Saturday, 6 April 2013


“Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die.” - Paul Simon

Johann Sebastian Bach for Music Saturday today. Bach must be my favourite composer, and we are lucky to have almost all of his oeuvre with us and available to listen to. How lucky we are nowadays that we can just listen to almost whatever music we wish by simply clicking on a button. In the past, people had to attend concerts or make the music themselves. Lucky, lucky, lucky us!

The four Orchestral Suites or Ouvertures BWV 1066–1069 are a set of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach. The word “ouverture” refers to an opening movement in which a section of slow dotted-note rhythm is followed by a fugue; at the time, this name was also used to refer to a whole suite of dance-pieces in the French baroque style.

Suite No. 1 in C major, BWV 1066
CouranteGavotte I/II
Minuet I/II
Bourrée I/II
Passepied I/II
Instrumentation: Oboe I/II, bassoon, violin I/II, viola, basso continuo

Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067
Bourrée I/II
Polonaise (Lentement) – Double
Instrumentation: Solo flute, violin I/II, viola, basso continuo
The Badinerie has become a show-piece for solo flautists because of its quick pace and difficulty.

Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Gavotte I/II
Instrumentation: Trumpet I/II/III, timpani, oboe I/II, violin I/II, viola, basso continuo
The Air is one of the most famous pieces of baroque music. An arrangement of the piece by German violinist August Wilhelmj (1845–1908) has come to be known as Air on the G String.

Suite No. 4 in D major, BWV 1069
Bourrée I/II
GavotteMenuet I/II
Instrumentation: Trumpet I/II/III, timpani, oboe I/II/III, bassoon, violin I/II, viola, basso continuo
The opening movement of this suite was reused by Bach as the choral opening to his cantata Unser Mund sei voll Lachens, BWV 110. The voices come in at the opening of the fugal gigue, so that their singing of Lachen (laughter) sounds like "ha ha ha", a technique Bach used a few times in his vocal works.

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