Mathias Sonatina for Flute and Piano


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Mathias Sonatina for Flute and Piano

Mathias Sonatina for Flute and Piano



This is an exuberant and high-spirited work, written when the composer was nineteen. With a hauntingly beautiful contrasting slow movement, this is a fine concert piece for students of about grade 7 standard.

Programme Notes

Mathias’ Sonatina, originally composed in 1953 but revised in 1986, is a slighter yet more approachable work. A considerable amount of straight repetition renders the music easily assimilable. For instance, both main themes in the opening sonata movement are repeated during the exposition; similarly, a large stretch of the development consists simply of a transposed version of a previous passage. Only in the third and final movement does the structure become more complex, with the combination of variants of the main themes of the first movement. But such subtleties pale into insignificance when compared with the rhythmic ebullience and good humour of the outer movements, and the suave, urbane lyricism of the central Andante. If the listener is entertained agreeably, the Sonatina has done its job well. © Trevor Bray

William Mathias

William Mathias (1934-1992) was born in Whitland, Dyfed. He studied at the University College of Wales, and subsequently at the Royal Academy of Music. From 1970-1988 he was Head of the Music Department at the University College of North Wales, Bangor. Mathias’s musical language embraced both instrumental and vocal forms with equal success, and he addressed a large and varied audience both in Britain and abroad. He was also known as a conductor and pianist, and gave or directed many premières of his own works. He was made CBE in the 1985 New Year’s Honours. In 1992, the year of his death, Nimbus Records embarked upon a series of recordings of his major works.

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