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In 1735, Johann Sebastian Bach entrusted the second part of his Clavier-Übung to a Nuremburg engraver. The two pieces brought together in the second part of the Clavier-Übung, the Concerto in the Italian Style, and the Overture in the French Manner, share more than one unifying element, and present several very particular aspects, within the work of the composer, as well as within the style of keyboard composition then current in Europe. The Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue (BWV 903), along with the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro (BWV 998), are »isolated« pieces, not belonging to a cycle or a designed group. The variety of affects, majestically organised by the composer of these four pieces, reflects his mastery of the different styles. Modest in the dance movements, intermediate in the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, sublime in the Overture, and blending all these as he pleases in the Concerto and the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, he »restores« our spirits in a rich, convincing and most touching way.
After having studied with Yannick Le Gaillard, PASCAL DUBREUIL graduated in both harpsichord and continuo at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. He continued his studies through participation in masterclasses given by Kenneth Gilbert and, notably, Gustav Leonhardt, as well as studying orchestral conducting with Nicolas Brochot. He was a laureate of the Bruges International Music Competition in 1997. He appears in concerts and recordings throughout France and many other European countries both as soloist and with other chamber musicians, playing harpsichord, clavichord, organ or fortepiano, principally with the Bratislava baroque orchestra Musica Aeterna, Claire Michon, Patrick Ayrton, François Fernandez, Bruno Boterf and Ricardo Rapoport, and as continuo player with vocal ensembles such as Ensemble Vocal de l'Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes and Sagittarius. He has made recordings for the labels Le Chant du Monde, K 617 and Arion, and now collaborates with the Ramée label – his recording of the Bach Partitas has been highly acclaimed in the international press, and has received, among other rewards, the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Pascal Dubreuil teaches harpsichord and chamber music at the Conservatoire National de Région in Rennes, leading the Early Music department. He also teaches harpsichord, chamber music and musical rhetoric at the Centre Supérieur de Musique et Danse in Poitiers. He often serves as a member of the jury for examinations, and teaches in seminars and master classes both in France and abroad. Following several years' research on musical rhetoric, he has recently published, in collaboration with Agathe Sueur, the first complete French translation of the Joachim Burmeister treatise Musica Poetica (1606), as well as the main passages of this theoretician's two other treatises, for Mardaga Editions (collection Amicus, 2007).