Like the Sonatas in E flat (BWV1031) and C major (BWV1033) the Sonata in G minor, BWV1020, is unlikely to be a product solely, if at all, of Bach’s pen. The equal partnership of flute and obbligato harpsichord and the galant gestures, especially of the fast movements, call to mind not only the E flat major Sonata (BWV1031), which may well have served as the model, but also the flute sonatas of Quantz and of other Berlin composers. Stylistically, it is the least ‘Bach-like’ of the three ‘doubtful’ sonatas and the present consensus of opinion inclines towards C P E Bach as its composer. One of the three surviving manuscripts is in his hand, while the other two simply carry the name ‘Bach’ at their head. Further doubt arises over the intended instrumentation for the G minor Sonata. The sources call for violin and harpsichord, yet the absence of any double-stopping has led musicians to believe it to have been a work for flute. Equally, though, an oboe qualifies for consideration on grounds of key, compass and apparent similarities between this piece and C P E Bach’s authentic Oboe Sonata in G minor (H566/Wq135).
from notes by Nicholas Anderson © 2002