J.S.Bach :: Partitas for keyboard :: Wim Winters, Clavichord.
The six Partitas J.S.Bach wrote for the clavichord (no doubt about that to me) are among the greatest music of all time, both past and present. I believe we safely can state that. Bach wrote this series as keyboard (clavichord) exercises, and that is definitely what he succeeded in. These pieces are for the mid of the 18th century what the Liszt etudes would become for the 19th century. And not only technically. Also on compositional field, they surpass everything that was written before. Only the complexity of tonalities (Bach would have loved the quote of C. Franck 'Moduler toujours...).
These six suites for keyboard are the last set that Bach composed and the most technically demanding of the three. They were composed between 1725 and 1730 or 1731. As with the French and English Suites, the autograph manuscript of the Partitas is no longer extant.
In keeping with a nineteenth-century naming tradition that labelled Bach's first set of Suites English and the second French, the Partitas are sometimes referred to as the German Suites. This title, however, is a publishing convenience; there is nothing particularly German about the Partitas. In comparison with the two earlier sets of suites, the Partitas are by far the most free-ranging in terms of structure. Unlike the English Suites, for example, wherein each opens with a strict prelude, the Partitas feature a number of different opening styles including an ornamental Overture and a Toccata.
Although each of the Partitas was published separately, they were collected into a single volume (1731), known as the Clavier-Übung I (Keyboard Practice), which Bach himself chose to label his Opus 1. Unlike the earlier sets of suites, Bach originally intended to publish seven Partitas, advertising in the Spring of 1730 upon the publication of the fifth Partita that the promised collected volume would contain two more such pieces. The plan was then revised to include a total of eight works: six Partitas in Part I (1731) and two larger works in Part II (1735).
The keys of the six Partitas (B-flat major, C minor, A minor, D major, G major, E minor) seem to be an irregular sequence, but in fact they form a sequence of intervals going up and then down by increasing amounts: a second up (B-flat to C), a third down (C to A), a fourth up (A to D), a fifth down (D to G), and finally a sixth up (G to E). The key sequence continues into Clavier-Übung II (1735) with two larger works: the Italian Concerto, a seventh down (E to F), and the French Overture, an augmented fourth up (F to B-natural). Thus this sequence of customary tonalities for 18th-century keyboard compositions is complete, extending from the first letter of his name (Bach's "home" key, B-flat, in German is B) to the last letter of his name (B-natural in German is H).
Wim Winters (1972) began his musical studies in 1984. At age 13, Wim Winters was awarded First Prize in an international
competition in The Netherlands and subsequently decided to pursue a career in music.
He studied at the Sweelinck conservatory in Amsterdam, with Jacques van Oortmerssen (organ) and Willem Brons (piano).
Wim is also involved in restoration projects of historic organs....more