Bach’s Trio Sonata in G Major (BWV 1039) for two flutes and continuo holds many wonderful memories for me. I have performed the work several times and have always enjoyed the experience.
I had the pleasure, early on, of being coached on this piece by my mentor, the flutist & pianist, Louis Moyse. I distinctly recall the day that we worked together on the brief 3rd movement, marked Adagio e piano. The two flutes play gentle, repeated arpeggios over a bass line of broken chords.
Louis stopped us almost immediately after our start. He suggested that we relax the tempo. “You must play this movement as if nothing is happening,” he said. He then added, almost as if he was telling us a secret, “But this is by Bach, so everything is happening!”
To this day, I couldn’t agree more.
Have a listen to the movement here, performed by Emmanuel Pahud and Silvia Careddu, flutes; Trevor Pinnock, harpsichord and Jonathan Manson, cello.