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Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Baroque Era > Suite No 2 (J S Bach)

Suite No 2

Johann Sebastian Bach

The Suite No. 2, in B minor, is one of the most characteristic and popular of the set. Its various members are an Overture, Rondo, Sarabande, Bourrée, Polonaise, Minuet, and a little closing movement in free style called "Tändelei." The Overture consists of an introductory Adagio, followed by a four-part fugue, at the close of which the movement ends with another Adagio similar to the first.

The other sections are dance forms. The second is a Rondo, a familiar movement, in which the main theme is several times repeated, sometimes in strict style and again with elaborate embellishment. The third Sarabande, originally a Spanish dance for a single performer, acompanied by the castanets, and slow and stately in character. The fourth is a Bourrée, another old-time dance, very lively in style. In this section one Bourrée follows the other, as was the usual custom. The fifth is a Polonaise, a familiar dance form. A peculiar noticeable passage is the trio, in which the basses have the melody, accompanied by an elaborate flute obligato.The sixth, the Minuet, is a graceful dance form, like all Minuets. It is constructed in two parts, both repeated, and is dominated by a refined and dainty theme. The Minuet form is peculiarly interesting, from the fact that after its introduction by Lully, the French composer, it was frequently employed in sonatas, overtures, and other concert pieces. It was also a movement in the symphony form until the time of Beethoven, who substituted the Scherzo in its place. The old suites usually close with a Gigue, but this suite ends with a very light, playful piece in 2-4 time, denominated "Badinerie" or "Tändelei," signifying supportiveness. With this merry badinage the beautiful suite comes to its close.

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See also:
Middle Ages Music
Renaissance Music
Baroque Era Music
Classical Era Music
Romantic Era Music
Nationalist Era Music
Turn of Century Music

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