Johann Sebastian Bach's 'French' Suites are his 'light' pieces. Short and sweet, they are nevertheless usually thought of more as 'germanic' (largely due to their intensity). But intensity was practically Bach's middle name, and in contrast to most of his other work, these six suites do exemplify something of that 'light' approach which later came to dominate the 'classical' period (when music lost its center stage position in a more politicized world, and was almost turned into mere accompaniment... what today is known as 'elevator music')    

There were exceptions, of course, Haydn, and later Mozart. But it wasn't until Rossini and Beethoven that music again demanded and eventually retook center stage. During that 'classical' hiatus, the music of Bach lay in neglect: no one had time to pay as much attention to it as Bach's music obviously demands... the classical ('French') world was in chaos and revolution; indeed, it is a tribute to the greatness of Beethoven that he was able to come up with music that again commanded center stage even amidst the Napoleonic years.

       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_FR.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_FRENCH_SUITES   or at either:
http://mp3s.sdrodrian.com   or:

J S Bach's Six 'French' Suites for Keyboard (piano here)  
                    CLICK HERE TO        DOWNLOAD ALL SIX.

French Suite No.1 in dm

French Suite No.2 in cm

French Suite No.3 in bm

French Suite No.4 in EbM

French Suite No.5 in G

French Suite No.6 in E

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 particular 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.



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