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J.S. Bach Complete Partitas Vol.1 (1,2,3,5) BWV 825-827,829
Artist/Band: Mehmet Okonsar
The Partitas by J.S. Bach exemplify for me both the apex and the end of Baroque dance-forms in music, just like the last Beethoven sonatas are the culmination and the closing of the classical sonata form.
Nothing else on those forms and designs could have been created after if they had to be original and creative works, not bare imitations. The classical instrumental sonata after the opus 111 by Beethoven and the traditional Menuet or other baroque dance forms in music after these Partitas have gone radical transformations.
Only the "essence", not the form neither the mannerisms of those traditional dance-forms are dealt with by Bach. The composer, around 45 at the time, had all the mastery for any kind of instrumental composition as well as polyphonic part writing. Furthermore, he had a full knowledge of all the established music styles of his time. Synthesizing the best of French and Italian masters, he was able to base his own creativity on top of the best of the tradition, without limiting his "sources" to a particular genre or country.
The Partitas, BWV 825-830, are a set of six harpsichord suites written by Johann Sebastian Bach, published from 1726 to 1730 as Clavier-Übung I, and the first of his works to be published under his direction. They were, however, among the last of his keyboard suites to be composed, the others being the six English Suites, BWV 806-811 and the six French Suites, BWV 812-817.
These six suites for harpsichord are the last set that Bach composed and the most technically demanding of the three. They were composed between 1725 and 1730 or 1731. As with the French and English Suites, the autograph manuscript of the Partitas is no longer extant.
In keeping with a nineteenth-century naming tradition that labeled Bach's first set of Suites English and the second French, the Partitas are sometimes referred to as the German Suites. This title, however, is a publishing convenience; there is nothing particularly German about the Partitas. In comparison with the two earlier sets of suites, the Partitas are by far the most free-ranging in terms of structure. Unlike the English Suites, for example, wherein each opens with a strict Prelude, the Partitas feature a number of different opening styles including an ornamental Overture and a Toccata.
Although each of the Partitas was published separately, they were collected into a single volume (1731), known as the Clavier-Ubung I (Keyboard Practice), which Bach himself chose to label his Opus 1. Unlike the earlier sets of suites, Bach originally intended to publish seven Partitas, advertising in the Spring of 1730 upon the publication of the fifth Partita that the promised collected volume would contain two more such pieces. This intention is further signaled by the spread of keys, which follows a clear structure, B-Flat - c, a - D, G - e, leaving F as the logical conclusion. The Italian Concerto, which is in the key of F and was published in the Clavier-Ubung II, likely originated therefore as one of the Partitas before expanding beyond the dictates of the Suite form.
This volume contains Partitas 1,2,3 and 5; BWV 825, 826, 827 and 829. The volume 2 (also published) includes Partitas number 4 (BWV 828) and 6 (BWV 830).