Berkeley Sonata-Flute and Piano-Chester

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Berkeley Sonata-Flute and Piano-Chester

Berkeley Sonata-Flute and Piano-Chester

Lennox Berkeley’s Flute Sonata Op.97, was first performed as part of a concert given by James Galway and Phillip Moll in 1978. Sir Lennox Randal Francis Berkeley (1903-1989) was an English composer.


The form of this work remains very close to hat of the classical Sonata on a somewhat smaller scale, and since the idiom is basically tonal, it can be easily related to the classical model, though for me ‘tonal’ means having a tonal centre rather than being in a clearly defined key.

Thus, the first movement is centred on G and returns to that centre, after touching on many others, towards the end of the movement. The slow movement is much more definitely tonal and is melodic throughout. The theme heard at the outset is in B flat, it reappears in D and returns to the original key at the end. The last movement, in a somewhat lighter vein than the other two, is in ronda form, though the principal theme, rather than being repeated, is merely alluded to and the Coda is based upon one of its many transformations.

The work is not a flute solo with piano accompaniment – the two instruments play an equally important part, though perhaps the flute more often takes the lead in establishing the thematic material.

Lennox Berkeley

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