Locklair: Sonata for Flute & Harp Premieres

On June 19, Dan Locklair’s new Sonata for Flute and Harp premieres at the 2019 American Harp Society Summer Institute in Winston-Salem, NC. Locklair was commissioned by the North Carolina Harp Ensemble; and, wrote the three-movement, 12-minute chamber work for flutist Debra Reuter-Pivetta and harpist Jacquelyn Bartlett. The premiere takes place at Crawford Concert Hall at the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts.

Locklair shares some thoughts about his new Sonata for Flute and Harp. “Movement 1, ‘Dance,’ is solely based on a tonal pentatonic scale: G, E, D, C, A. These pitches not only generate the melodic and harmonic material of the movement, but also define each of the movement’s five tonal centers…Movement 2, ‘Aria,’ is the heart and soul of Sonata for Flute & Harp and consists of two related arias. Like [the first movement], ‘Aria’ is in three primary sections [and] incorporates the [same] tonal pentatonic scale… but expands the pitches to form a Bb Lydian mode… The middle section of Aria, marked “Dreamy,” is distinguished by echoing harp lines that form an equal partner with the flute, as the flute sings forth with the melodies of a second aria. Movement 3, ‘Jubilee,’ shifts the tonality of the original core pentatonic scale and further expands the harmonic palette into the Mixolydian mode: Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb, Cb, Db. A rondo by design, the opening section soon leads to a darker, lyrical phase…before an expanded and brighter section leads to the conclusion of the movement. Although the derivation of the word titling this movement is different, the spirit of the similar word, ‘Jubal,’ is truly at play here. Known [in the Old Testament] as ‘the father of all who play the flute and harp,’ Jubal is celebrated in Sonata for Flute and Harp as both instruments, in virtuosic fashion, bring Jubilee to a rousing conclusion.”

More Locklair news: The composer’s next premiere takes place on July 1 when his Angels: Two Short Tome Poems for Organ receives its first performance by Alan Morrison as part of the American Guild of Organists 2019 MidAtlantic Convention in Haddonfield, NJ. Also, Loft Recordings recently released organist Robert Parkins’ recording of Locklair’s Noel’s Psalm and the organ version of In Memory – H.H.L.