It was Georg Böhm who introduced Bach to French harpsichord music and the appropriate manner of playing. Thanks to Böhm’s introduction, Bach, the German harpsichordist, was able to perform French dance music of the era of Louis XIV at gatherings of the nobility, thus becoming familiar with the music of his French contemporaries such as François Couperin, Jean-Philippe Rameau and Louis Marchand. Among the harpsichord pieces which Bach composed in the French style, besides many separate suites, are the English and French Suites (both completed as series in Cöthen and Leipzig in 1718-1725), and the Six Partitas. • Bach included in the French Suites the customary sequence of allemande, courante, sarabande and gigue, with additional short movements between the sarabande and gigue. The dances are based on French models, but have no preludes and are generally of a more modest scale, both less stylized and less demanding technically.
Played by one of the foremost keyboard players of today, Wolfgang Rübsam, on the Lute Harpsichord. The quality of the sound of this instrument is much warmer than a regular harpsichord, as it has gut strings and no dampers.
Wolfgang Rübsam has an immense discography to his name. His more than 100 recordings include organ and harpsichord works from the Baroque and the Romantic era.