August 2006 Convention
Pittsburgh, PA

Iconic Sonatas for Flute and Harp

August 11, 2006

The Iconic Flute and Harp Sonatas recital, performed by flutist Elizabeth Buck and harpist Andrea Thiele was not only brilliant, but also opened many flutists’ ears to sonatas that need to be programmed more often. Composers of these sonatas were Nino Rota, Jacques Castérède, Harald Genzmer, and Adrian Schaposchnikov.

Although Harald Genzmer was not the youngest composer programmed, his sonata had the most modern melodies, textures, and techniques (harmonics, trills for color, repetitious tonguing). The other three built musical interest on folk-like melodies, strong tonality or modality, and recurring themes.

The color of Buck’s wooden flute melded with Thiele’s harp warmly and somberly. I decided that although all of the movements of the sonatas, except for the Castérède, were given objective titles (Allegro molto moderato, Andante tranquillo, Allegretto), the magical stories that the performers were able to bring to life through their evocative shapings and tone colors were what made these sonatas truly iconic. Every phrase became a story that was reminiscent, to my ears, of ancient mythology.

—Tess Miller