Hamburger Sonata for Flute and Basso Continuo in G major Wq. 133 (1786)

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1767)

Program note written by Jacob Farmer

I. Allegretto
II. Rondo – Presto

Approximate Performance Time:
10 Minutes

Advanced – appropriate for college undergraduates and master students

Emmanuel Pahud. Hamburger Sonata for Flute and Basso Continuo in G Major. Rec. 7 Nov. 2011. EMI Records Ltd, 2011. MP3.
Ewald Demeyere, Barthold Kuijken. Hamburger Sonata for Flute and Basso Continuo in G Major. C.P.E. Bach, 2007. MP3.

Source Article:
Buyse, Leone. “C.P.E. Bach’s Hamburger Sonata.” Flute Talk, vol. 17, no. 9, 1998., pp. 12-14,
Thaves, Darrin Fredrick. “Frederick the Great: His Influence on the Output of Flute Sonatas by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.” Order No. 1394453 California State University, Long Beach, 1999. Ann Arbor: ProQuest. Web. 1 Oct. 2016.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, born the second son of Johann Sebastian Bach in 1714, is considered the greatest harpsichordist of his time, eventually rising to the harpsichordist to the Crown Prince of Prussia. Unlike his father, C.P.E. Bach had a university education. He left his position after his godfather, Telemann, died in 1767, to succeed Telemann as director of music in Hamburg’s five city churches. As a respected musician, thinker, and a friend to many, C.P.E. Bach’s many sonatas for flute and harpsicord became popular amongst chamber music collections. He wrote six symphonies for string, four for orchestra, and one for wind instruments, keyboard music, and chamber pieces including his sonatas for violin, basso, and flute.

Piece Information:
One of his more well-known sonatas for flute is the Hamburger Sonate für Flöte und Basso continuo. It was composed in 1735 in Frankfurt, Germany. It is believed to have been written for King Frederick II, a flutist himself, but it is uncertain for who the piece was composed. The piece has two movements, Allegretto and Rondo – Presto. The first movement is in binary form and continues on to the second movement without pause and follows a typical rondo form.