Tuesday, 11 March 2008

77. Johann Sebastian Bach - Orchestral Suites (c.1717-1742)


Title: 4 Orchestral Suites
Performers: Ton Koopman, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Director: Ton Koopman
Year: 1988
Length: 1 hour 17 minutes


You will notice that the previous album cover is different from the one in the book, well the one in the book is an old cover of a 2 CD version of the same recording. Now they got a new cover and managed to stick it all on one CD. Good for them.

So, what can we say about Bach's Orchestral Suites? Firstly, they are not as impressive as his violin concertos, you feel a lack of a strong solo instrument over the orchestral. Secondly they are quite well known, with the Air from the third suite and the last movement of the second being particularly famous.

This fame doesn't do the work many favours, however, you really don't need to listen to the Air again, as it was the basis for Air on a G String, probably in the top 10 most over-used classical tracks of all time. The Badinerie of the second suite is probably also up there in overly and misused tracks, being a famous ring tone... yes.

That said these are both amazing pieces, as are the rest of the Orchestral suites, it is not their inherent fault that they have been raped. Still, in the context of Bach it is far from being his best work, in my opinion, so let's move on to more Bach and the next one is a doozy!

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The badinerie has become a show-piece for solo flautists, due to its quick pace and difficulty, and it is also often heard as a mobile phone ringtone. It was sampled by rapper Busdriver for his 2002 song Imaginary Places.

Thank you Busdriver.

The Overture of the first suite:

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