Sonata for flute & keyboard in B minor, BWV 1030
Sonata for flute & keyboard in E flat major, BWV 1031
Sonata for flute & keyboard in A major, BWV 1032
Sonata for flute & keyboard in C major, BWV 1033
Sonata for flute & continuo in E minor, BWV 1034
Sonata for flute & continuo in E major, BWV 1035
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Despite the uncertain origins of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Flute Sonatas" and some questions about their attribution, the six works on this Naxos CD are generally accepted and performed as a complete set. The "Sonata in B minor, BWV 1030," the "Sonata in E flat major, BWV 1031," and the "Sonata in A major, BWV 1032," all structured in three movements, are considered innovative concerto hybrids or Sonate auf Concertenart, while the "Sonata in C major, BWV 1033," the "Sonata in E minor, BWV 1034," and the "Sonata in E major, BWV 1035," fall into the more conventional four-movement format of the Baroque sonata. The "Flute Sonatas" also mark a change of preference from the recorder to the transverse flute, which introduced greater technical and expressive possibilities that Bach appreciated and exploited. Flutist Pauliina Fred and harpsichordist Aapo Häkkinen give scintillating performances, and the fluidity and spontaneity of their exchanges make these interpretations fresh and surprisingly loose. While Häkkinen maintains a consistent metric pulse, Fred plays with considerable freedom, lending a lyrical dimension to the music that contrasts well with the often Motorik accompaniment. The recording at Vihti Church, Finland is clear and detailed, and the musicians have close-up presence that lends warmth.