Looking at the music of Dutch rock band Focus, started in the late sixties by Thijs Van Leer (b /31/03/48) with Jan Akkerman (b 24/12/46). Van Leer still performs and records under the name today (official site here). Akkerman's site here.




Track by track 64

Archive number: 64
Title: Sonata for Flute (Live)
Main Album: Live at the BBC
Track number: 5
Genre: Live Classical Instrumental
Venue: New Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1LL (now Apollo Victoria)
Length: 02' 45”
Composer: J S Bach (Arranged Van Leer)
Musicians: Thijs Van Leer – Flute
Producer: BBC
Engineer: BBC
Label: Hux Records
Date of recording/release: Recorded March 21 1976 but only released (on CD) June 1 2004
Alternative versions: A quite different fully orchestrated version can be found on Introspection 2 and a new age setting opens Bach for a New Age
Date of recording/release: Recorded March 21 1976 but only released (on CD) June 1 2004
Notes: This is a then rare solo effort from Van Leer on flute that now often features in the live act. Bach wrote a number of three movement sonatas for flute and keyboard. This appears to be the siciliano from J S Bach's Sonata for Flute or Recorder and Harpsichord in E flat Major (BWV 1030). Brief applause can be heard at the end.
A note on the Sonata form (from Wikipedia)
Sonata (from Latin/Italian sonare, to sound), in music, literally means a piece played not sung as a cantata (Latin/Italian cantare, to sing). The term, being vague, naturally evolved over time, designating a variety of forms prior to the Classical era. The term took on increasing importance in the Classical period, and by the early 19th Century came to represent a principle of composing large scale works. It was applied to most instrumental genres and regarded alongside fugue as one of two fundamental methods of organising, interpreting and analysing concert music. Though the sound of sonatas have changed since the Classical Era, 20th Century sonatas still maintain the same structure and build.
The Baroque period (when Bach flourished) applied the term to a variety of works, though most works then were fugues and toccatas, including works for solo instrument or groups of instruments. In the transition from Baroque to Classical, the term underwent a change in usage, from being applied to many different kinds of small instrumental work to being more specifically applied to chamber music genres with either a solo instrument, or a solo instrument with piano. Increasingly after 1800, the term applies to a form of large-scale musical argument, and it is generally used in this sense in musicology and musical analysis. Most of the time if some more specific usage is meant, then the particular body of work will be noted: eg Beethoven's sonatas refers to works specifically labelled sonata, whereas Beethoven and sonata form applies to all of his large-scale instrumental works, concert or chamber. In the 20th Century, sonatas in this sense would continue to be composed by influential and famous composers, though many works which do not meet the strict criterion of "sonata" in the formal sense would also be created and performed.
In the Baroque period, a sonata was for one or more instruments almost always with continuo. Later, most works designated as sonatas specifically are performed by a solo instrument, most often a keyboard, or by a solo instrument with a keyboard. In the late Baroque/early Classical period, a work with instrument and keyboard was referred to as having an obbligato part, in order to distinguish this from use of an instrument as a continuo, though this fell out of usage by the early 1800s. Beginning in the early 19th Century, works were termed sonata if, according to the understanding of that time, they were part of the genre, even if they were not designated sonata when originally published, or by the composer.
By the time of Corelli, two polyphonic types of sonata were established: sonata da chiesa(church sonata) and sonata de camera ("ordinary" sonata, literally chamber sonata). The sonata da chiesa, generally for one or more violins and bass, consisted normally of a slow introduction, a loosely fugued allegro and a cantabile slow movement, and a lively finale in somebinary form suggesting affinity with the dance-tunes of the suite. This scheme, however, was not very clearly defined, until Bach and Handel, when it became the essential sonata and persisted as a tradition of Italian violin music – even into the early 19th Century, in the works of Boccherini.
The sonata da camera had consisted almost entirely of idealised dance-tunes, but by the time of Bach and Handel such a composition drew apart from the sonata, and came to be called a suite, a partita
, an ordre, or, when it had a prelude in the form of a French opera-overture, an overture. On the other hand, the features of sonata da chiesa and sonata da camera then tended to be freely intermixed. Bach, however, while not using the titles themselves, nevertheless keeps the two types so distinct that they can be recognized by style and form. Thus, in his 6 violin sonatas, Nos 1, 3, and 5 are recognisably sonate de chiesa; and Nos 2, 4, and 6 are explicitly called partitas, but are admissible among the sonatas as being sonate da camera. Bach is also cited as being among the first composers to have the keyboard and solo instrument share a melodic line, whereas previously most sonatas for keyboard and instrument had kept the melody exclusively in the solo instrument.
The genre – particularly for solo instruments with just the continuo or ripieno – eventually influenced the solo movements of suites or concerti that occurred between movements with the full orchestra playing, eg Bach's Brandenburg concertos. The trio sonatas of Vivaldi, too, show parallels with the concertos he was writing at the same time.

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