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Sonata in A major for flute and marimba BWV 1032

Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)

Composer
Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Composition Year
1736
Work Movements
1. Vivace
2. Largo e dolce
3. Allegro
Artists
Fiona Kelly [flute], Ji Hye Jung [marimba]

Programme Note Writer:
© Ian Fox

Bach wrote four sonatas for solo flute and either cembalo or continuo. This A major Sonata has an interesting history. The original manuscript is lost, probably destroyed during World War II, but Bach had copied it out in 1736 and this has been preserved. It is rather unusual as he used the bottom three staves of manuscript sheets containing the C minor Concerto for Two Harpsichords and then continued using the whole sheets once the Concerto ended. Unfortunately someone, perhaps Bach or maybe a later hand, cut off 46 bars of the first movement of the Sonata which means that musicologists have had to recreate this music using the existing themes and style. Originally the cembalo or harpsichord was employed but today’s performance is an arrangement for marimba. This is an instrument of the xylophone family with broader, thicker keys providing a more mellow sound.

Bach wrote a lively score for the cembalo (or marimba today), so it is not intended as a mere accompaniment, but makes its own musical contribution. This is clear from the start as the marimba opens the work with a full statement of the main theme or ritornello before the flute enters at all and each instrument is given distinctive music of its own throughout this and the ensuing movements. The second movement is a charming air for the flute, with the marimba sometimes simply accompanying but also providing its own comments on the theme. The finale returns to the cheerful mood of the opening, again with the marimba taking the lead. 

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Sonata in A major for flute and marimba BWV 1032

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Performance date: Sunday 1st July 2012
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Work Title Sonata in A major for flute and marimba BWV 1032
Composition Year 1736
Work Movements 1. Vivace
2. Largo e dolce
3. Allegro
Artist(s) Fiona Kelly [flute], Ji Hye Jung [marimba]
Performance Date Sunday 1st July 2012
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:13:19
Recording Engineer Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Duo
Instrumentation fl, mar
Programme Note Writer © Ian Fox

Bach wrote four sonatas for solo flute and either cembalo or continuo. This A major Sonata has an interesting history. The original manuscript is lost, probably destroyed during World War II, but Bach had copied it out in 1736 and this has been preserved. It is rather unusual as he used the bottom three staves of manuscript sheets containing the C minor Concerto for Two Harpsichords and then continued using the whole sheets once the Concerto ended. Unfortunately someone, perhaps Bach or maybe a later hand, cut off 46 bars of the first movement of the Sonata which means that musicologists have had to recreate this music using the existing themes and style. Originally the cembalo or harpsichord was employed but today’s performance is an arrangement for marimba. This is an instrument of the xylophone family with broader, thicker keys providing a more mellow sound.

Bach wrote a lively score for the cembalo (or marimba today), so it is not intended as a mere accompaniment, but makes its own musical contribution. This is clear from the start as the marimba opens the work with a full statement of the main theme or ritornello before the flute enters at all and each instrument is given distinctive music of its own throughout this and the ensuing movements. The second movement is a charming air for the flute, with the marimba sometimes simply accompanying but also providing its own comments on the theme. The finale returns to the cheerful mood of the opening, again with the marimba taking the lead.