Bach – Overture in the French style, BWV 831 – Sokolov, Piano

The Overture in the French style, BWV 831, original title Ouvertüre nach Französischer Art, also known as the French Overture and published as the second half of Clavier-Übung II in 1735 (paired with the Italian Concerto), is a suite in B minor for two-manual harpsichord written by Johann Sebastian Bach. An earlier version of this work exists, in the key of C minor (BWV 831a); the work was transposed into B minor to complete the cycle of tonalities in Parts One and Two of the Clavier-Übung. The term overture refers to the fact that this suite starts with an overture movement, and was a common generic name for French suites (his orchestral suites were similarly named). This “overture” movement replaces the allemande found in Bach’s other keyboard suites.

Overture in the French style: full version

Sviatoslav Richter

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