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Johann Sebastian Bach - French Suite III - BWV 814
Arranged for Two Guitars by Jeffrey Goodman

At the age of thirty-seven, soon after Bach’s wedding to Anna Magdalena on December 3, 1721, Bach presented her with a gift of his keyboard music.  The Clavierbüchlein of 1722 contained Bach’s hand-copied manuscripts of the first five of the French Suites, as well as other of his keyboard compositions.  Much of that original book has been lost, but the title page and several of the dance movements of French Suite III have survived.  No other copies in Bach’s hand exist today.  Fortunately,  a handful of manuscripts of the French Suites, often copied by Bach’s pupils, have survived.  Scholars of the renowned Bach-Gesellschaft created their definitive editions based on a study of all existing versions of Bach’s works.


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This arrangement of Bach’s French Suite III, BWV 814, is based on the Bach-Gesellschaft edition of his keyboard works. It contains both a fully notated score for two guitars, and individual guitar parts. 

 

These keyboard masterpieces lay out remarkably well for two guitars, and there are only a few places where voice crossings were necessary.  As much as possible, the approach I have applied is to keep the melodic/contrapuntal lines as true as possible to Bach’s original.  


 This arrangement follows the spirit of Baroque practice, and Bach’s own extensive adaptations of his music from one instrument to another.  In my arrangement I have been inspired by both Baroque-era traditions and the irresistible beauty of the music itself. 

 

 

Jeffrey Goodman,

Los Angeles, July 2017