Minuet in D Min. BWV Anh. 132
Menuet [Minuet] in D Min. BWV Anh. 132
Piano: Tullio Forlenza
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This piece is the 36th 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 the beginning, indicating that, although not excluding its possible paternity to Johann Sebastian Bach, it cannot be guaranteed either.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PIECE
The Minuet in D Min. BWV Anh. 132 is a very short piece, consisting of two simple phrases of 8 bars each, both of which are repeated. This melody is sustained by a simple bass line and there are also two very short imitative elements, the first being the connection to the ritornello at the end of the first phrase, and the second, the scale that starts from the dominant in the middle of the second phrase.
Due to its simplicity, it is a good initial piece to provide the student with a first approach to this kind of dance and to the basic elements of imitation.
In this Minuet I chose to emphasize the character of calm severity, though not devoid of moments of a more inner expressiveness. For this reason my performance privileges cantabile without the affectation or frivolity.
The rare staccato notes of the piece are soft while only slightly leaning on the note, and they have been used only at the end of the phrases, as frequently happens in a Minuet. I have left some of the typical movements inspired by this dance, some short musical breaths and some more lengthy closures that, when these pieces were actually danced, helped the dancers to alternate the figures and the dance steps. The only difficulty of this little piece was to find a convincing equilibrium between playing the melody while maintaining the Minuet's recognisable rhythm.
(Trad.: Sara Rosenman)