JS Bach - Ouvertures (Orchestral Suites 1, 3 & 4) | Arcana A400

JS Bach - Ouvertures (Orchestral Suites 1, 3 & 4)


Currently out of stock at the UK suppliers. Available to order, but is likely to take longer than usual to despatch

Label: Arcana

Cat No: A400

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 24th February 2017





Alfredo Bernardini


Bach, Johann Sebastian

Cantata BWV119 'Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn'
» Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn (instrumental version, BWV119R)
Cantata BWV194 'Hochsterwunschtes Freudenfest'
» Hochsterwunschtes Freudenfest (instrumental version, BWV194R)
Orchestral Suite no.1 in C major, BWV1066
Orchestral Suite no.3 in D major, BWV1068
Orchestral Suite no.4 in D major, BWV1069




Alfredo Bernardini


Like many German composers of his time, Johann Sebastian Bach also devoted himself to the French style with its characteristic dances and rhythmic ouvertures. His regular contact from an early age with French musicians and dance masters living in Germany made him very familiar and competent with the typical features of French music. Among the results of this interest are his orchestral ouvertures, of which BWV 1066, 1068 and 1069 with large scoring are presented in this recording. German composers occasionally liked to experiment freely with both the French and Italian styles, with the aim to originate that “gemischter Stil” (mixed style) that was so praised by Quantz and others. As an example of a free adaptation of an overture, Bach’s first chorus from Cantata BWV 110 adopts the first movement of the Orchestral Suite BWV 1069 with the addition of a 4-part choir. Others of his cantatas begin with a chorus in overture form, and it is very likely that they are also his own arrangements of previous instrumental versions which are lost, as happened with many of his Cöthen works. On the basis of this conjecture, Zefiro has included in this recording the reconstruction of instrumental overtures based on the opening choruses of Bach’s Cantatas BWV 119 and 194.


French-style dances lilt, sway or scamper, with a keen attention to charismatic details (the pair of Passepieds is an ideal compound of liveliness and refinement). Moreover, the largest-scale music with trumpets, timpani and woodwinds is never merely bellicose but always shaded intelligently... More intimate moments are also judged perfectly, nowhere more so than from the unison first violins’ cantabile sensitivity in a beguiling performance of the famous Air in BWV1068.  David Vickers
Gramophone April 2017
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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