The Dolci Show

Dolci Show #13: Bach's Oboe Sonata

June 21, 2020 Ted Rust, oboe, and Viva Knight, keyboard Season 1 Episode 13
The Dolci Show
Dolci Show #13: Bach's Oboe Sonata
Show Notes

Sonata in G Minor, BWV 1030b                      Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) 

Andante — Siciliano — Presto 

Bach’s G-minor Sonata for Oboe and Keyboard was probably first performed in a coffee house for a weekly meeting around 1730 of the Leipzig Collegium Musicum, a music society which Bach directed at the time. His score gives distinct personalities, dignified, flirtatious or childlike, to each musical line, one at a time for the oboe and two or three at once for the keyboard player. The Andante movement is a trio sonata with increasingly intricate counterpoint. The Siciliano movement is a slow dance in 6/8 meter, with elaborate ornamentation around a swaying melody. The Presto has two sections. It starts as a quick fugue ("chase") in which an opening theme chases after its imitations through a thicket of counter-melodies in different keys. The finale is a hopping dance in 12/8, a gigue in (of course) jig time. The jig has a rollicking bass near the end that might well have inspired “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic:” 

“If you go down in the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise
If you go down in the woods today, you'd better go in disguise
For every bear that ever there was 
Will gather there for certain because 
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic!” 

(lyrics ©Henry Hall, 1932)