Balicourt, Simon, Set 1: Sonatas nos. 5 in A major and 6 in G minor
Sonata 5, in A major, is the only work in the set to feature the ‘classic’ three-movement design in its symmetrical Fast–Slow–Fast configuration. Its opening Vivace makes considerable demands on the flautist’s technique, and the accompanist, too, has some lively interventions. A short Andante, in A minor, recaptures the style of the slow movement of an operatic sinfonia. High spirits return in the concluding Allegro comodo, which manages to be frothy and substantial at the same time.
Sonata 6 is in G minor, traditionally a key for serious utterances. Its muscular opening Largo packs in a wealth of interesting rhythmic designs and articulations for the flautist. The influence of violinistic style is clearly seen in the Allegro that follows. The finale is composite: its ‘frame’ is an Affettuoso in minuet rhythm, but its ‘core’ is a Poco Allegro in G major with the character of a second minuet. Despite its outward charm, this movement retains much of the heft of the first two movements.
“After the fireworks of the A major sonata, the G minor is the more expressive of the two. This music is quite delightful and allows for plenty of ornamentation in the repeats.
Talbot’s fine scholarship is evident in his introduction which provides a context to Balicourt’s sonatas and discusses the various editorial decisions made. I highly recommend this edition of Balicourt’s sonatas to any flute player who wishes to discover and perform this highly inventive and original music from Georgian London.” (Read the review in The Consort)
Music example No. 5 (pdf)
Music example No. 6 (pdf)