Duggan to perform Bach’s Partitas suite

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Fr. Sean Duggan at piano

Fr. Sean Duggan

Fr. Sean Duggan will celebrate the 335th anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach by performing all six of the German composer’s groundbreaking keyboard Partitas on Thursday, March 5, at 8 p.m., in Rosch Recital Hall.

The concert is free and open to the public.

The Partitas, a series of Baroque dance movements put together in the same key and in a standardized order, are the biggest and most complex of Bach’s keyboard suites, said Fr. Duggan, who is an associate professor in the School of Music. Each Partita, or suite, is introduced by its own non-dance movement.

“The Partitas are often performed individually but rarely as a complete cycle of six,” Duggan said.

Johann Nicolaus Forkel, Bach’s first biographer, wrote that the six Partitas “made in its time a great noise in the musical world,” Duggan noted. “Such excellent compositions for the keyboard had never been seen or heard before,” the writer observed.

Bach, also an outstanding harpsichordist and organist, is Duggan’s favorite composer. “I find his music endlessly interesting on so many levels – it's music I never grow tired of, because every time I return to it I can find something new. Bach achieved a balance of mind and heart, intellect and emotion, which I feel is unique in the annals of music history.”

Duggan will perform the Partitas on Rosch’s Steinway concert grand piano.

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