Trio Sonata No.3

Johann Sebastian Bach

Trio Sonata No.3 in G major

BWV1038

About this work

Like the two other trio sonatas attributed to Bach (only BWV is certain to be his), this G major work follows the slow-fast-slow-fast pattern of Italian trio sonatas. Compared to the other two works, this one involves less counterpoint, which indicates it may not be authentic Bach. The opening Largo is the sonata's most extended movement, with the flute tending to appropriate the melodic line and the violin assuming a more subsidiary role. The two treble instruments form a more equal partnership in the Vivace, with their close imitative counterpoint. Compared to the Largo, the Vivace and the two following movements are mere miniatures. The plaintive Adagio gives the flute and violin repeated, sighing figures, which the flute then elaborates (particularly in the central portion of the movement's ABA format) while the violin plays the melody fairly straight. The final Presto is a rudimentary, three-voice fugue (including a prominent harpsichord part), ending before it can significantly develop its materials.

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