Minuet in A Min. BWV Anh. 120
Menuet [Minuet] in A Min. BWV Anh. 120
Piano: Roberto Daina
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This piece is the 14th in the "Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach" [Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach]. Anna Magdalena Bach-Wilcke was the second wife of Johann Sebastian Bach. This notebook, which dates back to 1725, includes numerous compositions connected with members of the Bach family, Johann Sebastian and some of his sons, as well as many pieces by other authors.
This Minuet, together with many other smaller pieces from the same collection, has created some attribution problems, so more modern and authentic editions indicate “composer unknown” at thebeginning, indicating that, although not excluding its possible paternity to Johann Sebastian Bach, it cannot be guaranteed either.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PIECE
The Minuet in A Min. BWV Anh. 120 is an interesting example of the fusion between the imitative style and the rhythm of the typical dance, starting with a Canon at the lower octave and continuing in the first part with characteristic syncopated rhythms on a descending chromatic design in the bass part. The second part opens again with a Canon at the octave in the relative major key and after a very short cadence, a new polyphonic imitation at the lower fifth is introduced in the last line, which recalls the chromatic intention of the finale of the first part, accentuating it however, through the use of short trills.
In the performance of this Minuet, the main challenge was to emphasise the perfect execution of the Canon with its microphrasing and the alternating legato and staccato sounds. Its character is quite severe and predominantly seventeenth century with no concession to eighteenth century phrasing, precisely in order to stress hat this piece appertains to a rigorously Baroque style.
(Trad.: Sara Rosenman)