Complete Sonatas for Flute and Obbligato Keyboard by CPE Bach (1714-1788)
Volume I – Sonata in Bb Major (Wq161.2/H.578)
Edited by Ulrich Leisinger
According to the Catalogue of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Estate, the present Sonata in Bb Major (Wq161.2/H.578) was composed in Potsdam in 1748 and published for the first time in 1751. This print included two sonatas, the other one being the famous programmatic piece that is known as Melancholicus and Sanguineus (Wg161.1/H.579). The set was dedicated to Wilhelm, the music loving Count of Schaumburg-Lippe, at whose court in Buckeburg Emanuel's younger brother Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach served as a chamber musician. The Bb Major sonata focuses more on melody than on harmonic richness and thus clearly aims at the musical taste of Count Wilhelm who had traveled to Italy himself in order to hire musicians to acquire the latest musical compositions.
Although the work was originally intended to be a trio sonata for Flute, Violin and basso continuo, the adaption for flute and obbligato keyboard was legitimized by the composer himself. In the preface of the printed score, CPE Bach stated that the two lower voices (i.e. the violin and the basso continuo parts) may be played on the harpsichord or the clavichord with good effect.
By kind permission, the present edition is based on a copy of the original print, as neither the dedication copy nor any source material from Emanuel Bach's possession are known to be extant. The original edition is almost free from obvious mistakes; only the slurring is sometimes unprecise. The present edition follows the original as faithfully as possible. Only the notation of accidentals has tacitly been adapted to modern standards. All editorial additions are inserted in square brackets.