The Flute Sonata

Started by KevinP, June 18, 2024, 04:21:03 PM

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KevinP

If violins are the dominant instrument in the solo instrument + piano genre, cellos are a solid second and flutes, a distinct third. (I base that on my perception of the size of the literature, nothing scientific.)

Flute (and I suppose the recorder counts) and any keyboard or chordophone instrument. Doesn't have to be specifically called a sonata

My favourites in the genre, in no particular order, are:
  • Poulenc's flute sonata
  • Milhaud's flute sonatina
  • Martinu's 'first' flute sonata
  • Prokofiev's flute sonata, later revised for violin
  • Hindemith's flute sonata
  • Cras' Suite en Duo (flute and harp)

There are numerous works for trios and beyond, but that's another topic.

What are some of your favourites?

Symphonic Addict

+1 for the Poulenc, it could easily be my favorite flute sonata ever. Other firm favorites are the ones by Bowen, Schulhoff and Arnold (the proper sonata, not the sonatinas).


Then these:

Taktakishvili
Jongen
Reinecke
Jolivet
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San Antone

Messiaen - Le merle noir
Dutilleux - Sonatina
Jolivet - Chant de Linos
Handel - Flute Sonatas

Mandryka

#3
Fukushima, Ekagra
Koechlin sonata
Boulez sonatine - serial,  rather beautiful when you're in the mood
Feldman, Why Patterns?
Ferneyhough, Four Miniatures
Takemitsu, Towards the Sea (there's a version for flute and guitar)
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Mirror Image

I never liked the flute that much, but...I do like Poulenc's Flute Sonata quite a bit I must say. It's one of those rarer instances where the musical material transcends my general dislike for this instrument.
"You cannot set art off in a corner and hope for it to have vitality, reality, and substance." ― Charles Ives

KevinP

Quote from: Mirror Image on June 19, 2024, 07:28:03 AMI never liked the flute that much, but...I do like Poulenc's Flute Sonata quite a bit I must say. It's one of those rarer instances where the musical material transcends my general dislike for this instrument.

I had to warm to the flute.

The clarinet, as a long-term solo instrument, is still a blind spot for me though. Love it in an orchestral setting, but it tires my ear solo. In jazz as well. Love the bass clarinet though.

Jo498

I don't care for the flute in extended solos, not enough overtones, I vastly prefer the clarinet and with oboe it depends but it usually also sounds more interesting. Both don't mix that well with piano but are good with strings or mixed chamber ensembles.
Some baroque flute stuff is nice (and the wooden flutes sound less sinewavey) and the Prokofiev, of course. Debussy and Ravel also used the better mixes with strings and harp for their flute pieces.
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Mandryka

#7
Quote from: Jo498 on June 25, 2024, 11:03:47 PMI don't care for the flute in extended solos, not enough overtones

I think this is one place where new techniques have brought something really special - I think flautists talk about overblowing. I'm listening as I type this to Sciarrino's Cantari con Silenzio - flute, voice, electronics - and overtones ain't a problem!

Stockhausen also very good for extended flute techniques - he had a good flautist in his coterie (Kathinka Pasveer)
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kyjo

Flute sonatas aren't a go-to genre of mine, but I must say that Dutilleux's early, compact Sonatine is a very impressive work which has some darker passages that transcend the "light and fluffy" expectations set by the genre. Also, a +1 for the Poulenc and Prokofiev sonatas.
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