The French Suite No. 2 in C Minor is a virtuoso keyboard solo whose program elaborates the principal characters and situations in chapter one of Voltaire's picaresque philosophical novel, Candide. The fourth movement is reduced to two voices, the better to elaborate through intricate figuration and ornamentation the pedagogical pretensions of Pangloss, tutor to Candide and Cunégonde. His indiscretions with a maid in the Baron's employ set a dangerous example for his pupils that will change their lives forever. Voltaire brilliantly exploits the character of Pangloss to ridicule Leibnizian optimism.

Last updated October 1, 2003
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