavierübung II

J.S. Bach: Italian Concerto / French Overture
Davitt Moroney
Virgin Veritas 59272


    Concerto in the Italian Style, F major (BWV 971)
  1. [Allegro]
  2. Andante
  3. Presto

  4. Prelude, Fugue & Allegro, Eb major (BWV 998)
  5. Prelude
  6. Fugue
  7. Allegro

  8. 4 Duetti (BWV 802-5)
  9. Duetto I in E minor
  10. Duetto II in F major
  11. Duetto III in G major
  12. Duetto IV in A minor

  13. Ouverture in the French Manner, B minor (BWV 831)
  14. Ouverture
  15. Courante
  16. Gavottes I, II
  17. Passepieds I, II
  18. Sarabande
  19. Bourée I, II
  20. Gigue
  21. Echo

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.

Two similar programs:

Bach: Concerto Italien / Ouverture à la française
Kenneth Gilbert
Harmonia Mundi musique d'abord 1901278
Bach: Italian Concerto / French Overture / 4 Duetti / Chromatic Fantasy
Christophe Roussett
L'Oiseau Lyre 433 054

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Todd M. McComb