EDWARD BURLINGAME HILL (1872-1960): Flute Sonata, Op. 31, Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet, Op. 39, 4 Pieces for Wind Instruments, Idyl, Elegy and Scherzo for Flute and Piano.
Catalogue Number: 01R010
Description: Following the important release of orchestral music (01Q002) by this highly significant teacher (his students included Bernstein, Sessions, Piston and Carter) and sadly neglected American composer whose works were not infrequently played by the Boston S.O., and conducted by many of the major conductors of the day during his lifetime, here is an opportunity to sample his elegant and appealing approach to chamber music. The flute sonata is a four-movement work using traditional forms. It dates from 1925, by which time Hill was strongly influenced by trends in French music which had fascinated him since his studies in Paris. Some residual influence of German-derived American music - MacDowell, Paine - persists, but coloristic harmonies and Gallic charm point to a more southern sensibility. This is also true of the slightly earlier flute pieces; slight but elegant, melodic miniatures, the Elegy genuinely affecting in its wistful melancholy. The little miniatures for winds are lively character pieces, also very French-sounding. The Sextet is a finely-wrought work of great character and significant scale, demonstrating the composer's adept touch at instrumentation. Although Hill had an interest in jazz and its incorporation into concert music, his explicitly 'jazzy' works are few, and this piece is the only one here tinged by the idiom, and then only subtly in its lively syncopated rhythms and inflections of the clarinet melodies especially in the first of its four movements. The work uses traditional forms, with a lively scherzo and trio and a powerful, funereal slow movement. Chamber Soloists of Austin.