Five Baroque books to love forever!

Step away from the big beasts of the Baroque and savour these wonderful treats by lesser known composers that fully deserve our attention.

Anna Bon di Venezia: Six Sonatas for Flute and Basso Continuo Op 1 Volume One

These sonatas are utterly delightful! Each one is brim full of charm and youthful exuberance and you will be cheered each time you play them. All are in three movements. No 1 in C major is wonderful, opening with a lyrical  and free slow movement, followed by a foot-tapping Allegro and a vibrant Presto. The second sonata in F major follows the same pattern and the B flat major third sonata breaks the pattern, ending with lovely minuet. Feel-good music of the highest order! Difficulty Guide: 6-8

Johann Martin Blochwitz: Suite Imaginaire for Solo Flute

Johann Martin Blochwitz is an unfamiliar name but this piece is really good! There are definite echoes of the A minor solo Partita by JS Bach here, especially in the layout of the dance movements. Not quite an arrangement, more of an arrangement of original separate movements, this is a piece that will test your technique and fire up your imagination! Difficulty Guide: 8-9

Tomaso Antonio Vitali arranged Alena Walentin: Chaconne in G minor for Flute and Piano

This Chaconne is technically more demanding than you might normally expect from a Baroque work. Alena Walentin has transcribed the flute part to capture all of the virtuosity of the original, in the process allowing us access to an work of enormous power. Difficulty Guide: 8-9

edited Elizabeth Walker: Vocalise: Baroque Arias for Flute, a Guided Collection for Flute and Piano

This book offers non-Baroque specialists the chance to become more familiar with its style through beautiful arias. The guidance comes in the form of basic breathing and resonance exercises, some advice on ornamentation, experiments with how to change phrasing, and tone colour. The repertoire selected is lovely and it’s an interesting approach which is definitely worth a look. Difficulty Guide: 6-7

James Oswald arranged Jan Bolan: Oswald’s Airs from the Seasons for Two Flutes and Cello

These eight charming melodies from James Oswald’s collection of ‘Airs from the Four Seasons’ are perfect examples of Baroque Scottish folk music. They are mostly melancholy in nature and then up the tempo with one or two contrasting dance movements. Gorgeous music that has many uses. Difficulty Guide: 6-8

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