Flute Sonata

About this work

The French affection for the flute is brilliantly demonstrated in Francis Poulenc's virtuosic Sonata for Flute and Piano (1956). Each of the work's three movements is fluent and graceful in different ways. The first movement, Allegro malincolico, sounds sweetly sad rather than melancholy. The second movement is a dreamy cantilena for flute in an indeterminate key, while the third, a chirpy Presto giocoso, puts Romantic ideas to rest with a skittish tune full of relaxed good humor. The whole is typical of the suave yet piquant style of Poulenc's instrumental music, and the honors (and difficulties!) are shared by both flutist and pianist.