Johann Sebastian Bach's six keyboard partitas hold some of his most wonderful ideas for the keyboard. The concluding sixth is especially noteworthy even among such brilliant companions.
Here it is possible to 'hear' the birth of Mozart and Beethoven; and it seems inconceivable that those two composers were not familiar with these pieces (unless the connection goes through Bach's children instead, of course).
These works are a fuller, perhaps more mature, form than the toccatas (which are Bach's highest, and probably earlier, attempt to exploit and enlarge upon his keyboard music).
Whenever one listens to Bach's keyboard music it is helpful to remember that Bach was the first (and some think the greatest) exponent of fully employing the thumb in playing. But above and beyond the technical brilliance of these pieces lies a power and passion, a poetry and inspiration unmatched since.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Copyright (P) 1997 Mr. S. D. Rodrian
Although any transcription of Bach's music is by definition in the Public Domain, these 'interpretations' ARE copyrighted as performances:
This music may not be reproduced by any means without the expressed written permission of S. D. Rodrian... with the one exception that these Midi files (either in the ZIPped "JSB_PART.ZIP" file or individually) may be freely distributed through the WWW as long as they are not modified in any way:
MP3 versions of these files are available at:
BACH_KEYBOARD_PARTITAS or at either:
J S Bach's Six Keyboard Partitas (piano here)
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ALL SIX.
Partita No.1 in BbM
Partita No.2 in cm
Partita No.3 in am
Partita No.4 in D
Partita No.5 in G
Partita No.6 in em
Play this GRAND.MID bit for a grander "grand" piano sound (afterwards).
I am making these files available now (rather than later) because I have reached a point of diminishing returns in their editing. That is, theoretically the pieces can always come closer still to the way I think they ought to be interpreted --but not by so much that it justifies my spending all that much more effort on it. Although it was fun while it lasted, it's time to work on something else now.
As a point of departure you must understand that I use the SoundBlaster AWE32 card (on a P.120 PC): This card comes with digitally sampled instruments. [I use Master Tracks Pro.]
On other software (provided the hardware is capable of digitally-sampled instruments), if you don't know how to avoid the FM banks of computer-generated instruments try the Midi Mapper (which might have been properly programmed with your card's wave table instruments).
These files are set to a minimum 'stereo' pan. The following set of 'controls' instructions are for the AWE32 card, but users of other cards may deduce the effect I'm after from them...
for the CREATIVE MIXER: set the Treble, Bass, and MIDI Volumes
to their loudest possible settings. Then set MAIN VOLUME to play at your
own paticular comfort level. NOTE that the note 'velocities' in these files
are set to the loudest possible setting (whenever and wherever possible).
Set all right/left 'balances' as close as possible to the center.
for the AWE32 CONTROL PANEL: Use the Qsound (not Reverb and Chorus).
for the BOB (break-out box): Make sure all the controller 'boxes' (under the M's) are unchecked... Save this setting to the default.bob file if need be: When any box is 'checked' it interferes with the controller information sent by the midi files for proper playback.
RETURN TO MAIN MIDI
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You can visit me at SDRodrian.com