Creative Kernow, based at Krowji, is the umbrella organisation for the following nine projects. Together we support the production, promotion and distribution of work by creative practitioners in Cornwall because we believe in creativity's transformative power and want more people to benefit from it.

The Path to Prokofiev

Date posted: September 2, 2019

Will Sleath, flute & alto flute / Tim Carey, piano & harpsichord
St Mary’s Church Penzance, Saturday 7th September at 7pm

The Path To Prokofiev

Alongside baroque and classical sonatas and a trio of French compositions, Will and Tim’s recital features two key twentieth‑century works for flute & piano.

Sergei Prokofiev’s Flute Sonata in D op. 94 was completed in the summer of 1943, at the same time as the composer was working on music for Ivan The Terrible. It was premiered in Moscow in December 1943 by flautist Nicolai Kharkovsky, with Sviatoslav Richter at the keyboard. In 1944, at the instigation of violinist David Oistrakh, Prokofiev transcribed the work for violin (op. 94a), and this version was premiered by David Oistrakh and Lev Oborin in June 1944. Muscularity, lyricism and virtuosity are combined in this expansive four-movement work, which is without a doubt the most important twentieth-century composition for the instrumentation.

Shri Krishna was written for James Galway in 1979 by John Mayer, an Anglo-Indian violinist and composer who successfully combined western and Indian music in his compositions. Mayer’s predilection for the flute is evident in this work and in his Trimurti for the same combination, as well as in his Flute Concerto, Sarasvati (flute, cello and piano), Padma Phool (flute, sitar, tabla, tanpura) and his incidental music to BBC Radio’s Jungle Book (flute, sitar, tabla, tanpura). Shri Krishna alternates ‘alap’-style sections in free tempo for flute and tanpura (drone) with rhythmically exciting flute writing together with both piano and harpsichord, and includes an extended movement demonstrating the lyric qualities of the alto flute. Though not often performed, Shri Krishna is one of the twentieth century’s most original works for flute and keyboard.