Sonata da Chiesa for Flute and Organ by Dan Locklair
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Instrumentation: Flute and Organ
Includes organ score and flute part
1. Processional – “Beginning of Worship”
2. “Adoration and Praise”
3. “Faith and Aspiration” (Chaconne)
4. Amen – “Close of Worship”
Composed in 1998 for the American Guild of Organists’s 1999 Regional Convention (Knoxville, TN), Sonata da Chiesa is influenced by the spirit of the baroque and by a number of qualities inherent in the sonata da chiesa and the sonata da camera. In many ways, the sacred and secular are bridged in Sonata da chiesa (1998).
As with the traditional sonata da chiesa, Sonata da chiesa (1998) follows a slow-fast-slow-fast four-movement scheme. Not typical of the traditional sonata da chiesa, yet reflecting the influence of the church, is the well-known 16th century chorale melody, Wie schön leuchtet (“How Brightly Shines the Morning Star”) which forms the melodic basis for the first and third movements (as well as the AAB form of Movement 1). Attributed to Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608), this melody has long been one of Germany’s most popular chorale melodies, as it is particularly associated with weddings and other church festival occasions.
The most obvious sonata da camera quality of Sonata da chiesa (1998) is the place of its World Premiere : The Knoxville Museum of Art (28 June 1999, Robert Cronin [flute], André Lash, [organ]). All four movements, in some way, display the spirit of dance, but there are no traditional baroque dances present. Movement 4 is the only movement that is in the traditional two-part, binary form of dances making up baroque suites, although Movement 1 is influenced by the baroque dance, the sarabande. Though not a dance form, the baroque ground bass technique, chaconne, is at the heart of Movement 3 and this chaconne is previewed in both Movements 1 and 2. In the baroque sonata da camera, as in all baroque suites, all the pieces are in the same key. In Sonata da chiesa (1998) each of the four movements is based on the same tonal center, C (1 : C Major; 2 : C Lydian mode; 3 : C chromatic; 4 : I /IV C major/F major “Amen cadence” chords, alternating with the same I/IV harmonies of E major/A major). Subtitles are given for each movement, which provide the extra-musical stimuli. These subtitles are similar to those found in topical indices of hymnals and here help frame the piece. While it is best for the composition to be played as a whole, individual movements may be excerpted. — Dan Locklair