Undine Sonata in E Minor, Op. 167, 1st movement
In this masterclass, Philippe Bernold discusses intonation and storytelling in the first movement of Reinecke’s Undine Sonata. First, he gives a demonstration on how to properly tune the flute prior to beginning a performance. Additionally, throughout the class, he works with the student to improve his intonation through managing the lips, air pressure, and air column. These elements also apply when controlling the quality of sound and dynamics. Bernold also describes the story, which the work is based on and helps the student bring out certain characteristics that will better reflect this story. He demonstrates the three major themes in the first movement and works with the student to find a sound, dynamic, and character that matches each of them. Finally, he encourages the student to be a more active listener and partner so there is a true dialogue between the flute and the piano.
How to maintain intonation.
Having clear characters for each of the main themes.
Communicating the story.
Managing air flow and pressure.
Creating a dialogue with the piano.
Carl Reinecke, an accomplished conductor and educator in Germany, was also a prolific composer. Though he composed works in a number of different genres, he was especially successful at writing chamber music for wind instruments. His contributions to the flute repertoire are particularly significant; his flute concerto and his Sonata Undine are two of the most frequently performed Romantic works for the instrument. Sonata Undine (1882), a four movement work for flute and piano, is based on the Romantic novel Undine by German writer Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué. It tells the tale of Undine, a water spirit who attempts to gain immortality through finding love with a mortal human man. The first movement of the sonata, Allegro, depicts the beginning of Undine’s journey as she leaves her watery home and is discovered by a fisherman and his wife, who decide to house and care for her. The second movement, Intermezzo - Allegro Vivace, plays the flute and piano off of one another in rapid fragments to showcase Undine’s playful and mischievous spirit. A melodic section portrays the arrival of Undine’s love interest, Hulbrand. The third movement, Andante tranquillo, is a beautiful expression of their love and marriage, demonstrated by beautiful melodic lines in the flute. However, their happiness does not last. Undine is soon called back to the water, and in the final movement, Finale - Allegro molto agitato ed appassionato, quasi Presto, she angrily kills Hulbrand before he can marry another and replace her. The piece ends quietly as she is left to wander the seas again in his absence.
Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this flute masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Philippe Bernold's feedback and comments.
In 1987 he won First Prize in the Jean-Pierre Rampal International Competition in Paris.
Philippe Bernold began his musical education in Colmar, France, studying the flute and later composition and conducting under the tutelage of René Matter. Later, he attended the National Paris Conservatoire where his notable skill was recognized and earned him First Prize in flute. The following year at only 23-years-old, Bernold was appointed first flute at the Opéra National de Lyon. After winning First Prize at the Jean-Pierre Rampal International Competition in Paris, Bernold was able to launch a successful career as a soloist, performing with world famous artists such as: M. Rostropovitch, R. Capuçon, G. Opitz, and A. Tharaud; as well as with many widely-acclaimed orchestras including the Paris Orchestra, Manchester Hallé Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, National Orchestra of Lyon, Tokyo and Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, among many more. The accomplished flautist has been directed by highly esteemed conductors including: S. Bychkov, J. E. Gardiner, L. Maazel, K. Nagano, Sir Y. Menuhin, M. Inoué, and T. Koopman. He has performed in concert halls worldwide including but not limited to the Royal Festival Hall in London, Warsaw Philharmonic, the Seoul Art Center in South Korea, and Tchaïkovsky Conservatory in Moscow. Years later, Philippe Bernold returned to conducting after founding “Les Virtuoses de l’Opéra de Lyon.” After its formation, the ensemble was lauded for its high level of artistry. Since then, he has been invited to conduct concerts with such ensembles including the Sinfonia Varsovia, Bilbao, the National Opera Orchestra of Lyon, Baden Baden Philharmonie, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, Philharmonic Orchestra of Marseille, Kanazawa Ensemble (Japan), and more. Additionally, Philippe Bernold has made many accomplished recordings. Most notably, Bernard was the recipient of the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros for his very first recording in 1989. Philippe Bernold is Professor of Chamber Music and flute at the National Paris Conservatoire.
Carl Reinecke (1824-1910) was a German composer, music director, performer, and teacher during the Romantic era. He was born in Hamburg, which was then controlled by Denmark. His father, a music teacher, taught him lessons from a young age on violin and then piano. Reinecke demonstrated strong musical talent early on; he began composing from the age of seven and gave his first public performance at twelve. Early in his adulthood, he participated in several concert tours throughout Denmark, Sweden, and Germany and briefly served as court pianist to Christian VIII in Copenhagen.
In 1851, Reinecke accepted a professorship at the conservatory in Cologne, where he worked until he was offered the position of music director of the Konzertgesellschaft in Barmen, Germany in 1854. He rose in prominence over the next several years as a music director, soon becoming the music director at Breslau University in 1859, and then the distinguished Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig in 1860. Reinecke served as music director there for thirty-five years, premiering important new works of the time. Simultaneously, he took on a teaching position at the Leipzig Conservatory. He was an important and influential educator, teaching prominent future composers and musicians such as Edvard Grieg, Leoš Janáček, Max Bruch, and Arthur Sullivan, among others.
Reinecke also made significant compositional contributions to the Romantic repertoire. He wrote three symphonies and several operas, including his most famous, König Manfred (1866). He also wrote several concertos, including four for piano, his main instrument, and one each for violin, cello, harp, and flute. However, most of his works were for chamber ensembles, including string quartet, piano quartet and quintet, and wind sextet and octet; he also wrote numerous sonatas and trios for a range of instruments. One of his most enduring pieces is Sonata Undine for flute, which has become one of the most important Romantic-era works in the flute repertoire.
After Reinecke’s retirement from the orchestra in 1895 and from the conservatory in 1902, he continued to compose and tour as a pianist. He was known for being one of the pre-eminent scholars and performers of Mozart’s music. He died in 1910 after a storied career; though many of his compositions are no longer performed today, he remains considered one of the most influential musicians of his time.