Sonata No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 1a by Joseph Bologne
Edited by Matt Johnston
Joseph Bologne, popularly known by his earned and adopted title of Chevalier de Saint-Georges, was a French violinist, composer, and above all renowned fencer; a composer who we know today for his elegant and particularly refined compositional output, and despite the minimization and neglect of his works. Particularly harmful to his legacy has been his establishment in the classical tradition as a curiosity for his skin color instead of as an eighteen-century Parisian composer who rivaled – and occasionally exceeded – his contemporaries; a composer who exercised the full grasp of his compositional skill and power in works that range from solos to operas.
Amongst Bologne’s otherwise straightforward output lie the early-composed yet late-published entries of the Trois Sonatas pour le clavecin [ou forte piano] avec accompagnement de violon – that is, the three sonatas for harpsichord (or fortepiano) with violin accompaniment, labeled Op. 1a due to their early composition date (around 1770) and late publication (1781 by Simon LeDuc, a precursor to today’s Editions Alphonse Leduc), and which usurped the Six String Quartets, Op. 1 as Bologne’s first completed compositional endeavours.
This new Alry Publications transcription for flute and piano of the Sonata No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 1a, was created with a return to the original ca. 1781 published material in addition to comparisons with contemporary publications and the few transcriptions for flute that exist.