bach wrote 6* sonatas for the flute over the course of his adult life in Leipzig
(in addition to other chamber music works)
*The actual number of sonatas Bach wrote for the flute is hotly contested - many scholars disagree on the authenticity of BWV 1020, 1031, and 1033, so it is a mystery! We will never really know how many sonatas he wrote for the instrument, but what we can agree upon is that hearing the instrument for the first time in the late 17-teens, inspired him to write secular chamber music for the flute for the rest of his life
*featured on fly the coop
dates are approximate for many of these sonatas
BWV 1033, 1034, and 1035, his continuo* sonatas, distill Bach's most wonderful musical qualities down to just a two-line texture: treble (flute) and bass (continuo)
*what is continuo? see below for our definition
con·tin·u·o: an open-ended accompaniment part used in 17th- and 18th-century music consisting of a bass line with numbers that indicate chords.
an 18th-century rainbow machine, a bedazzled dinosaur.
flute: Italian traverso, French, flûte traversière, German, querflöte. the oldest melodic instrument, favored by Baroque composers for its sweet tone. not to be confused with the recorder.
a glass of champagne, a soaring dragon.
son·a·ta: in the Baroque period, a multi-movement instrumental chamber work.
also, a mid-size car.
E Minor Sonata, BWV 1034. A dance between light and shadow. Possibly written during his early Leipzig years while composing over sixty cantatas, this sonata has the weight of his larger musical sermons, and its technical sophistication shows the hand of a seasoned craftsman.
E Major Sonata, BWV 1035. Sensual, simple in form, perfumed with luxurious harmony. There’s a galant breeziness throughout, yet the harmonic twists and melodic interplay between flute and bass reveal Bach’s love for thorny, contrapuntal music.
C Major Sonata, BWV 1033. Open-hearted, inviting, full of grace and generosity. This sonata features an unusually simple continuo line that may have been composed by a young C.P.E. Bach as part of his studies - possibly in response to an existing solo flute work by his father. This invited us to experiment. Using C.P.E.’s work as a springboard, we interwove other music by Bach (the Goldberg Variations), rewrote bass lines, and added newly composed material.
Prelude in G Major, after BWV 884
Sonata in E Minor, BWV 1034
Adagio ma non tanto
Prelude in E Minor, after BWV 855
Sonata in E Major, BWV 1035
Adagio ma non tanto
Prelude in G Minor, after BWV 847a
Prelude in C Minor, after BWV 999
Prelude in C Major
Sonata in C Major, BWV 1033
Menuett I & II
Prelude in E Major, after BWV 815a
Paul Holmes Morton
Overdubs recorded at
Mixed and edited by
Album artwork and design
CD liner notes
baroque cello, viola da gamba
viola da gamba
theorbo, baroque guitar, banjo
theorbo, baroque guitar
Clay Zeller-Townson, Elliot Figg,
Kendall Briggs, Nicholas Csicsko
Dave Snyder and Matt Hall
Dave Snyder and Emi Ferguson
ARF! Mastering by Alan Silverman
Emi Ferguson and Clay Zeller-Townson