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Bach: Orchestral Suites

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Product details

  • Conductor: Sigiswald Kuijken
  • Composer: J S Bach
  • Audio CD (2 Sept. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Accent Records
  • ASIN: B00E1SM5KA
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,906 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major, BWV 1066: I. OverturePetite Bande, La 5:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
  2. Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major, BWV 1066: II. CourantePetite Bande, La 2:28£0.79  Buy MP3 
  3. Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major, BWV 1066: III. Gavotte I-IIPetite Bande, La 3:43£0.79  Buy MP3 
  4. Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major, BWV 1066: IV. ForlanePetite Bande, La 1:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
  5. Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major, BWV 1066: V. Menuet I-IIPetite Bande, La 3:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
  6. Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major, BWV 1066: VI. Bourree I-IIPetite Bande, La 2:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
  7. Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major, BWV 1066: VII. Passepied I-IIPetite Bande, La 3:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
  8. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068: I. OuverturePetite Bande, La 6:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
  9. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068: II. Air, "Air on a G String"Petite Bande, La 4:20£0.79  Buy MP3 
10. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068: III. Gavotte I-IIPetite Bande, La 4:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
11. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068: IV. Bourree -Petite Bande, La 1:08£0.79  Buy MP3 
12. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068: V. GiguePetite Bande, La 3:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
13. Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: I. OuverturePetite Bande, La 5:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
14. Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: II. RondeauPetite Bande, La 1:46£0.79  Buy MP3 
15. Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: III. SarabandePetite Bande, La 3:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
16. Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: IV. Bourree I-IIPetite Bande, La 2:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
17. Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: V. Polonaise - DoublePetite Bande, La 3:43£0.79  Buy MP3 
18. Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: VI. MenuetPetite Bande, La 1:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
19. Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: VII. BadineriePetite Bande, La 1:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
20. Overture (Suite) No. 4 in D Major, BWV 1069: I. OverturePetite Bande, La 7:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
21. Overture (Suite) No. 4 in D Major, BWV 1069: II. Bourree I-IIPetite Bande, La 2:44£0.79  Buy MP3 
22. Overture (Suite) No. 4 in D Major, BWV 1069: III. GavottePetite Bande, La 1:55£0.79  Buy MP3 
23. Overture (Suite) No. 4 in D Major, BWV 1069: IV. Menuet I-IIPetite Bande, La 3:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
24. Overture (Suite) No. 4 in D Major, BWV 1069: V. RejouissancePetite Bande, La 2:57£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Following the Brandenburg Concertos, Sigiswald Kuijken now presents a new recording of the four Orchestral Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach with his ensemble La Petite Bande. Orchestral suites in the French style, in which the actual overture is always followed by a series of dances or characteristic movements, were quite well known during Bach's time at courts throughout Europe. The splendour of the Versailles court of Louis XIV and XV was imitated everywhere, and music was of great importance in this respect. Sigiswald Kuijken has chosen a rather small ensemble for the present recording; the particular advantage of this approach is in the transparency of the voice-leading. Alongside the harpsichord, the bass group consists of one or two so-called 8-foot violones: a bass instrument significantly larger than the baroque cello and which produces a considerably more resonant sound due to its larger body and thicker strings. What is especially remarkable about this recording, however, is the exclusive use of natural trumpets without auxiliary holes - customary today but in fact historically incorrect.

Review

Perf (5/5) ***** Rec (5/5) ***** 'Each suite is full of graceful charm, often accentuated by gently swung rhythms… all imbued with delicacy and with happily judged tempos … In the hands of skilful players such as these, they sound convincing and that equally applies to all the musicians of La Petite Bande.' --Nicholas Anderson, BBC Music Magazine January 2014

CRITIC S CHOICE 'If we fear for generic designer performances in Bach s orchestral perennials, Sigiswald Kujiken s exquisitely nuanced, primed but challenging readings will do the trick. It s an affecting vision of intimate exchange, Arcadian pastorale and grand gesture allowing for highly original coloration amid a strong quest for antique resonance. A world unto itself' --Jonathan Freeman-Atwood Gramophone, December 2014

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Wake on 26 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Sigi Kuijken's "Petite Bande" has been around for forty years now, but though it still contains one or two old stagers besides Sigi himself, it is today predominantly a young group, and well up to the highest standards of contemporary HIP performance - indeed, in my view, it sets those standards. Its playing is not so immediately attention-grabbing as, say, Giovanni Antonini's "Gardinio Armonico" but that is because it eschews the ear-ticking but entirely anachronistic tricks such bands use - the express-train speeds, the bass-heavy strumming continuo, the magic stardust of close-miked harps and theorbos. What we get instead is simply excellent musicianship - perfect tuning and ensemble, a lively sense of rhythm, and a strong sense of both understanding and taking pleasure in the music they play.

