Bach’s Orchestral Suite 3 in D major

WEDNESDAY, October 9, 2019

Famous for 289 years…

The Air on a G string, from Bach’s third Orchestral Suite in D major, is one of the most famous pieces of music ever written. You will hear it frequently are weddings and funerals, both to celebrate life and death.

This is a very modern version, soft, full string section. The whole orchestral suite is around 19 minutes long, but this one section is the famous part. A purest would prefer what Bach wrote, exactly with the right number of soloists. But to be honest, this is what I prefer. Let me know which one you like best.

Same thing, but this time with original instruments.

Notice that the tuning is lower, down about 1/2 step. Old instruments were tuned lower. This would be close to what was performed in Bach’s time. This probably historically accurate, and it is well played. But for me, a non-string player, I find it a bit dry.

Finally Bach’s complete Third Orchestral Suite in D Major…

This contains the movement known today as “Air on a G String”. I enjoy watching the players, and there is a huge amount of energy. I think it’s a good video to watch.



4 thoughts on “Bach’s Orchestral Suite 3 in D major

  1. I just found one conducted by Stokowski, and I’m afraid I’m spoiled now against any other version. We know that Stokowski was also careful about how microphones were placed so as to bring out specific voices and that is what I am hearing right now. Air on a G String has had special meaning for me.

    Comparing the versions you put up – they are different in character, from different times. I like both individually.


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