English Suite No. 2 Prelude in A minor BWV 807 J.S. Bach(1685-1750)
Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany into a very musical family. He was a significant composer and organist. His life can be divided into the period of Weimar, Köthen and Leipzig. At his young age, he was given a religious education which had deeply affected the development of his composing career.
In his lifetime, he composed many organ, keyboard, chamber and vocal works using religious theme, German style and his skill in counterpoint. Some of his masterpieces are The Brandenburg Concerto, The Mass in B minor and The Well-Tempered Clavier. Due to all of his big contributions to Classical music, especially for Sacred music, he was regarded as ‘The Father of Music’ .
The English Suite is the earliest set of dances written by Bach, which consists of an energetic Prelude, followed by Allemande ,Courante, Sarabande and Gigue. The progression of them are strict and the structure is well organized. It was originally written for harpsichord and was believed to be written to an English nobleman. And the Suite No.2 was written by Bach in the period of Weimar.
This prelude is written in counterpoint (two-part) which clearly shows the skill of Bach in counterpoint .It has a strict tempo likes other preludes. First, it starts with a vigorous theme in the right hand part and imitations of the theme often appear alternately in both parts. After the episode, it modulates to it’ s dominant. Before it came to the last part, some harmonious chords are used. Lastly, it repeats the first part and ends very straightforward. Throughout the piece, many sequences are played in and among both parts. Also, many semiquavers are used. Both of these factors enhance the rhythm, making the music full of energy and excitement
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