The keyboard Partitas are among the most popular of Bach’s works. They are also some of the most difficult to play.
The Partita No. 2 in C minor (BWV 826) is one of my personal favorites. It comprises six movements, including the usual opening sinfonia, and continuing with four customary French-inspired dance movements of the day.
However, rather than closing with a true gigue, the ever-experimenting Bach finishes with a rollicking capriccio, more closely related to the Italian style. True to form, this capriccio relies on fugal techniques, albeit lighter (more capricious?) in character than a “strict” fugue. Bach, in his genius, blends both worlds – the seriousness of a fugue with the light-hearted fun of a gigue!
Enjoy this recording of the Capriccio by the preeminent pianist, András Schiff.