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This piece was completed in June 2010, and is divided into three movements. My starting point for writing this work was a wish to explore a new mood and style, having recently composed a dissonant and austere piece, Piano Trio No. 2. After some further thought, I set about writing a calm and lyrical piece, the Sonata for Flute and Piano. I quickly found the instrumentation to be ideal for my musical intentions.
Despite using a much less abrasive tone, in the Sonata I have adopted a less restrictive and more experimental approach to tonality than before. The first and second movements, for instance, explore bitonality between two very distant keys �" A major and E flat major. A brief but violent passage halfway through the third movement features the collision of different tonalities, drawn from earlier musical material. In general, however, the specific tonal palette from which the musical material is drawn is used for the sake of harmonic consistency and thematic development.
The third movement is an attempted summation of the moods expressed in the first two movements, presented in a less veiled and more expressive way. The flute begins with a lyrical melody, accompanied by block harmonies from the piano. Mood swings prevail for much of the movement's duration, though the general tone is positive. After a mysterious moment recalling the mood of the first movement, a brief but violent and dissonant passage emerges, featuring a conflict between the flute and piano. This quickly fades however, and after a brief pause, the opening melody of the movement is echoed to close the piece in a mood of prevailing tranquillity and resolution.
This piece is dedicated to the flautist and friend Kim Falconer, and to the composer and established musician Hugh Fullarton, who has done much over the years to guide my musical development and to encourage me to continue composing.
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Reviews of Flute Sonata - 3. Adagio espressivo
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