The Bach Partitas with Richard Goode

Pianist Discusses His Views on Six Remarkable Dances

Listen: Partita No. 1: Accessible and Crystalline

Listen: Partita No. 2: Technically Difficult

Listen: Partita No. 3: Grim but Tender

Listen: Partita No. 4: Radiant, Courtly, Grand

Listen: Partita No. 5: Virtuoso Bravura

Listen: Partita No. 6: Climactic Finale

Richard Goode playing Bach

Richard Goode playing Bach Michael Wilson: Nonesuch Records hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Wilson: Nonesuch Records
J.S. Bach

Bach took established forms and brought them to a new level. hide caption

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With the release of his latest three CDs, pianist Richard Goode has now recorded all six Bach Partitas for keyboard. Fred Child of Performance Today visited with Goode to talk about each one of these dances.

Written in the late 1720s, Bach's partitas were among his very first group of published works. A partita is a suite made up of popular Baroque instrumental dances with contrasting styles and rhythms. The German form of the partita typically contained four dances at its core: the allemande, the courante, the sarabande and the gigue.

Bach did not invent the partita, but his versions were more ambitious and elaborate than any that had come before. Bach composed about 30 partitas in all. Besides keyboard, he wrote partitas for solo violin, solo cello and orchestra.

Hear 30-Second Selections

Listen Partita No. 1

Listen Partita No. 2

Listen Partita No. 3

Listen Partita No. 4

Listen Partita No. 5

Listen Partita No. 6
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