Yolande Uyttenhove’s legacy is a curious one. Though she wrote more than two hundred works and won dozens of international prizes - most notably for her Sonata for Violin and Piano - her music has all but disappeared from the repertoire despite its immediate appeal and clever post-Faure musical ideas, enhanced by medieval traditions and modern harmonic structures (a style of composition she called ‘intemporel’).
The Sonata for Flute and Piano, in three movements, is an exemplary work in her personal style. The first movement, a Moderato espressivo in 6/8, begins with a simple line that both charms and intrigues with its sophistication and the slightly strange neo-Romantic piano harmonies underneath. The movement presents plenty of opportunity for the flute to sing, with flowing technique increasing throughout. The second movement, Andante simplice, holds dark, jazz-based piano harmonies underneath a melody reminiscent of the second movement of Ibert’s concerto. A deeply lush interplay allows the flute to use its full tonal power, in turns soaring and blending with the piano. The final movement immediately jumps into an energetic dance in two, with blistering-fast offbeats and moments of melodic reflection emerging throughout – an energetic yet lovely end to this sonata.