Overture in the French style

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The Overture in the French style, BWV 831, original title Ouvertüre nach Französischer Art, also known as the French Overture and published as the second half of Clavier-Übung II in 1735 (paired with the Italian Concerto), is a suite in B minor for two-manual harpsichord written by Johann Sebastian Bach. An earlier version of this work exists, in the key of C minor (BWV 831a); the work was transposed into B minor to complete the cycle of tonalities in Parts One and Two of the Clavier-Übung. The keys of the six Partitas (B-flat major, C minor, A minor, D major, G major, E minor) form a sequence of intervals going up and then down by increasing amounts: a second up (B-flat to C), a third down (C to A), a fourth up (A to D), a fifth down (D to G), and finally a sixth up (G to E). The key sequence continues into Clavier-Übung II (1735) with two larger works: the Italian Concerto, a seventh down (E to F), and the French Overture, an augmented fourth up (F to B-natural). Thus this sequence of customary tonalities for 18th-century keyboard compositions is complete, extending from the first letter of his name (Bach's "home" key, B-flat, in German is B) to the last letter of his name (B-natural in German is H).
The above text from the Wikipedia article "Overture in the French style, BWV 831" text is available under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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