Flute sonata in E minor (HWV 359b)

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The Flute sonata in E minor (HWV 359b) was composed (circa 1724) by George Frideric Handel for flute and keyboard (harpsichord). The work is also referred to as Opus 1 No. 1b, and was first published in 1732 by Walsh. Other catalogues of Handel's music have referred to the work as HG xxvii,6; and HHA iv/3,10.

The sonata was originally composed as a violin sonata in D minor (HWV 359a).[1] The flute sonata version is a compound work—compiled by Handel himself. It is the only flute sonata for which an autographed manuscript survives (which is currently held in the British Library).

Of the two sonatas in the Chrysander edition as Opus 1 Sonata I, this one (Sonata Ib) is the one in the Walsh edition (where it is called Sonata I). Chrysander's Sonata Ia was compiled from manuscript sources. Chrysander's Sonata Ia and Sonata Ib have their first and fourth movements in common.

A typical performance of the work takes about seven minutes.


The work consists of four movements:

Movement Type Key signature Time signature Bars Notes
1 Grave E minor 4/4 20 In common with the first movement of the flute sonata in E minor (HWV 379).
2 Allegro E minor 4/4 43
3 Adagio G major 3/4 12 Concludes on a B major chord.
4 Allegro E minor 3/8 80 Two sections (31 and 49 bars)—each with repeat markings. In common with the fourth movement of the flute sonata in E minor (HWV 379).

(Movements do not contain repeat markings unless indicated. The number of bars is taken from the Chrysander edition, and is the raw number in the manuscript—not including repeat markings.)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anthony Hicks. "Handel, George Frideric", The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. S. Sadie and J. Tyrrell (London: Macmillan, 2001), x, 802.