Sonatina for Alto Flute and Piano
Inspired by a passion for the alto flute and its need for more modern solo repertoire,Andrea Graves commissioned Alexandra Harwood to compose a lyrical and technically accessible concert piece for alto flute and piano. The resulting Sonatina is an excellent addition to the recital and teaching repertoire featuring traditional and improvisatory sounds based on ancient Japanese imperial court music - Gugaku. The melodies are meant to sound improvised leading the music less constricted by preordained forms. Mokusou to Uta (Mediation and Song) uses elements of Gugaku'sslow and melismatic style with expressive pitch bends transitioning into a pensive melody based on Japanese scales and modes. Gugaku (Ancient Japanese Court Music) takes inspiration from the traditional court music setting where a solo flute with bells or chimes performs meditative melodies for theatrical dancers. Buyou (Dance) begins as a lively accented contrast to the first two movements, then closes in sudden reminiscence of Gugaku - fading out with a diminuendo over the piano's final crashing chord.