J. S. Bach: French Suite No. 1 in D minor, BWV 812
J. S. Bach: French Suite No. 2 in C minor, BWV 813
J. S. Bach: French Suite No. 3 in B minor, BWV 814
J. S. Bach: French Suite No. 4 in E-flat major, BWV 815
J. S. Bach: French Suite No. 5 in G major, BWV 816
J. S. Bach: French Suite No. 6 in E major, BWV 817
Zoltán Fejérvári (piano)
The suite was the ‘entertaining’ genre of Baroque music. It comprised short, simply structured dance movements, which composers arranged in such a way that slow- and fast-paced, respectively odd- and even-beat dance types followed one another in a changing order to make up a coherent cycle. This instrumental genre first appeared in the history of European music in the early 16th century, with its culmination coming around the time when Johann Sebastian Bach was working, in whose oeuvre the suite is linked almost exclusively to a single creative period, and the only secular office of his career, the six years (1717–1723) he spent as court conductor in Köthen. It is likely that Bach composed the series that became known as the French Suites for his second wife, Anna Magdalena. The titling of the cycle did not come from the author and it is highly misleading: the French Suites do not only contain dances of Gallic origin, and Bach did not exclusively follow French patterns in this unique series comprising six pieces, which we hear in the Grand Hall in a recording preformed by the young pianist Zoltán Fejérvári.