The orchestral suite, sometimes simply called ‘overture’ because of the imposing dimensions of its opening movement, enjoyed great popularity in the early eighteenth century, especially in central Germany.
Bach had discovered the genre in his youth and cultivated it until his late period in Leipzig. This recording assembles his four overture-suites, including the famous Suite no.2 BWV 1067, which belongs among the late works. Numerous copying errors in the instrumental parts suggest that this piece was originally written a tone lower – in A minor – and therefore probably for a solo instrument other than the transverse flute: in the present recording, this first version, reconstructed from the clues mentioned above, is performed with solo oboe. ‘This is a work of austere beauty, in which contrapuntal skill and melancholic expression are combined in a highly original way with the carefully calculated dance rhythms’, writes Peter Wollny in the accompanying booklet article.