Bach’s autograph of the Solo pour la Flûte traversière, BWV1013, has been lost, but the work is preserved in a single manuscript dating from circa 1722/3, the time of his move from Cöthen to Leipzig. The music would therefore seem to belong to this period. The ‘Partita’, though not the earliest music for unaccompanied flute—Hotteterre in Paris had already explored the territory—may have been the first of its kind in Germany. Telemann’s twelve ‘Fantaisies’ did not appear until ten years later, and C P E Bach’s unaccompanied Sonata, of course, appeared even later. Bach’s dance suite of four movements is remarkable for its gently expressive inflections and graceful gestures. While the opening ‘Allemande’ has much of the free, improvisatory character of a prelude, the ‘Corrente’ is rhythmically more closely allied to the dance. The ‘Sarabande’ is expressively wide-ranging, an outstanding example, perhaps, of Bach’s ability to create what Alfred Einstein called ‘tender, melodic writing’ with the barest instrumental resources. The ‘Bourrée Angloise’ is the most dance-like of all the movements, bringing the ‘Partita’ to a light-spirited conclusion.
from notes by Nicholas Anderson © 2002