Recorded in Durham, North Carolina, in the mid-1990s and finally released just in time for C.P.E. Bach’s tercentenary by Albany Records, here are two sonatas for flute and keyboard, performed with flutist Rebecca Troxler. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Sonata in D, W. 83, was one of four similar works written by the composer at Potsdam (Germany) in 1747. That was the year in which his father Johann Sebastian Bach made his famous visit to Potsdam, near Berlin, where C.P.E. Bach served as keyboard player to Prussian King Frederick II (“the Great”). Originally a trio sonata for flute, violin, and basso continuo, the sonata is recorded here in a later version for flute and obbligato fortepiano. During May 1747 the king acquired a new fortepiano; J.S. Bach played on it during his visit, and C.P.E. Bach might well have performed the present sonata on it with the king.
Accompanying this work is a Sonata in A by Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, Emanuel’s younger half-brother. Number VII/1 in the list of works by Hannsdieter Wohlfarth, this sonata was composed by 1770, when Emanuel included it in an anthology of music by various composers that he published in that year. Like Emanuel’s earlier work it can be played by flute, violin, and continuo, or by flute and “cembalo.”
Accompanying these two sonatas are other works by C.P.E. Bach in performances that include Sandra Miller (flute), Gesa Kordes (viola), Brent Wissick (cello), and Andrew Willis (fortepiano).