Date of Award
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
David H. Smyth
In spite of the preeminence of its composer, the Sonatine for Flute and Piano by Pierre Boulez is not a well known work. The piece poses truly formidable technical and aesthetic challenges for players and audiences. The purpose of this study is to present an analysis and some practical suggestions for flutists preparing the piece for performance. This serial-based work is divided into four continuous main stanzas, each demonstrating a different style and varying compositional techniques while using the same row. The repetition of specific pitch-class sets, rhythm motives, and pitch classes within each stanza lends each one aurally identifiable qualities which flutists and listeners alike can grasp to better appreciate the piece. Along with the analysis, suggestions for successful individual practice and ensemble rehearsals are given, including phrasing and interpretive suggestions, rhythmic accuracy checkpoints, and suggested metronome markings. In addition, some re-barred practice versions of portions of the flute part are included in an appendix, as well as a glossary of all expressive markings in the score. While the practice and performance of this work may seem a monumental task, it is well worth undertaking for several reasons: because there is a scarcity of other pieces in this style for flute and piano, particularly by composers of Boulez's stature; because performing the piece will challenge any flutist to achieve a higher level of performance; and because it is a fine piece of music, thoughtfully constructed and exciting for performers and audiences.
Tiffany, Diana M., "An Analysis and Performer's Guide to the Sonatine for Flute and Piano by Pierre Boulez." (1999). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 6905.