Suite in F minor

Suite in F minor

BWV 823 performed by Ketil Haugsand
at home in Cologne, Germany

  • Menu
  • 1. Prelude
  • 2. Sarabande
  • 3. Gigue

Behind the music

Extra videos
Extra videos

Incomplete but perfect

Bach may have mastered the French style even better than the French themselves

There is only one manuscript of this Suite in F minor, written by Bach’s pupil Johann Peter Kellner. The surviving suite is probably incomplete, as it consists of just three movements (Prelude, Sarabande and Gigue) instead of the usual six or seven. However, Kellner does write ‘fine’ at the end, so maybe he presumed - or knew - that Bach regarded the work as complete. The Norwegian harpsichordist Ketil Haugsand, who recorded the suite for All of Bach, also thinks this is plausible.

Based on some awkward technical moments and a few singularities of form, there are also occasional doubts about Bach’s authorship. According to Haugsand, however, his style is clearly recognisable. He believes it to be an early work that shows, in particular, how well Bach could compose in the French style - “maybe even better than the French themselves”. The Dutch harpsichordist and musicologist Pieter Dirksen, on the other hand, has suggested that the work was composed at a later date and was originally intended for lute. “It may not have been a very important work for Bach himself”, says Haugsand, “but it is really beautiful; especially the melancholy Sarabande”.

Suite in F minor
harpsichord works

Extra videos

Harpsichordist Ketil Haugsand

“F minor is the key of death, but Bach also offers consolation.”

Vocal texts




  • Release date
    1 June 2018
  • Recording date
    28 February 2017
  • Location
    Cologne, Germany
  • Harpsichordist
    Ketil Haugsand
  • Harpsichord
    Martin Skowroneck, Bremen, 1985
  • Director and interview
    Jan Van den Bossche
  • Music recording, edit and mix
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera and edit performance
    Gijs Besseling
  • Edit interview
    Ane C. Ose
  • Producer
    Jessie Verbrugh

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