Bach’s Partitas (or suites) for harpsichord (BWV 825-830) were published under his own direction from 1726-1730. Though technically demanding, Bach dedicated these works to “music lovers, for the delight of their spirits.”
The keys of these six Partitas (B-flat major, C minor, A minor, D major, G major, E minor) are not as random as they may, at first, seem. They actually form a careful sequence of ascending and descending intervals, starting with the key of B-flat, representing the first letter (in German) of Bach’s name. The progression continues, moving up a second (B-flat to C), down a third (C to A), up a fourth (A to D), down a fifth (D to G) and, finally, up a sixth (G to E).
And, somehow, despite the technical demands and somewhat formulaic method of key selection, the Partitas represent some of Bach’s most free-ranging and expressive works for keyboard.
Enjoy this video of pianist, András Schiff in a live performance of Partita No. 2 in C minor (BWV 826).