The French dance suite rarely contained the standardized series of dance
movements that general textbooks lead us to believe. The standardized
movement sequence (which is actually first found in embryonic form in the
the Italian guitar repertoire of the mid 17th century) derives mainly from
the German appropriation of the genre by such keyboard players as Froberger
and Buxtenhude. This was the standard form inherited by Bach that led
general history writers to regard it as the standard for the period. In
reality, it's actually the exception. The French literature itself, whether
for keyboard, ensemble, theorbo or guitar, is a different story. The suites
often contain a large number of movements - often rhetorically titled - and
often conclude with a minuet (the slowish final dance of an evening, danced
by the heavily adorned and likely quite inebriated monarchs themselves). The
passacalle is often included in these suites, and is usually the most
harmonically and texturally interesting movement (shame on Karl Scheit!).
Opinions differ as to an appropriate approach to performign these wroks
today - some players prefer to make a selection of movements, others prefer
to play a complete suite as presented in the original scores.
Post by IslandStorm
Since I know little of the harpsichord literature, I have some
questions, to see if we are really comparing accurately.
Do the published and recorded suites by Rameau and Couperin suffer from
the same wide range of movement sequence from edition to edition? Is
there one particular suite by either of these fellows (or any of their
contemporaies) which has had exceptional prominence for students and
professionals alike over the last 150 years? Did this very same
harpsichord suite also have its sequence of movements altered seemingly
These are my questions on De Visee Suite in D minor, not small details
such as which finger should be used for a given note or the direction
of a mordent.
Post by virtual
I agree with you. Comparing all the piano editions of Rameau and
for the harpsichord. De Visee wrote for the baroque guitar and the
classical guitar is not a baroque guitar. The best one can do is to
imagine what the author would have done with a contemporary instrument.