domingo, 8 de octubre de 2017


This magnificent programme of three of Bach’s keyboard masterpieces begins with the English Suite no.2 in A minor BWV 807. But why ‘English’? Bach’s first biographer, Johann Nikolaus Forkel, whose source of information was the composer’s two eldest sons, speaks of ‘Six great Suites, consisting of preludes, allemandes, courantes, sarabandes, gigues, etc. They are known by the name of English Suites because the composer wrote them for an Englishman of rank’. Bach’s exchanges with British musicians, ‘of rank’ or otherwise, would seem to have been tenuous in the extreme. Having reflected at length on the question, scholars have come to think that this Englishman of rank might have been the . . . French musician François Dieupart, known as Charles. He lived in London for the greater part of his life, and died there around 1740. The reasoning behind this is that Bach quotes a motif borrowed from Dieupart in the Prélude to the very first suite. He had even copied out in his own hand, among other French and Italian scores, the six Suites de Clavessin of Dieupart, which date from the early years of the century and follow the same scheme as the six English Suites. So could Dieupart have been the ‘Englishman of rank’ to whom Bach was therefore paying tribute, or actually dedicating his work? Or, which seems more plausible, was it the example of Dieupart’s suites that prompted him to write a set of six suites in his turn?... (Excerpt from the liner Notes)

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