All of Bach: a project by the Netherlands Bach Society
Flute Partita in A Minor
Only for flute
Whereas violinists and cellists have six suites, flautists have to make do with one.
This suite is Bach’s only known work for flute solo. The piece consists of four stylised dances. The Allemande is directly reminiscent of the cello suites and violin partitas, so this piece probably originated in the same period, namely Bach’s years at the court in Köthen. When Bach was still working in Weimar, he met the French flautist Pierre Gabriel Buffardin on a visit to Dresden. His playing undoubtedly inspired Bach, who wrote this suite with him in mind.
At this time, the flute was still very much under development. Flutes could consist of three or four different parts and sometimes had extra extensions, which were interchangeable connecting pieces that varied in length, called corps de rechange. A flute was therefore not just one instrument, but actually a kit of several pieces that made up a variety of lengths, allowing the flautist to play in different keys.
This suite lets the flautist show off all his techniques: rapid fingering changes, big leaps and little time to catch his breath. The piece ranges from the lowest possible note to the glorious high A at the end of the Allemande. It is also has a Sarabande, which has to be played slowly and expressively. After all, according to the most famous player in Germany, Johann Joachim Quantz, not only did a flautist have to “get his lips, tongue and fingers in the right place”, but he also had to “develop his taste”.
- Partita in A minor
- Solo pour la Flûte traversière par J.S. Bach
- chamber music (solo work for flute)
- ca. 1717-1723?
- Special notes
- The manuscript copy is written at the end of a collective manuscript which contains a complete copy of the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo, BWV 1001–1006. The heading seems to read: Solo pour la Flûte traversière par J.S. Bach. The copyist of the violin works is probably Emanuel Leberecht Gottschalck.
Cast & Crew
|Release Date||14 October 2016|
|Recording Date||28 November 2015|
|Location||Oude Dorpskerk, Bunnik|
|flute player||Marten Root|
|traverso||Fridtjof Aurin after Pierre Naust, ca. 1700|
|Music recording||Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt|
|Camera||Jonas Sacks, Ype Poortinga|
|Music edit and mix||Guido Tichelman|
|audio post processing interview||Chris Everts|