Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C BWV 1066
Johann Sebastian Bach
|1||Overture||0:05:51||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|2||Courante||0:02:08||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|3||Gavotte I and II||0:03:02||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|4||Forlane||0:01:24||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|5||Menuet I and II||0:02:54||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|6||Bourée I and II||0:02:39||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|7||Passepied I and II||0:03:05||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|1||Overture||0:05:59||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|2||Courante||0:01:55||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|3||Gavotte I and II||0:03:01||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|4||Forlane||0:01:21||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|5||Menuet I and II||0:02:53||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|6||Bourée I and II||0:02:30||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
|7||Passepied I and II||0:03:07||Add to Playlist||Play Now|
One great pleasure of getting to know Baroque music is becoming familiar with the different national and local styles of the 18th century. They were distinctive enough for us to be able to observe them traversing Europe. Musicians would travel far and wide, learning as they went, absorbing influences and sharing them with others. Handel, for example, worked mostly in London, but brought his experience of opera and instrumental music from Italy and Germany. As he wrote his own music, these influences cross-germinated, creating new hybrids and unique sounds.
Bach traveled comparatively little beyond his home in Germany. He would walk miles and miles to hear a particular musician play, but he never went to Amsterdam, London, Rome or Paris. Instead, he must have relied on other musicians, and on printed music, to catch the latest musical trends — for his works show he was far from ignorant of current musical thinking.
The orchestral suite is a French form. It consists of a prelude, followed by a sequence of dances, testament to a Gallic love of ballet that survived well into the 19th century. (Even the greatest Italian and German composers felt obliged to add ballets to their scores when presenting their works in Paris.)
Bach seems to have shared the French love of the dance, albeit in abstract form. He wrote hundreds, none of which were meant to be danced to. With its roots in choreography, dance music evolved out of the steps and different forms had very clear rules and conventions. Bach respected that, but also relished the challenge of elevating them into a purely musical invention. Here he offers a Courante (a brisk dance incorporating hops among the steps), Gavottes (a lively peasant dance) Menuets (formal, in 3/4 time), Bourrées (a quick, elegant dance, similar to a gavotte) and Passepieds (a walking dance). He also includes a rarity: a Forlane. This was a Venetian dance of exceptional grace. The spirit of Italy is felt in one other regard: Bach treats his three wind instruments as soloists in a concerto grosso, the quintessential Italian form of the time. So, this piece by the great German composer was born of French and Italian parents.