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Simon Balicourt

Set 1: Sonata nos. 7 in D major and 8 in E minor

Flute and basso continuo

edited by Michael Talbot

Leaflet Music example, No. 7 (pdf)
Leaflet Music example, No. 8 (pdf)


In Sonata 7, in D major, Balicourt opens with a suave Adagio with intricate rhythms. The Presto that follows is the most skittish movement known from his pen, with some delightful interplay between flute and bass that includes both octave-doubling and stretto imitation. The finale is a composite movement formed like a sandwich, where a Minuetto encloses a Cantabile in D minor and duple metre. The minuet may be one of the ‘easy’ movements to which Balicourt’s prospectus for subscribers referred, but its complex prescribed ornamentation requires sensitive handling.

Sonata 8, in E minor, is strategically placed as the final work in the set, being one of the longest as well as the most conservative in style, continually harking back to the grand Handelian style and adopting the traditional four-movement configuration. An eloquent Andante ushers in a Presto with many touches of a slightly academic counterpoint and much chromaticism. The second slow movement, Largo, is only five bars long: its plain melodic line in minims and crotchets is the skeleton around which the flautist is expected to weave an elaborate embroidery. For the finale Balicourt introduces, in effect, a new version, in triple metre, of the second movement. The fact that all four movements are in E minor heightens the sense of unity, which is expressed very concretely by their sharing of some thematic material.


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Set 1: Sonata nos. 7 in D major and 8 in E minor
hh448.fsp · ISMN 979 0 708146 55 1 · ISBN 978-1-910359-60-0
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