All of Bach: a project by the Netherlands Bach Society
Orchestral suite No. 1 in C major
Bach à la française
Even after the death of Louis the Fourteenth, every prince dreamed once in a while of a court like that of the Sun King. And what could be more fitting for such a court than a French Overture?
Very little instrumental music by Bach has survived. And we know virtually nothing about when, why or for whom the surviving music was written. The same applies to this suite, which is in the style and atmosphere of the dance music written by Lully at the court of Louis the Fourteenth: a series of stylised dances. Nowadays, we call this a suite, but at the time it was known as an Overture, or opening piece. As a tribute to the king, such a succession of dances began with a stately opening that had a remarkably staccato rhythm – to which the king could make his entrance – followed by a somewhat faster, fugal middle section. The instrumentation of Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 1 is French as well, with oboes and a bassoon doubling the string parts.
This suite could well have been composed in Bach’s time as Kapellmeister in Köthen, where Prince Leopold must occasionally have dreamed of a court in the style of the Sun King. But this dance music was also well suited to the concerts of the Collegium Musicum in Leipzig.
Looking at the dances he chose, Bach took inspiration not only from France, but also from Italy for this suite. The order is fairly standard and sometimes a bit old-fashioned, with dances that are repeated in pairs. The Gavotte, Minuet and Passepied are typically French. The Courante was popular in both France and Italy, and the Forlane originated in Italy but also became fashionable at the French court. In the end, Bach put his own mark on everything. The oboes and bassoon double the strings, but sometimes go their own way too, thus creating a sort of concerto grosso in disguise.
- Overture in C major
- Suite No. 1
- orchestral work (suite)
- between 1717 and 1725
- Köthen? Leipzig?
Cast & Crew
|release date||6 March 2015|
|recording date||30 November 2014|
|Violin 1||Shunske Sato (direction), Annabelle Ferdinand, Lucia Giraudo|
|violin 2||Anneke van Haaften (also viola), Paulien Kostense, Hanneke Wierenga|
|viola||Bernadette Verhagen, Jan Willem Vis, Femke Huizinga|
|Cello||Lucia Swarts, Barbara Kernig|
|double bass||Joshua Cheatham|
|oboe||Martin Stadler, Yongcheon Shin|
|CONCERT production||Marco Meijdam, Imke Deters|
|Producer||Zoë de Wilde, Frank van der Weij|
|Film director||Lucas van Woerkum|
|DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY||Sal Kroonenberg|
|CAMERA||Ruben van den Broeke, Diderik Evers, Sal Kroonenberg|
|MUSIC RECORDING PRODUCER||Leo de Klerk|
|FILM EDITORS||Lucas van Woerkum, Frank van der Weij|
|Score reader||Stijn Berkouwer|
|MUSIC RECORDING ASSISTANTS||Gilius Kreiken, Jaap van Stenis, Bobby Verbakel, Jaap Firet|
|CAMERA ASSISTaNT||Izak de Dreu, Indy Hamid|
|MUSIC EDIT AND MIX||Leo de Klerk, Frank van der Weij|
|MUSIC EDIT aNd MIX ASSSISTANT||Martijn Snoeren|
|interview||Onno van Ameijde|