This recording comes three years after the group's ground-breaking recording of the "Brandenburgs" and uses some of the same innovations. Here we still get un-tampered-with natural trumpets, and a bass line manned by "basses de violon" rather than cellos, giving a strong bass at 8' pitch - Kuijken reckons 16' instruments only came into use in such music later on. There isn't a theorbo in sight. The violin lines are doubled, as befits this (for Bach) rather conventional orchestral music.

The third and fourth suites, with trumpets and drums, make their usual striking effect - the "Air on a G string" is performed with affection - but the real heart of the disc is the B minor flute suite, particularly the famous "Badinerie", here played by Sigi's brother Barthold - not at the frantic tempo flautists often try, but simply at a good lively pace, with plenty of rhythmic bounce. He and the Band let Bach speak, giving much pleasure in the process.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Lovely performances with a graceful Badinerie to 2nd Suite as noted elsewhere. Much preferred this to the Suzuki recording I had previously, despite all the positive hype. A tiny bit of hardness on the strings but nicely distanced recording - just wish it had been SACD
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The gavotte is “in the bones” 7 Feb. 2014
By Revaliensis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This new recording is conceptually not very different from the old 1982 Harmonia Mundi one. And I consider this something positive - a proof that the principles and vision of these pioneers have lasted a generation, and besides, influenced countless musicians. The main difference is that the forces used here are smaller than before. The result is a performance that is pleasantly transparent and full of nuances and rhetorical clarity usually associated with chamber music. Yet nothing of the festive mood associated with the three major-key overtures is lost, I rather think that the opposite is the case.

Hearing Sigiswald Kuijken’s ensemble playing a bourrée or a gavotte is like hearing a Viennese waltz in Vienna or a tango in Buenos Aires - the characters of individual dance movements are so convincing, the french style inégalités so flowing that one forgets about something called “historical interpretation”.
This recording shows what the experience of decades of sincere and thoughtful musicianship can achieve when trying to revive styles that have been eroded from a living tradition. One marvellous feature of this recording is the use of true natural trumpets (without any holes) with the participation of Jean-François Madeuf and his companions. This makes the tuning of some upper harmonics very challenging but I think the heavenly sound achieved is worth the effort. Barthold Kuijken’s flute playing in the b-minor suite is as exquisite as always. The moderate tempo taken for the famous Badinerie at the end is indeed such a relief since most flautists use it as a bravura piece. These musicians do not have to prove themselves with something different for the sake of difference. They present us with their best effort currently possible - right from the heart. Much recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The best kind of "authenticity" 8 July 2014
By Musicfiend76 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Current thinking is that the court in Cöthen, where Bach wrote these suites, used a low French pitch of A=392 and didn't have deep bass instruments. Accordingly, these performances use a lower pitch and only a lighter-timbred texture -- and the sound is very special. The overall sense is of a shimmering, kaleidoscopic texture of counterpoint through which the brilliant orchestration (yes, really) creates instrumental sparkles, like flashes of light in a perfectly cut diamond.

This is one of the most beautiful CDs I've heard in a long while. The title of another review says it all -- the rhythms really are in the bones of the performers. It has authenticity of spirit, and ultimately there is no other kind that matters. I own recordings of several performances of these suites, including FBO, Huggett/Sonnerie, and the dreadfully square Pinnock. But this was the first that made me feel the irresistible forward motion and toe-tapping rhythms through the (let's face it) sometimes awkwardly dense counterpoint.

There is nothing particularly provocative in this disc, except perhaps the relatively small number of performers. It's wonderful to hear the valveless (and unvented!) trumpets for once. But within the very reasonable tempi, the sense of rhythm lifts the spirit and (trying not to sink too far into hyperbole) it makes the soul dance. And I can think of no higher praise for a disc of "dance" suites.
0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This was a gift. 22 Jan. 2014
By Marilyn Bozentka - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
We gave this to my cousin's husband who loves Bach. There were no complaints, and he has not returned it. I picked it because of the use of original instruments in the recording.
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