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Printed Edition
Composer:Martinu, Bohuslav (1890-1959)
Instrumentation:fl. pft.
Publisher Ref:GS23647
The Czech composer Martinu's only known flute sonata was written while he was a refugee in the United States, at the end of WWII. A theme in the last movement is derived from birdsong, possibly of a specimen he nursed while he was composing this work.

Price: £15.50
Skill Level:E
Publisher:Associated Music Publishers
Year of Issue:1951
ISMN:none specified
The young Martinu's interests were too wide-ranging to be constrained by the discipline of the Prague Conservatory from which he was twice expelled for "incorrigible negligence", but he still found work as a violinist in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in 1913. He spent the First World War teaching music in his home town of Policka, Bohemia and in 1923, after another unsuccessful attempt at formal musical training in Prague, settled in Paris. There he experimented with expressionism and constructivism before settling on a neoclassical basis for his composition, partly inspired by Stravinsky, and his work began to be performed on both sides of the Atlantic and published in Europe. Martinu and his wife fled Paris and the Nazi advance in June 1940 for the USA where he continued to write, composing four symphonies between 1942 and 1945.

The First Sonata for flute and piano - there is no second, was written in the summer of 1945 at South Orleans, Cape Cod, Massachusetts where Martinu was on holiday and not long before his return to Prague. It is dedicated to George Laurent who was principal flute of the Boston Symphony Orchestra although it was first performed by Lois Scheafer in New York on 18 December 1949. The syncopated first movement is followed by a melancholy Adagio and the intricate and lively finale uses a theme based on the song of the whippoorwill. It is said that Martinu nursed an injured one of these birds during that summer on Cape Cod.

  • Allegro moderato
  • Adagio
  • Allegro poco moderato

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