Bach Orchestral Suite No.3

The four orchestral suites (called ouvertures by their author), BWV 1066–1069 are four suites by Johann Sebastian Bach. The name ouverture refers only in part to the opening movement in the style of the French overture, in which a majestic opening section in relatively slow dotted-note rhythm in duple meter is followed by a fast fugal section, then rounded off with a short recapitulation in triple meter of the opening music. More broadly, the term was used in Baroque Germany for a suite of dance-pieces in French Baroque style preceded by such an ouverture. This genre was extremely popular in Germany during Bach's day, and he showed far less interest in it than was usual: Robin Stowell writes that "Telemann's 135 surviving examples [represent] only a fraction of those he is known to have written"; Christoph Graupner left 85; and Johann Friedrich Fasch left almost 100. Bach did write several other ouverture (suites) for solo instruments, notably the Cello Suite no. 5, BWV 1011, which also exists in the autograph Lute Suite in G minor, BWV 995, the Keyboard Partita no. 4 in D, BWV 828, and the Overture in the French style, BWV 831 for keyboard. The two keyboard works are among the few Bach published, and he prepared the lute suite for a "Monsieur Schouster," presumably for a fee, so all three may attest to the form's popularity. Scholars believe that Bach did not conceive of the four orchestral suites as a set (in the way he conceived of the Brandenburg Concertos), since the sources are various, as detailed below. The source is a partially autograph set of parts from 1730; Bach wrote out the first violin and continuo parts, C.P.E. Bach wrote out the trumpet, oboe, and timpani parts, and J.S. Bach's student Johann Ludwig Krebs wrote out the second violin and viola parts. Rifkin has argued that the original was a version for strings and continuo alone. The Air is one of the most famous pieces of baroque music. An arrangement of the piece by German violinist August Wilhelmj (1845–1908) has come to be known as Air on the G String.

 VIDEO: J. S. Bach's Orchestral Suite (Overture) No.3. in D Major (BWV 1068) performed by Reinhard Göbel (conductor) and the Budapest Festival Orchestra in October, 2011, in the Italian Cultural Institute, Budapest


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