English Suites for clavier, BWV 806-811

“It’s hard for me to imagine my life without Johann Sebastian Bach,” said Andrius Žlabys. In an exclusive recital, he presents the baroque genius’ six English Suites for clavier, BWV 806-811.

To this day, J. S. Bach’s researchers are debating when these suites were composed. Various sources state that it happened between 1713 and 1720. The composer also wrote six French Suites and six Partitas. The latter and English Suites were originally published separately, and in 1731 included in volume I of the Clavier Exercises (Clavierübung). The suites were given titles not by the composer himself. Moreover, they are rather inaccurate; both sets are a combination of French, Italian and J. S. Bach’s original styles. English Suites are more complex than French Suites. Each of them begins with an ornate and elaborate introduction – a prelude displaying the principles of an Italian ensemble music making. Dances of English Suites are based on French models and have several doubles (the repeated parts are more ornamented). The abundant use of melismata reinforces highly expressive musical fabric of the suites. In addition to the usual dances (Allemande, Courante, Sarabande and Gigue), the suites feature Bourrée, Gavotte, Passepied and Menuet.

English Suites are performed by Andrius Žlabys – one of the most renowned contemporary Lithuanian pianists, blessed with exceptional charisma and artistic impressiveness. The pianist’s interpretations of J.S. Bach’s music did not go unnoticed by world music critics:

“The Lithuanian pianist A. Žlabys performed with a brilliant sound, remarkable professionalism, impeccable articulation, stunning sound quality, with ranges in his playing that touched shades of pristine delicacy – Bach in his fullness…” (La Nación, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29