Handel’s Flute Sonata in G Major

A Bourree is a dance, similar to a Gavotte. Suzuki Book Two includes a song called Bourree by Handel, and sources it to “Flute Sonata, Opus 1 No. 5.” That struck me as odd because I already know that Handel is one of those composers who has his own numbering system, like Bach – generally his works are not referred to by opus numbers. But when I looked into this one it does seem that this piece has the opus number because it was incorrectly attributed to another composer for a time. Wikipedia notes that the sonata is, in the Handel numbering system, HWV 363b.

But it’s definitely Flute Sonata in G Major, written by Handel in the first decade of the 18th century. Wikipedia notes the sonata has 5 movements; Bourree is the fourth of five. Apparently a minuet finishes the composition.

I started the piece in yesterday’s lesson – it has some patterns that make picking it up a little easier than the Brahms Waltz has been. It’s a pleasant tune – Teacher said yesterday, “you like them all” and so far that has indeed been true. Musette, a little Bach tune earlier in Book Two, took me a bit to appreciate, but I’ve come around and really like it now too. In some ways I’m just continuing my pattern of not being too picky about music – pretty much anything is alright with me (well, that’s not the whole truth – a topic for another day).

Here is Handel’s Flute Sonata in G Major, played by Franco Cesarini on flute and Marsa Alberta on harpsichord; Bourree begins at about 6:22, and then at about 8:40 the composition returns to the theme of the Bourree section, which Handel apparently uses as the piece’s finale. Or maybe it was just this arrangement that did that – not sure. It’s definitely, to my ears, the catchiest part of the piece.

Thanks for reading.


One comment

  1. […] from Handel’s Oboe Sonata in F (HWV 363a) or, as I previously wrote about and posted a link to, his Flute Sonata in G (HWV 363b).  This morning I’ve listened to recordings of both, and they are indeed the same […]

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