In the spring of 1747 Johann Sebastian Bach, his sons Wilhelm Friedemann, and Carl Philipp Emanuel, along with friend Franz Benda, were invited by King Frederick II of Prussia to his city palace in Potsdam, where they met and where each of the two sons and Benda presented a Sonata in E minor for flute and basso continuo.

The King, an amateur flautist, might have had a go at one or more of the three, a nice lunch might have been served where resident musicians Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Franz Benda usually ate with the palace’s servants. Carl Philipp Emanuel brought along his wife and newborn baby boy to meet Grandpa Johann Sebastian, and very possibly some jamming might have taken place with whoever was around to play the continuo parts.

And then everyone went home that night.


Wilhelm Friedemann Bach – Sonata in E minor for flute and basso continuo

Markus Brönnimann – Nocturne for alto flute and string trio; Nomos for flute alone

Franz Benda – Sonata in E minor for flute and basso continuo 

Johann Sebastian Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D minor; Sonata in E minor for flute and basso continuo

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach – Sonata in E minor for flute and basso continuo


Luckily, enterprising musician and superlative flautist Markus Brönnimann took it upon himself to gather two gifted colleagues: cellist Jean Halsdorf and harpsichordist Léon Berben, and a terrific group of musicians that make up the Swiss-based Ensemble Pyramide: oboist Barbara Tillmann, violinist Ulrike Jacoby, violist Muriel Schweizer, cellist Anita Jehli, and harpist Marie Trottmann. Together these eight players make wonderful music in the TOCCATA release BACHS, BENDA AND BRÖNNIMANN Music for Flute

Rafael de Acha © 2023

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