Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Swack, Jeanne. "Quantz and the Sonata in E-flat Major for Flute and Cembalo, BWV 1031." Early Music 23 (February 1995): 31-53.

Questions regarding the authenticity of J. S. Bach's Sonata in E-flat Major for Flute and Cembalo, BWV 1031, resurfaced when several similarities were noticed between it and Quantz's Sonata in E-flat Major, QV2:18. Both works share stylistic, thematic, and structural elements, notably in the first and third movements. For example, the first movements are in common time and feature a ritornello structure that uses an identical musical motive. The second movements are sicilianos in minor keys, and the third movements are quick, bipartite compositions in 3/8. The use of parallel thirds, two-measure units, and a concluding tonic pedal further connect the final movements. Because BWV 1031 has never been firmly attributed to Bach, the similarities between it and QV2:18 may indicate that Quantz composed both pieces. The contrapuntal writing is not typical of Bach and the range of the flute is quite limited, unlike Bach's other works for flute. Yet the first and third movements of BWV 1031 are thematically complex and extended in length, which, though not incongruent with Quantz's compositional procedures, is more characteristic of Bach. The opening ritornello of BWV 1031 also shares several characteristics with the opening ritornello of a work firmly attributed to Bach: the Sonata in A Major for flute and cembalo, BWV 1032. Thus while it is possible to see that QV2:18 served as a model for BWV 1031, it remains impossible to determine whether Bach or Quantz is the work's composer.

Works: J. S. Bach: Sonata in E-flat Major for Flute and Cembalo, BWV 1031 (31-47), Sonata in A Major for Flute and Cembalo, BWV 1032 (44-47), Sonata in G Minor for Violin and Cembalo, BWV 1020 (45-47).

Sources: Quantz: Sonata in E-flat Major, QV2:18 (31-47), Sonata in G Minor, QV2:35 (45-47).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Laura B. Dallman

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