June Emerson Wind Music
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Printed Edition
Composer:Koechlin, Charles (1867-1950)
Publisher Ref:EAS14084X
Three sonatinas, each of 3 contrasting movements in length as well as content. The single melodic line allows the composer to shift the tonality freely and his abandonment of a rhythmic structure in some movements enhances the ambiguity of this music.

Price: £11.50
Skill Level:E
For one who composed over two hundred works spread across such a wide range of genres, it is surprising that so little of Koechlin's music is published. He followed no system or school of composition but drew from a huge range of sources and inspirations, both musical and non-musical - Kipling's "Jungle Book" for his choral and symphonic poems, for instance and the personalities of such Hollywood celebrities as Douglas Fairbanks and Greta Garbo for his "Seven Stars" symphony. He wrote in any idiom he felt to be appropriate and, if musical influence is to be found in his compositions, Faure's is the most likely. Koechlin's work has been described as 'youthful and fresh' in contrast to the cynicism and pessimism of so much of twentieth century music. Why then is it so neglected?

Koechlin was fond of wind instruments, particularly the flute for which he wrote twenty-seven works between 1899 and 1950. In common with many of these, the 'Trois Sonatines', which were published the year after he died, employ his favourite technique of a single melodic line - monody. This frees the composer from any restrictions that harmony might impose, so that the melody can be heard as moving between modality, tonality and atonality. Koechlin also brings into question the concept of rhythm. Some movements have a time signature and bar lines as expected, but he abandons these conventions in others and, where bar lines occur, they are used to end a phrase; but the player is helped by a liberal supply of tempo and dynamic markings. Even so, this seems to be music into which players needs to feel their way.

  • First Sonatina
  • I. Allegro; II. Andantino; III. Final
  • Second Sonatina
  • I. Lento; II. Allegretto tranquillo; III. Final
  • Third Sonatina
  • I. Adagio; II. Sicilienne; III. Final

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