Flute Sonata No. 1


Flute Sonata No. 1


for flute and piano (1986)

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  • Premiere: 11 March 1986  / Paul Recital Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City  / Su Lian Tan, flute / Elena Ruehr, piano
  • Instrumentation: flute, piano
  • Duration: 21'
  • Dedication: "For Su Lian Tan and Elena Ruehr, 1986."
  • This piece is published by Carl Fischer and therefore unavailable for digital download. To order paper scores please visit our partner distributor, Theodore Front.

Program Note

Composer / flautist Su Lian Tan

Composer / flautist Su Lian Tan

In three movements, the first is in a traditional sonata allegro form with the first theme a jazzy, scampering riff in 7/8 time and second a poetic one created, as the composer writes, "as a little homage to the Bernstein Clarinet Sonata, which I was then accompanying for the first time." 

The second movement, marked 'lento moderato,' is an arch form, with a broadly expressive introduction and coda framing a strophic melody in the flute supported by a pulsing, neo-baroque keyboard part.

The final movement, a rondo, is marked presto / adagio and alternates a skittering, virtuosic first theme with a lyrical theme — marked 'con gran espressione'.

Composed in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City during the winter of 1985 (and completed on 19 December 1985) while the composer was still a student at Juilliard, it remains one of his most popular chamber works. It is dedicated to composer / flautist Su Lian Tan. It was premiered by Ms. Tan, accompanied by the composer Elena Ruehr, at the Paul Recital Hall of Lincoln Center in New York City on 11 March 1986.

(Banner photo: Su Lian Tan)