Sonata for Flute and Piano & Villanelle for Piccolo or Pipe and Piano
- Staff Pick
Pan - Journal of the British Flute Society
This beautifully presented new edition of the Poulenc Sonata is produced by the Japanese publishing house, Ongaku No Tomo Edition. Printed on good quality cream paper with well-propor-tioned Japanese design, this is one of the highest quality editions I have seen in terms of presentation and attention to detail.
The score comes with some helpful additional content, including detailed notes by editor Shigenori Kudo, who is one of Japan’s most esteemed flute soloists, as well as a fascinating extract from the manuscript, and photos from the evening of the premiere, supplied by the Rampal archive. There is also a capti-vating diagram, which looks a bit like a subway map, showing the journey of the piece, from the conception and commission from the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation, through to the premiere, corrections and subsequent published editions.
The notes provide a fascinating story of how the piece evolved, and despite knowing the piece well for nearly years, I learned many new things which will undoubtedly help my understanding, performance and teaching of the work. It is known that Poulenc wanted revisions to be made to correct errors in the first edition; the revised edition of 1994 takes into account evidence from early manuscripts and aims to rectify some of the mistakes. This new edition aims to take this process a step further, and to ‘recreate the score in its definitive and authoritative version as intended by Poulenc himself ’. This is perhaps a lofty claim, but the scholarship is well presented and enables the performer to gain a new perspec-tive on the work. Like the 1994 Chester revision, this edition has used a range of sources, including using recordings of Poulenc himself performing the work to indicate which versions of the score he was using himself. It is excellent to see performance practice research being implemented in this way, and this edition makes a significant contribution to the knowledge of the work, as well as providing plenty of ideas for consideration and critical evaluation.
Suggestions for performance are also provided by Shigenori Kudo, which provide some useful contextual information and hints and tips. Additionally, the edition includes the short Villanelle, a charming short work for pipeau which was first published in 1934.
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).
- Sonata for Flute and Piano