Pierne, Gabriel - Sonate Opus 36 Transcription pour flûte & piano
Gabriel Pierné (1863–1937)
Gabriel Pierné is often described as a remarkably well rounded or many-sided musician who enjoyed the affection and respect of his colleagues and an enviable reputation as a composer as well as a conductor. In the latter capacity he worked tirelessly to promote the music of his contemporaries, even if their artistic views differed from his own. An incident at the première of Milhaud’s Protèe illustrates his integrity of character. When the score elicited whistles of displeasure from the audience, Pierné turned on the podium and calmly announced, “We are going to play Protèe a second time for those who did not understand it at first”. He gained a reputation for championing others’ music at the expense of his own, and thus his superb works, which represent a synthesis of French stylistic trends of the time, fell into neglect.
Composed in the summer of 1900 for the violin, the Sonata in D-minor, Op. 36, was transcribed for the flute possibly on the suggestion of the publisher Durand. The major-minor modulations, clearly contrasted sections, cyclic form and organic thematic growth bear an obvious kinship to similar features of Franck’s violin sonata, which was also published in alternate versions, including one for flute. But Pierné’s differs from Franck’s in flavour. Its Gallic elegance places it closer to Fauré, especially its exquisite slow movement.