Call Us: 020 8662 8400
Our showroom is now open for instrument trials by appointment - Book an Appointment

Suites No 1 BWV1007 & No 2 BWV1008 for solo flute

  • Staff Pick
  • Editor's Choice

Approved Exam Music

Recommended for the following exam grade(s):

ABRSM exam syllabus

Staff Pick

“Well-edited Bach for solo flute”

Chris Hankin Just Flutes staff member -

Although there are other arrangements of these famous cello suites, to have two complete in one volume is rare. In her introduction Clare Southworth sets out clearly the benefits of playing these string pieces on the flute and, as you might expect, her editing shows a complete understanding of the issues involved and how to try to solve them. It is also an opportunity to play some truly great music.

From the Publisher

These Suites originally written for ‘cello, are known and loved by musicians throughout the world. As flute players, our repertoire is deprived of the depth and scope that keyboard and string players have always enjoyed. By transcribing the first two of the original six suites, I hope to give flutists the chance to also enjoy some of the most beautiful, complex and challenging music ever written.

The Suites are written in polyphonic or multi-voiced style, showing us the bass line and the harmony, without overshadowing the melody. They consist of the standard dance movements, with Allemandes, Courantes, Minuets, Sarabands, Gigues and each is preceded by a Prelude.

There are many questions relating to performance when choosing to play Bach: style, dynamics, articulation, vibrato and breathing. There are also problems arising from transcribing string music, mainly in how to maintain the musical line without the distraction of breaths. I have added some suggestions as a guide only, but these may change according to the individual interpretation and performance. Try to allow the breaths to become part of the melodic line, which in turn should allow the music to breathe naturally.

Flute players can learn a great deal from the performance of string players. By using imagery of how a ‘cellist might articulate, in respect of speed, direction and weight of the bow, we can relate this to our flute playing and so develop our understanding. Interpretation will vary, as there are many different ideas and rules for performance. Immerse yourself in the music of Bach to help your understanding. There is no “right” way to play Bach, but I believe you should be truthful to the style, whilst displaying the modern advantages of our instrument.


Difficulty guide: 6-8
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).


Suite no.1 BWV 1007:

  • Prelude
  • Allemande
  • Courante
  • Sarabande
  • Menuet 1
  • Menuet 2
  • Gigue

Suite no. 2 BWV 1008:

  • Prelude
  • Allemande
  • Courante
  • Sarabande
  • Menuet 1
  • Menuet 2
  • Gigue

Item Details


  • Part 1: Flute
Category: Solo Flute Repertoire
Publisher: Astute Music
Publisher's reference: am432-01
Our Stock Code: 920384
Media Type: Paperback (13 pages [score])