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Partita in E flat
W.F.E. Bach (attrib.)
2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns, 2 bassoons
Catalogue Number: HV061
Duration: approx. 20 minutes
Score and parts: £25.00
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Skill level (A-E): D
1. Adagio — Allegro
2. Andante
3. Menuetto I e II
4. Allegro
5. Adagio
6. Allegro

(Audio generated by Sibelius)

Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach was born on May 24 1759, nine years after the death of his famous grandfather Johann Sebastian Bach. His father was Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, the oldest surviving son of J.S. Bach and his second wife, Anna Magdalena. He was the last surviving musical member of the Bach family and J.S. Bach's only grandson. His daughters Carolina and Juliane died without issue. The manuscript from which this edition is based is of unknown origin with a front page marked


2 Clarinetts
2 Obois ou 2 Flottes
2 Cors
2 Fagotts
par W. Bach

This rather curious marking gives no clue as to the origin of the manuscript and certainly does not give any help that this might be an octet or decet when the parts are inspected. The page also has as the annotation: "Purch'd of C Zoeller 10 Feb 1883". This is a similar annotation to the Partita in B flat (Hop Vine Catalogue No. 60) whose origin is the British Library. However there is no library stamp and it is not listed in their catalogue so this annotation and manuscript is probably not from the British Library. When this annotation was added and who added it is also unknown. Since the manuscript is, almost certainly, a copy of the original or a later copy, and it is not listed in Groves, the provenance should be treated with extreme caution.

It is interesting to compare this Partita with the one in B flat (HV060). They are clearly very different; the latter is relatively crude by the standards of this Partita, which is far more interesting harmonically and melodically. If they are by the same composer then the one in B flat would have possibly been a much earlier work than this one in E flat.

Carli (Karl) Zoeller was born in Berlin in 1840 and died in London in 1889. He was a violinist and composer. In 1878 he was appointed bandmaster to the 7th (Queen"s Own) Hussars. On what basis he believed that this Partita was by Wilhelm Bach is unknown.

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