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J.S. Bach: The Two Part Inventions; The Three Part Sinfonias; 6 Preludes; 4 Duettos / Vladimir Feltsman, keyboard

Notes & Reviews:

The 15 two-part Inventions and 15 three-part Sinfonias (BWV 772-801) first appeared in the Clavierbüchlein, a colelction of 62 short works for keyboard put together by Bach in 1720 for his nine-year-old son Wilhelm. In an earlier version the Inventions were called "Praeambulae" and the Sinfonias "Fantasias". Like all the works in this collection, the Inventions and Sinfonias had an explicity didactic purpose, reflected in the title of the clear autograph written by Bach: "Straightforward Instructions, In which amateurs of the keyboard, and especially the eager ones, are shown a clear way not only (1) of learnign to play cleanly in two voices, but also, after further progress, (2) to handle three obbligato parts correctly and satisfactorily, and above all arriving at a cantabile manner in playing, all the while acquiring a strong foretaste of composition." Like most of Bach's works, the Inventions and Sinfonias were not published during his lifetime. Nevertheless they became widely known in multiple handwritten copies and were used as teaching material for young keyboard students. In spite of their didactic purpose, these are works of the finest quality, concise and precise articulations of the basic principles of Bach's musical logic and procedures for handling his material. There is one creative power that governs our consciousness, out perception of the world. It manifests itself through patterns, numbers, the play of elements, our senses and emotions. It defines the way we see and recreate our world in each and every aspect of our lives. It is a high task indeed to recognize and accept this power, to let it guide you in all endeavors and pay back a worthy tribute to it. J.S. Bach did just that.


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