Bach's partitas for keyboard are a set of keyboard suites, multi-movement works with pieces styled from popular dances. Bach's collection was published as his "Opus 1," under the title of "Clavierübung." The first partita is written in the key of B-flat major in six movements, and the elements I see in the piece as being salient are rhythmic motives and melody. Several pieces too explore regular patterns that give the pieces a "perpetual motion" feel. Heard in this episode are recordings by Glenn Gould and Benjamin Alard.
- Benjamin Alard - Bach's Six Partitas
- Glenn Gould Bach Collection
- LA Philharmonic Notes on BWV 825
- Background on the Six Partitas
The first partita is light and, although sometimes a cliche, "happy" or maybe better, optimistic. I believe Alard's reading is an excellent one to begin your appreciation of the entire set. His playing is sure and his instrument is good-sounding. His reading of the first partita might be considered on the conservative side, without indulging in the extravagance of hurried tempos or over-the-top ornamentation.