Hyperion Records

Sonata for flute and piano
composer
1957; dedicated to Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge; first performed by Jean-Pierre Rampal, with the composer at the piano, at the Strasbourg Festival on 18 June 1957

Recordings
'L'Album des Six' (CDH55386)
L'Album des Six
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55386  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Poulenc: The Complete Chamber Music' (CDA67255/6)
Poulenc: The Complete Chamber Music
Details
Movement 1: Allegretto malincolico
Track 1 on CDH55386 [4'32] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 16 on CDA67255/6 CD2 [4'16] 2CDs
Movement 2: Cantilena: Assez lent
Track 2 on CDH55386 [4'15] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 17 on CDA67255/6 CD2 [4'27] 2CDs
Movement 3: Presto giocoso
Track 3 on CDH55386 [3'31] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 18 on CDA67255/6 CD2 [3'33] 2CDs

Sonata for flute and piano
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Poulenc’s Sonata of 1957 is dedicated to the memory of that champion of twentieth-century chamber music, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. The Sonata’s own cause was promoted by the Chesterian magazine (Spring 1958) which declared: ‘For Francis Poulenc, a medium such as Flute and Piano is ideal for expressing himself in his inimitable style. All flautists will wish to include it in their repertoire.’ For Poulenc himself, the strongest spiritual influence was that of his dear friend Raymonde Linossier; having completed his Sonata, he concluded: ‘It is Poulenc but very Raymonde, as with every composition for winds.’ Flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal gave the first public performance at the Strasbourg Festival on 18 June 1957, with the composer at the piano.

The restless ‘Allegretto malincolico’ focuses on a descending chromatic idea, preceded by an arpeggiated flourish, with Poulenc enjoying major and minor inflections. Frequent trills and demisemiquaver tonguing attest to the flautist’s technique. The Classical legacy is evident in the piano’s Alberti-bass figurations, and the debt to the Baroque in the flute’s dotted rhythms within the slower middle section. A quiet, song-like ‘Cantilena’ explores the flute’s vocal qualities with an arching melodic contour: ‘a great rainbow of melody’. (Some have also noted connections with Poulenc’s contemporary opera, Dialogues des Carmélites.) Extensive use of smooth scalic figures is contrasted by more dotted rhythmic material in the central portion. The ‘Presto giocoso’ has a light-hearted, rondo-like character, again with a strong rhythmic identity; it enjoys imitative textures and cyclical elements, with an arpeggiated figure and later the dotted idea (‘mélancolique’) from the first movement, together with a thematic hint of the second (reaching up to a top C). A confident, extrovert reprise of the opening concludes, ‘strictly in time without any slowing down’

from notes by Deborah Mawer © 2001

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67255/6 disc 2 track 16
Allegretto malincolico
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-99-25616
Duration
4'16
Recording date
13 January 1999
Recording venue
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Poulenc: The Complete Chamber Music (CDA67255/6)
    Disc 2 Track 16
    Release date: November 1999
    2CDs
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