J. S. Bach's French Overture In B Minor BWV 831 was published, along with the Italian Concerto, as the second half of the Clavier-Übung II in 1735. This suite in B minor was originally scored for two-manual Harpsichord and is the longest Keyboard suite ever composed by Bach, with eleven movements.
An earlier version of this work exists, in the key of C minor (BWV 831a); the work was transposed into B minor to complete the cycle of tonalities in Parts One and Two of the Clavier-Übung.
The term overture refers to the fact that this suite starts with an overture movement, replacing the allemande found in Bach's other Keyboard suites. There are optional dance movements both before and after the Sarabande and another unusual aspect of this work is the inclusion of an extra movement after the Gigue. This is an "echo", a piece meant to exploit the terraced loud and soft dynamics of the two-manual Harpsichord. Other movements also have dynamic indications (piano and forte), which are not often found in Keyboard suites of the Baroque period.
This Henle Urtext Edition has been edited by Rudolf Steglich and includes fingering by Hans-Martin Theopold.