I've been revisiting and studying intensively J.S. Bach's Sonata in B-minor this past week. I'm a little obsessed about this sonata and think we flutists (and harpsichordists!) should really be thankful that Bach left us such a fantastic piece of work. Every time there is something new to discover, or at least a special detail to be reminded of. It's like looking at an intricate piece of lace and you discover a whole universe in how the threads are connected and intertwined with each other. To be honest, in many passages I'm actually quite jealous at the harpsichordist who get to play the part. It already begins with the opening motif!
The top left photo shows an incredible moment in the harpsichord part right before the crazy trill. While I was aware of this passage, somehow to see it again in print made a refreshed impression on me. That is just like "OUCH" and then you start the descent into the abyss, if you would. We want to hear a proper resolution to E but instead we get a weird cluster of notes and that stinging minor 9th. There's a similar passage later on toward the end between the flute and harpsichord, but I feel the dissonance there doesn't have that same kind of immediacy when separated between two voices. But of course, maybe you don't want to do the same trick twice...
I discovered also this peculiar rhythm in the Presto, shown on the top right. It repeats itself in the next bar but doesn't appear anywhere else. While attention should be paid to the serious fugue theme happening right there in the left hand, that is Bach being really facetious in this otherwise very stern movement. If only I could be the harpsichordist.
What do you find awesome in this sonata?
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