Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Performance date: 29/06/2022
Venue: Bantry House
Composition Year: 1731
Recording Engineer: Eduardo Prado, Ergodos
Zoltán Fejérvári -
Johann Sebastian Bach [1685-1750]
Partita in C minor BWV 826 
To music lovers, for the delight of their spirits.
Johann Sebastian Bach, the dedication of Clavier-Übung
Seventy years after their publication it was said of Bach’s Clavier-Übung: Such excellent compositions for the clavier had never been seen and heard before. Anyone who had learnt to perform well some pieces out of them could make his fortune in the world thereby; and even in our times, a young artist might gain acknowledgment by doing so, they are so brilliant, well-sounding, expressive, and always new. Bach’s compositional output corresponded with the paid position he held at the time, so as an organist he produced his prolific body of organ compositions and church music. But sacred music had strong German and Lutheran traditions that he was expected to fulfil. His clavier and instrumental works however, allowed him to explore other musical traditions and the clavier dance music is imbued with influences from the French and Italian styles. Bach was a master at weaving together aspects from different traditions into a unified work. Throughout the Partita, the development from simplicity to characteristic intricacy in the rhythms and sequences displays both vibrancy and delicacy of composition. Dance music has a great power to draw the listener into the society and culture of the time – the 18th Century dance scene among the upper classes was one of the few chances for men and women to interact together more closely than would normally be allowed. The Partita here gives us an insight into that scene, where there is the joy of the dance, the lively moments, but also in the slower or the more delicate passages, a sense of how important such moments must have been to the dancers in a strict society.
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