Johann Sebastian Bach

English Suite, for keyboard No. 6 in D minor, BWV 811 (BC L18)

    Description by James Reel

    The last of Bach's suites "for the English" (but not in an English style) follows the pattern of its predecessors, a prelude introducing a series of French dances. This prelude, though, is far more extended than the others. It falls into two sections, the first (about a quarter of the piece) being a measured introduction in two voices, and the second being a faster, elaborate fugue.

    The dances begin with an Allemande, whose melody includes a twisting figure that slightly recalls the prelude. Next comes a Courante, whose first two notes mimic a portion of the Allemande, although the rest of the material is quite different; fussy stair-step material in the left hand accompanies and sometimes imitates the slightly more spare right-hand melody.

    The Sarabande is typically stately, and develops from a series of chords with trills that broaden out into a fuller melody. A more intricate, less chordal variation (or "double") immediately follows. Next come two bright and busy Gavottes, the first receiving an abbreviated repeat after the second, which is a Musette that imitates a droning bagpipe as well as a non-sustaining instrument like the harpsichord can. The final movement is the expected Gigue, somewhat more complex than is typically the case, with fairly thick voicing and massive left-hand trills.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Prelude
    2. Allemande
    3. Courante
    4. Sarabande
    5. Double
    6. Gavotte 1
    7. Gavotte 2
    8. Gigue

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Alpha 344
    2018 Naxos 8573676
    2017 Warner Classics 0190295849818
    2017 Dynamic CDS 7793
    2016 Erato 557841
    2015 Diane Walsh
    2015 Sony Classical 88875032222
    2015 Sony Classical 88875049962
    2014 Sony Classical 88843047122
    2014 Mirare MIR 251
    2013 Ramée RAM 1207
    2013 Simax Classics PSC 1329
    2012 Victor Elmaleh Collection VEC 102
    2012 Nimbus Alliance NI 6176
    2012 Harmonia Mundi HMU 90759192
    2012 Sony Classical 88725411892
    2012 Sony Classical 88691912562
    2011 Erato
    2011 Camerata Records CMCD151178
    2011 Zig Zag Territoires ZZT 111002
    2010 Hyperion 4442135
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Naïve AM196
    2010 Caro Mitis 32007
    2010 Decca
    2010 Lyrichord 8077
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Denon Records 00795041942661
    2009 Erato
    2008 Sony Music Distribution 714840
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93668
    2008 Stradivarius 33820
    2007 Metronome 1078
    2007 Zig Zag Territoires ZZT2020401
    2007 Scandinavian Classics 220570
    2007 Cascade Records 2100
    2007 Document 223547
    2007 Oehms Classics 575
    2007 Decca 4758631
    2007 Decca
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99697
    2006 Brilliant Classics 93102
    2006 Brilliant Classics 92285
    2006 Musica Omnia 254
    2005 Brilliant Classics 92217
    2005 Sony Classical Essential Classics 518509
    2004 Erato / Virgin 7243545632
    2004 Sony Classical 93083
    2004 Great Hall GH5601
    2004 Virgin Classics 62379
    2004 Naïve 9942
    2004 Brilliant Classics 92391
    2004 Alba 166
    2003 Zig Zag Territoires 30401
    2003 Hyperion 67451/2
    2003 Hyperion 67451/2SACD
    2003 Virgin Classics 5621582
    2003 Sony Music Distribution 87890
    2002 Urania 183
    2002 Sony Classical Essential Classics 87766
    2002 Sony Classical 87766
    2002 Teldec 81240
    2001 Wildboar 9302
    2001 Apex 7408132
    2000 Classico 308/9
    2000 Haenssler 92113
    2000 Sony Music Distribution 60278
    1999 Teldec 25705
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Harmonia Mundi 2908078/83
    1999 Teldec 3984-25714-2
    1999 Titanic 254
    1999 Music & Arts 743
    1999 Music & Arts 4743
    1999 Music & Arts 947
    1998 Sony Music Distribution 60276
    1997 Concord / Concord Jazz 42047
    1997 Music & Arts CD976
    1997 Seon 62949
    1996 Naxos 553013
    1996 Decca 452279
    1995 Blue Saphir 830862
    1995 Sony Classical 52606
    1995 Forlane 16590
    1994 Philips 438 613-2PH3
    1994 Philips 442464
    1993 Stradivarius 33334
    1993 Music & Arts 777
    1988 London 421640
    Brilliant 93102-VOL2
    Brilliant 99702
    Music & Arts 4976
    Deutsche Grammophon 429975
    Digital Concerto 707
    Brilliant Classics 93668/16
    Brilliant 92391/16
    Brilliant 93102/36
    Brilliant 99702/13
    Erato 45789
    Cascade Records 2116
    CBS Records 42268
    Music & Arts 1070
    Elisabeth Wright
    Archiv Produktion 000303002
    Urania 5155