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The suites and other pieces for lute by Bach almost certainly resulted from his acquaintance with Sylvius Weiss, the great lutenist and composer, and almost exact contemporary of Bach. The suites by Bach have unclear origins: the first was probably written for an interesting hybrid instrument, a "lute-harpsichord," the second is known only as a lute suite, but the third also exists in a version for solo cello (Suite No. 5), and the fourth is well known as the third solo violin "partita." This suite of dances is particularly known for the catchy Gavotte tune and the opening Prélude, which Bach also used to begin his Cantata No. 29.
Notes by John Williams