Composer: Joyce, Brian
Instrumentation: Solo and Piano Instruments: Flute, Piano
Genre: Contemporary

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In three movements, this "Sonata" for Flute and Piano is a great recital for a Flute player in college.

Program notes from the composer:

Brian Joyce’s two sonatas, one for flute and piano, the other for oboe and piano (also published by Cimarron Music Press) are sister works. Both were written in 1971 when Joyce was an undergrad composition major in college and both are reflective of the seasons in which they were composed: the flute sonata, written in Spring, is fresh, expansive and tuneful while the oboe sonata, composed the following September, has a more burnished autumnal quality. About the flute sonata the composer writes:

“Sooner or later, most college students find themselves victims of information overload. It was at such a time in my own life that I began work on this piece: I was being exposed to more styles of music than I had ever known – everything from underground rock and roll to polytextual motets of the Ars Antiqua. – and the sheer number of ideas and possibilities resulted in a debilitating state of confusion. I was learning the hard way that nothing stifles creativity as much as absolute freedom, and I still have a string of dismal pieces to prove it! The Flute Sonata was the first successful effort to come along in several months. Despite whatever virtues it may have had, however, the sonata was never performed but was simply put away on the shelf as soon as it was completed. During 1993 and 1994 the entire sonata was reworked (especially the 3rd movement) but in all its essentials (themes, form and "grand design") the sonata still remains true to its original conception.”

The sonata finally had its premiere early in 1995, 24 years after it was originally written. Music theorists may enjoy the formal problems set up in the first movement which are not fully resolved until the third (if then!). The rest of us can simply enjoy what is one of the composer’s most unabashedly tuneful works. 

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