Evening Masterwork: J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 1

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)

Orchestral Suite No. 1 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Evening Masterwork for August 16, 2019 – 7:00 PM on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9

In Bach’s lifetime, the Orchestral Suite was a form of music that had a bit of an ambiguous purpose: a mix of music for art and music for entertainment. The date that Bach composed his first orchestral suite is also a point of ambiguity, but it is acknowledged as one of the first known secular orchestra works that the composer produced. Out of the four Bach orchestral suites, this one is the most straightforward and old-fashioned, in terms of orchestration, harmonic material, and even the dance-like structure of the suite.