Andras Schiff - Piano BWV 812 813 814 815 816 817 The French Suites, BWV 812--817, are six suites which Johann Sebastian Bach wrote for the clavier (harpsichord or clavichord) between the years of 1722 and 1725.
The suites were later given the name 'French' (first recorded usage by Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg in 1762) as a means of contrast with the English Suites (whose title is likewise a later appellation). The name was popularised by Bach's biographer Johann Nikolaus Forkel, who wrote in his 1802 biography of Bach, "One usually calls them French Suites because they are written in the French manner." This claim, however, is inaccurate: like Bach's other suites, they follow a largely Italian convention. There is no surviving definitive manuscript of these suites, and ornamentation varies both in type and in degree across manuscripts.