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J.S.Bach Flute Sonatas


Sonata in b minor BWV 1030
Sonata in E majorBWV 1035
Sonata in A major BWV 1032
Sonata in e minor BWV 1034
Sonata in E flat major BWV 1031

Philippa Davies flute
Maggie Cole harpsichord
Alison McGillivray cello


Avie AV 2101 [Potton Hall, 2005; 64 mins]

A delectable recording of Bach's flute sonatas. J.S.Bach featured the single-keyed transverse flute widely in chamber music and larger works. The complex history of the sonatas and their sources is examined in Rober White's full discussion, which claims fairly that "however haphazard the circumstances and subsequent history" they are "bright stars in the chamber music firmament".

Greatest is the first, with full obbligato accompaniment (others are realised from figured bass). The exuberant A major sonata (completed by Kuijken) likewise gives full scope to both players. Davies' playing is suave and elegantly inflected, with well turned and expressive decorations. Excellent balance in a sympathetic acoustic.

Philippa Davies is not a period instrument performer but felt that the timbre of the wooden flute was best suited to this repertoire. Hers is in Cocuswood and it has all the mechanisms of a silver flute. It was made in 1998; the harpsichord is after a 1749 Gougon and Alison McGillivray plays a baroque cello of c. 1714.


© Peter Grahame Woolf