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Sonata in C major BWV 1033


by J.S. Bach 1685-1750

J. S. Bach Sonata in C major BWV 1033 for flute and continuo

Composed in 1736 in the Baroque Period.

Andante Presto



Menuett I & II

This flute sonata in C major lies in the list of works that have varying opinions as to whether Bach wrote them. Some researchers consider that C.P. E. Bach is the true author with one reason being the absence of a signature belonging to Johann Sebastian Bach and the thorough-bass part or continuo line. As you can see below in the opening of the second movement the continuo line is guided by using numbers. This is not common in J. S. Bach works for flute.

The Bach sonatas are grouped in two volumes. Sonatas 1 to 3 which are contrapuntal and more complex in nature. Sonatas 4 to 6 in which the flute takes a more dominant and melodic part. The C major is no. 4.

The C Major is one of my favourites because I feel all the movements reflect the “galant” style which was fashionable in 1720s to 1770s with clear expressive melodic line and simple harmonic structure. The movements lend themselves to a very dance like approach.

The Andante is clearly a vocal, melodic, and sustained line, almost choral like in its flow and direction.

The Presto takes on an improvisatory feel, still with an elegant and controlled expressive musical line.

The Allegro is rhythmic, melodic and a great movement to really work on string type bowing in the articulation. I aim for maximum resonance in the sound here.

The Adagio easily lends itself to a melodic and dance approach so that it flows and has elegance. It has a reflective A minor colour, expressive yet understated.

Menuett I is a simple dance with a bright rhythmic feel.

Menuett II is in a Baroque “louré” dance style with a lilted approach to the quaver rhythm.