Johann Sebastian Bach

Sonata for flute (or violin) & keyboard in G minor (by C.P.E. Bach, not JSB), BWV 1020

    Description by Blair Johnston

    The Sonata for violin and keyboard in G minor, BWV 1020 is almost certainly not a work by Bach; or, rather, it is almost certainly not a work by J.S. Bach (it may in fact have been composed by Johann Sebastian's son C.P.E. Bach). Furthermore, it is not really even a violin sonata -- whoever the work's author might be, the intended ensemble seems actually to be flute and harpsichord (or perhaps its smaller-toned cousin the clavichord). But it is an elegant piece of late-Baroque chamber music, and is not put to any shame by its six worthy and unquestionably authentic brethren (BWV 1014 - 1019).

    If the Sonata in G minor is the only one of the Bach-attributed violin/harpsichord sonatas to have three rather than four (or, in one case, five) movements. The opening movement has no tempo indication but is built of vintage allegro stock. The entirety of the opening ritornello, with its active figuration and arpeggiated subject, is given to the harpsichord as a solo; when the violin enters some bars later the music briefly takes on a more spacious form -- but soon the energetic ritornello creeps back in. The violin sings a melody that grows from many long-held tones in the Adagio second movement. The third movement is a strong-boned Allegro into which from time to time breaks a wonderfully peculiar repeated-note motif.


    1. Allegro
    2. Adagio
    3. Allegro

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Genuin GEN 17457
    2017 Vermeer VRM 4001240013
    2016 Aeolus Music AE 10246
    2016 Archiv Produktion 4795384
    2015 Proprius Music PRCD 2056
    2015 Gramola 99073
    2015 Erato 825646190447
    2015 Erato 0825646190423
    2014 Gramola 98993
    2014 Christophorus CHR 77392
    2013 Centaur Records CRC 3211
    2013 Claves CD 502012
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 Ancalagon ANC 139
    2012 Phaia Music PHU 026
    2011 Hyperion 22077
    2011 Decca
    2011 Gall (formerly Gallo) / Gallo CD 1303
    2010 Decca
    2010 Delos 3402
    2010 Avie 2196
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Centaur Records 3069
    2010 Red Priest / Red Priest Recordings 7
    2010 Fab Four 232921
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Decca
    2009 Decca 4781149
    2008 Warner Classics
    2006 Universal Classics & Jazz
    2006 Universal Classics & Jazz
    2005 Melodiya MELCD 1000880
    2002 Archiv
    1995 Archiv Produktion 447713