Overture nach Französicher Art (Overture in the French style)




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The Overture in the French style, BWV 831, original title Ouvertüre nach Französischer Art, also known as the French Overture and published as the second half of Clavier-Übung II in 1735, is a suite in B minor for two-manual harpsichord written by Johann Sebastian Bach. An earlier version of this work exists, in the key of C minor ; the work was transposed into B minor to complete the cycle of tonalities in Parts One and Two of the Clavier-Übung. The keys of the six Partitas form a sequence of intervals going up and then down by increasing amounts: a second up, a third down, a fourth up, a fifth down, and finally a sixth up. The key sequence continues into Clavier-Übung II (1735) with two larger works: the Italian Concerto, a seventh down, and the French Overture, an augmented fourth up. Thus this sequence of customary tonalities for 18th-century keyboard compositions is complete, extending from the first letter of his name to the last letter of his name.
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