The French Suites

The French Suites

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)

Hyperion Records CDA 67121/2

This was the second release in the Bach cycle, dating from 1995. As well as the Six French Suites, which contain some of Bach’s most attractive music, the double-CD includes the Eighteen Little Preludes for beginners, and the Sonata in D minor–Bach’s own transcription of one of his solo violin sonatas.

‘Hewitt’s playing makes Bach’s music live, for me, in a way that even the greatest harpsichordists do not’ (The Sunday Times)

GRAMOPHONE EDITOR’S CHOICE

COMPACT DISC 1 (73’05)

SONATA IN D MINOR, BWV964 (18’22)
1. Adagio (3’17)
2. Fuga: Allegro (6’03)
3. Andante (4’02)
4. Allegro (5’00)

FRENCH SUITE NO 1 IN D MINOR, BWV812 (15’l5)
5. Allemande (3’08)
6. Courante (2’14)
7. Sarabande (3’51)
8. Menuet I and II (3’08)
9. Gigue (2’54)

FRENCH SUITE NO 2 IN C MINOR, BWV813 (15’58)
10. Allemande (2’53)
11. Courante (2’00)
12. Sarabande (3’38)
13. Air (1’19)
14. Menuet I and II (3’36)
15. Gigue (2’32)

FRENCH SUITE NO 3 IN B MINOR, BWV814 (15’45)
16. Allemande (2’56)
17. Courante (2’25)
18. Sarabande (3’18)
19. Anglaise (1’29)
20. Menuet and Trio (3’39)
21. Gigue (1’58)

SIX LITTLE PRELUDES (7’09)
(from the Little Piano Book for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach)
22. Prelude in C major, BWV924 (0’59)
23. Prelude in G minor, BWV930 (2’12)
24. Prelude in D major, BWV925 (0’58)
25. Prelude in D minor, BWV926 (1’10)
26. Prelude in F major, BWV927 (0’30)
27. Prelude in F major, BWV928 (1’20)

COMPACT DISC 2 (77’49)

SIX LITTLE PRELUDES, BWV933-938 (10’41)
1. Prelude in C major, BWV933 (1’36)
2. Prelude in C minor, BWV934 (2’09)
3. Prelude in D minor, BWV935 (1’31)
4. Prelude in D major, BWV936 (2’11)
5. Prelude in E major, BWV937 (1’31)
6. Prelude in E minor, BWV938 (1’43)

SIX LITTLE PRELUDES (5’56)
7. Prelude in C major, BWV939 (0’37)
8. Prelude in D minor, BWV940 (0’54)
9. Prelude in E minor, BWV941 (0’42)
10. Prelude in A minor, BWV942 (0’38)
11. Prelude in C major, BWV943 (1’39)
12. Prelude in C minor, BWV999 (1’26)

FRENCH SUITE NO 4 IN E FLAT MAJOR, BWV815 (17’42)
13. Praeludium (1’23)
14. Allemande (2’39)
15. Courante (1’51)
16. Sarabande (2’53)
17. Gavotte I (1’16)
18. Gavotte II (2’42)
19. Menuet (1’02)
20. Air (1’44)
21. Gigue (2’12)

FRENCH SUITE NO 5 IN G MAJOR, BWV816 (17’46)
22. Allemande (2’51)
23. Courante (1’37)
24. Sarabande (5’11)
25. Gavotte (1’13)
26. Bourrée (1’17)
27. Loure (2’08)
28. Gigue (3’29)

FRENCH SUITE NO 6 IN E MAJOR, BWV817 (15’13)
29. Allemande (2’34)
30. Courante (1’33)
31. Sarabande (3’24)
32. Gavotte (1’13)
33. Polonaise (1’27)
34. Bourrée (1’20)
35. Menuet (1’28)
36. Gigue (2’14)

PRELUDE AND FUGUE IN A MINOR, BWV894 (9’37)
37. Prelude (5’28)
38. Fugue (4’09)

When studying Bach, it is important to get the right progression of pieces, and not start with those that are too complicated (such as the Preludes and Fugues). The Little Preludes were written by Bach for his own children and students to make sure that they learned how to play properly from the very beginning. The French Suites are the easiest of his three cycles of keyboard suites, and charm us with their Gavottes, Menuets, Sarabandes, and Gigues.

Recorded in the Beethovensaal, Hannover on 26-28 June and 28-30 August 1995

Buy this record at Hyperion: http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/details/67121.asp

For online sales in Canada, please go to: http://angelahewitt.ca

Available audio excerpts from this recording

Air
Allemande
Andante
Bourree
Bourree
Courante
Courante
Courante
French Suite no 4 in E flat
French Suite No5 in G Allemande
French Suite no6 in E Allemande
Fugue
Gavotte
Gavotte
Gavotte I
Gavotte II
Gigue
Gigue
Gigue
Loure
Menuet
Menuet
Polonaise
Prelude & Fugue in A
Prelude in A
Prelude in C
Prelude in C
Prelude in C
Prelude in D
Prelude in D
Prelude in D
Prelude in E
Prelude in E
Prelude in E
Sarabande
Sarabande
Sarabande
Six Little Preludes, Prelude in C