Aria nach François Couperin

Johann Sebastian Bach

Aria nach François Couperin in F major


About this work

This barely counts as a Bach composition, for it is a very straightforward transcription of the fourth movement of the trio sonata L'impériale from François Couperin's Les Nations. It is not even certain that Bach made the transcription himself, but if he did, it's likely that he fashioned this version around the same time he was writing his own trio sonatas for organ -- suggesting that he would have had to have gotten his hands on Couperin's original shortly after its 1726 publication. This is basically a da capo aria in its simplest ABA format. If the easily loping A section were just a bit less brisk, it would sound pastoral. One of its principal features is a repeated two-note motif, which is doubled to become the basis of the freely ornamented B section.