Three records, and this is just the first part. These are supposed to study pieces, but this probably is getting quite complicated pretty soon. Bach has started early with this tradition of virtuoso study pieces. They’re exactly forty of them, the age of the composer when he published them.
Like so many of Bachs pieces for solo instrument the partitas are arranged in what was called French fashion. They had a short symphonic opening (called Ouverture, Praeludium or Praeambulum) and then went on with a couple of short variations in different metres, as demanded by the dance (Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Burlesca, Tempo di Minuetto, etc).
The dance itself didn’t really exist when Bach wrote these. It is no longer in question if people really dances to them. They didn’t. These pieces just had some reminiscences of those dances. Nevertheless, it is nice to hear this worldly side of Bach after so many church pieces.
Some of the attached little cards from the library mention the price they paid for it. In this case it says ƒ65. Calculating historical prices is always a hassle, but that would be 32 euros. Add to that the fact that this was somewhere in the seventies, this was quite an expensive record. Right now on Discogs it goes for 15 euros, which is still not bad for a second hand record that I paid fifty cents for.