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Suite française no. 1 pour le clavecin (French Suite No. 1 for Harpsichord)

By Joseph Dillon Ford

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Harpsichord - Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Joseph Dillon Ford. 20th Century, Neo-Classical. Score. 6 pages. Published by David Warin Solomons (S0.430585).

Item Number: S0.430585

The French Suite in D Minor was composed in 1987. This six-movement work clearly shows my affection for the music of Bach and Handel, although no identical dance sequence is found in either of the German masters' keyboard compositions.

The movements are:
1 Allemande [4/4, d, M+]
The highly contrapuntal allemande (a dance type of German origin) is most unusual in its modulation to the relative major at the end of its first half--a procedure repeated in the sarabande and bourrée.

2 Courante [3/4, d, M]
In this courante, a Franco-Italian dance whose name implies running or flowing, the upper voice takes precedence, and a steadily bubbling stream of eighth notes is heard continuously.

3 Sarabande [3/4, d, M+]
The sarabande--a Spanish dance of Mexican origin--takes on a decidedly French guise with its lively dotted rhythms and swooping triplet figures. (The baroque style was nothing if not contentiously international!)

4 Menuet [3/4, d, M]
The menuet, a French country dance which became highly stylized at the court of Louis XIV--the Sun King, here takes on a somewhat plaintive tone.

5 Bourrée [2/2, d, M]
The bourrée, a sprightly dance whose name literally means "stuffed" or "thrashed," traces its origins to the Auvergne region of France.

6 Canarie [6/8, d, M]
The suite concludes with a canarie, whose pervasive dotted rhythms seem to conjure up the exotic spirit of the Canary Islands, famous for their magnificent Phoenix palms.

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