C.P.E. Bach
Sonata in A minor:

Arranged by Dan Barrett

Solo bass trombone

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2016



Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) composed the Sonata in A Minor for solo flute in 1747 while employed as the chamber harpsichordist for Frederick II “The Great,” King of Prussia. Frederick was a talented flutist and since many of C.P.E Bach’s works for flute originate from the period that he was in the king’s employ, it is assumed that the majority of those works were composed for him. Interestingly, this is Bach’s only piece for flute that was published during his lifetime, which was forbidden for works composed for the king. This has led some to believe that the sonata was not in fact composed for the king but may have been composed for the king’s teacher, the well-known flutist and composer Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) instead.

The transcription is exact, with dynamics and articulations matching many common editions. Dan Barrett transposed the original down two octaves and includes suggested breath marks as well as the occasional slide position to assist with particular ornaments. It appears in bass clef throughout and remains well within a comfortable melodic range for bass trombone or tenor with f-attachment, D-f-sharp¹. The sonata presents challenges similar to baroque solo transcriptions like the flute Fantasies by Telemann or the Cello Suites of J.S. Bach, particularly when it comes to interpretation without accompaniment, but can serve as a first-rate jury piece or inspiring study work.

Reviewer: Eric High
Review Published June 14, 2019