Bach’s Sonata in A major for flute and obbligato harpsichord, BWV1032, survives in a Leipzig autograph dating from 1736. It is, however, incomplete since some forty-six concluding bars of the first movement were cut off from the manuscript—which also contains the Concerto in C minor for two harpsichords and strings (BWV1062)—and subsequently lost. Several editors have reconstructed the missing bars, including Alfred Dürr whose solution is contained in the Neue Bach-Ausgabe
(VI, 3). Like the B minor Sonata, the piece is stylistically advanced and technically challenging. The opening ‘Vivace’ is introduced by an eight-bar harpsichord solo whose thematic idea becomes closely interrelated with the flute material later on. The second movement, marked ‘Largo e dolce’, is an evenly sustained piece of three-part writing, if perhaps a shade dry, in which the voices expressively imitate and dovetail into one another. The lively concluding ‘Allegro’ provides the focal point of the sonata. Introduced by the harpsichord, the theme is taken up by the flute and developed with radiant energy. The three parts maintain a level of equal importance, whose intense activity eventually leads the flute to a top E, the descent from which brings the movement to an exhilarating close.
from notes by Nicholas Anderson © 2002