Sinfonia Analysis

Partita no.2 in c minor, BWV 826
The second partita was announced a little less than a year after the first. Its minor key and the style of the opening sinfonia declare it to be a more serious piece. It is also more conventional, containing a relatively traditional allemande and courante as well as a rondeau, a form favored by Couperin and other French composers but treated sparingly by Bach. Yet these movements are conventional only superficially. The sinfonia, whose initial section looks like the dotted section of a French overture, changes after just seven measures to something quite different, though it does not have much to do with a typical Italian overture (sinfonia) either. Even the rondeau elaborates the conventional type in its extended
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But the treble, accompanied by a walking bass, lacks the improvisatory qualities of an embellished adagio and move somewhat faster. It ends by dissolving into a short written-out cadenza that is an ornamented cadence. The sinfonia closes with a real fugue in two voices. The figuration is so rich in harmonic implications that the two parts suffice to suggest an orchestral texture. The fugue subject belongs to a type that is composed out of a single dominant chord. Each statement of the subject serves as a dominant preparation for the following passage, rather than serving as a point of repose. The fugue is divided in half by the episode in mm. 24-34; most of the second half consists of recapitulation, although the symmetry is not so exact. The allemande is in two severely contrapuntal parts. The closing phrase of each half echoes the toccata of partita no.6. The courante is of the French type, in 3/2, but the motives in sixteenths, present in virtually every measure, give it a fiery …show more content…
It opens with a fantasia that is essentially a long two-part invention, and it includes two apparently comic movements, a burlesca and a scherzo. The first movement was originally designated prelude. Bach had used the similar title praeambulum for the early versions of the inventions. Although opening very much like some of the inventions, the movement is spun out at greater length. It reaches the dominant at m.31, whereupon the first thirty measures are repeated at the new pitch level, with voices exchanged. This accounts for precisely half the piece; the remainder includes a retransition and a sort of recapitulation, although the theme does not reappear at the beginning of the latter. The allemande can be considered a preliminary study for that of partita no.6 the extravagant melodic figuration of both movements makes them energetic virtuoso

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