Suite No 1 is Baroque in orientation. It opens with a lively two-voice Canon on a sinuous subject marked by prominent dotted rhythms. Half way through this quite extensive movement the subject re-enters in its original form, prompting a further bout of canonic development, and the proceedings end with an ad libitum cadenza-like passage leading to a final statement of the subject. A pert fugue follows. Marked Munter
(cheerful), this is more orthodox in layout and rhythmically regular than the fugues in the sonatas, getting into a brief stretto towards the end. The third movement is a Rondo whose main theme is full of precipitous leaps while the strongly syncopated episodes hint at a Bartókian ‘folk-fiddling’ style. The fourth movement is headed Dreiteilige Liedform
(three-part song form), which adequately describes its layout, with a broad, songful melody dominating the outer sections and enclosing a passionately flowing middle section. The finale, which follows without a break, is a Ciaccona based on the heavily accented subject announced at the outset. In the tradition of Bach’s great D minor Chaconne, though on a much less ample scale, the movement proceeds by accumulating motion in progessively smaller note-values and thus gains in brilliance until an effervescent coda that finally compresses the subject, by diminution, into a single bar to make a terse concluding figure.
from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2007