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  Наименование CD :
   J.S. Bach: Italian Concerto In F, French Suite No 5 In G, French Overture



Год издания : 2006

Компания звукозаписи : Vanguard

Время звучания : 55:14

Код CD : ATM-CD-1893 (6 99675 18932 7)

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Classics (Guru)      

About Italian Concerto BWV 971 on 'bach-cantatas.com'

About French Suites BWV 812-817 on 'bach-cantatas.com'

About French Overture BWV 831 on 'bach-cantatas.com'

========= from the cover ==========

Although Bach was throroughly Germanic in his musical orientation, he certainly did not exhibit the kind of nationalistic insularity of lesser composers of his time. The three compositions on this recording, diverse as they are, all make that point clearly.

He had deep admiration for the Italian violin composers, and for Antonio Vivaldi, in particular. Indeed, so great was his regard for Vivaldi, he took the time and effort to recast several of that composer's Concerti grossi as solo keyboard compositions. The concerto "according to the Italian taste" is a similar adaptation of the Italianate concerto grosso in terms of solo keyboard (Bach specified a harpsichord with two manuals), but this time using original musical ideas. Published in 1735 as part of the Clavier-Ubung, Part II (along with the Ouverture in the French Manner, of which more presently), the idiom is that of the Italian violin masters, Vivaldi, Corelli, et al, but carried by Bach's own characteristic genius to new, rarified heights. In the opening movement (which has no indicated tempo marking, but is certainly a forthright Allegro), one can readily hear the implicit contrasts between passages that are tutti and those that are, conversely, solo. The music is striding, crisp and incisive, and-in keeping with its quasi - "orchestral" genre-just a shade public and impersonal in its aesthetic. It is in the slow movement (Andante) that one recognizes the typical Italian Cantabile style, but in this instance, intensified by embellished intricacies and emotional tensions. One also hears the characteristic ostinato and insistent pizzicato-like accompaniment keeping the melodic material in rigorous focus. The Presto finale is a virtuosic tour de force that sets in motion a breakneck forward impetus while, at the same time, demanding clarity of articulation and variety of nuanced chiaroscuro. As in the fist movement, the textural contrast between solo and tutti is more than merely implied.

The late pianist/critic Arthur Loesser aptly described a musical suite as a "succession of dance tunes, all in the same key, each tune conspicuously different in rhythm and movement from the one preceding or following it. Allemande, courante, sarabande became the conventional initial succession, the gigue was the conventional finale. Between the sarabande and the gigue composers allowed themselves some liberty of choice and inserted a gavotte, minuet, bourree or other dance as their fancy dictated. Larger suites, or partitas, as the Italians called them, were often provided with a rather elaborate opening prelude or ouverture."

And as Loesser observed, Bach merely specified that his set of works, BWV 812-817, of 1722 were "Little Suites": the designation "French" does not appear on their manuscripts, although their style, with an occasional exception, was indeed characteristic of the music encountered in the court of Louis XIV. Suite No. 5 in G Major is typical of the set, commencing with a graceful, flowing Allemande which, for all its seeming simplicity, introduces some intriguing chromaticism into its G major tonality. The Courante which follows is one of the alluded-to departures from French decorum; it is, in its live-stepping triple time, more in the "Italian" manner. The Sarabande, with its unfolding cantabile and poignant embellishments, is the work's emotional centerpiece. The Gavotte is notable in that its second strain inverts the principal theme at one point in the course of elaborate modulation. The Bourree, with its vigorous 2/2 meter, exuded a bracing, exultant energy which is followed by the far more reflective Loure, whose 6/4 time can seem obscure at times, owing to the deceptive-sounding elabo- , rations at the start of each of its two strains. The final Gigue, the largest in scale of the movements, provides an unexpectedly dramatic conclusion for this essentially graceful, diminutive work: again, the second strain inverts the driving principal subject, and the build-up to the culminating cadence provides a heady swagger.

As already noted, Bach did indeed specify that BWV 831, sometimes known as the Partita in B Minor, was an "Ouverture nach franzosischer Art" (Partitas I-VI, BWV 825-830, were published as the Clavier-Ubung, Part I). It .stands apart from all of Bach's other keyboard suites in that its tremendous length encompasses no fewer than eleven movements. First in the expansive sequence is, of course, a characteristic French Ouverture-its first section, typically festive, and audacious (the meter is an alla breve; the tempo marking "Grave"; and there is an additional directive to play "fortissimo" and "grandioso"), its second section a propulsive contrapuntal Vivace in 6/8. The widely drawn dynamic contrasts transcend the two-manual cembalo and, at time, even suggest a full-blown symphony orchestra. Toward the end, there is a return of the slower first section.

The ensuing dance movements differ from those of the other partitas in that they are more popular and folk-like in character. The customary Allemande is omitted, and the Owverture proper is followed by, respectively, a Courante (Allegro; 3/2), a pair of Gavottes (both simply marked "2"), a pair of Passepieds (Allegro; 3/8), a Sarabande (Andante con espressione; 3/4), a pair of Bourrees (Vivace; again just "2"), a Gigue (Allegro; 6/8), and, finally, an Echo (Allegro ma non troppo; 2/4). One can readily hear the "French Manner" again and again-the charm, refinement, and transparency of texture here repeatedly bring to mind Couperin, Rameau and other like masters, proving just how adept Bach was in assimilating the stylistic largess of a broad musical culture while at the same time making it all his own.

-Harris Goldsmith


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   1 1. Allegro         0:04:05 Italian Concerto, For Solo Keyboard In F Major (Clavier-Uebung II/1), BWV 971 (BC L7)
   2 2. Andante         0:04:57 -"-
   3 3. Presto         0:03:30 -"-
   4 1. Allemande         0:02:58 French Suite, For Keyboard No. 5 In G Major, BWV 816 (BC L23)
   5 2. Courante         0:01:32 -"-
   6 3. Sarabande         0:04:30 -"-
   7 4. Gavotte         0:01:12 -"-
   8 5. Bourree         0:01:04 -"-
   9 6. Loure         0:01:54 -"-
   10 7. Gigue         0:03:27 -"-
   11 1. Ouverture         0:08:04 Overture In The French Manner, Partita For Keyboard In B Minor (Clavier-Uebung II/2), BWV 831
   12 2. Courante         0:01:54 -"-
   13 3. Gavottes I And II         0:03:30 -"-
   14 4. Passepieds I And II         0:02:14 -"-
   15 5. Sarabande         0:03:13 -"-
   16 6. Bourrees I And II         0:02:24 -"-
   17 7. Gigue         0:02:13 -"-
   18 8. Echo         0:02:34 -"-

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