Composed by Paul Mack Somers
for Bass Flute and Piano (2012)
Published by Maurice River Press
Includes score and bass flute part
for Janet Carol Schlein Somers
Dark Lake, the second movement of Somers' Flute Sonata is available in its original scoring for bass flute and piano. The composition of this tone poem was inspired in part by a passage from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
…the pent and darkened lake,
Cooled by the pendent mountain's shade,
Whose deeps, till beams of noonday break,
Afflicted moan, and latest hold
Even into May the iceberg cold…
— from May-Day
Even as I was composing my Flute Sonata as a secret 70th birthday gift for my wife in the early months of 2012, Emerson's passing image of a dark lake informed the composition of the slow movement. When Jan's bass flute arrived only days after the composition, and I heard its haunting sound alone, I felt it was the perfect instrument for that image-driven music.
It was first played at a big Saturday openhouse for friends near and far between our 70th birthdays. Among those invited to the openhouse was Tony Noon, who had been the general contractor for the building of our house and had done much of the work himself. A flute sonata wasn't exactly his cup of tea, but he sat there stoically. However, when the bass flute came out, his eyes lit up. I could read his mind: “Ah, plumbing. This I get!”
After Jan had played the piece in public with the bass flute used for the central movement, we agreed that the sound shift was too severe, and decided that the Flute Sonata should remain for C Flute throughout. The slow movement, still titled Dark Lake, has been extracted as a stand-alone piece for bass flute and piano, and marked to be played more slowly.