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“The Four Elements: Fantasia for flute and piano” by Sarah Meneely-Kyder

For The Flute Examiner

The four elements that I chose were Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Metaphorically, the five movements suggest the elements as they relate to the senses of touch, sight, audition, and emotion. Pater Standaart, who commissioned the piece, provided two wonderful Earth images that fertilizedmy compositional imagination. Gaia represents the realm of the material, all that is practical, the tangible results of our labors. Sophia, recognized by the Gnostics as the feminine co-creator of the universe, has a playful nature, and legend tells us that, after the creation, she hides herself in every part of the earth, leaving man the complex task to find her within themselves and in all earthly manifestations. 

Brief mention of why I so enjoy writing for flute.

I love the different quality of sound that is produced in the most often used ranges of the flute. The lower range is sultry and velvety, the middle range, stronger and brighter, and the third range, silvery, and piquant.

Familiarity is most surely another reason for my love of the flute. For many years, I accompanied flutist, Peter Standaart, Visiting Artist at Wesleyan University, and Patricia Harper, Adjunct Professor of Flute, at Connecticut College, in numerous recitals throughout Connecticut.


Sarah Meneely-Kyder is an elected member of American Composers Alliance, BMI, and New York Women Composers. Her creative endeavors have been rewarded with many commissions, among them the commission from The Greater Middletown Chorale in 2011 to write a two hour oratorio, “Letter from Italy,1944”that premiered at the Middletown Performing Arts Center in 2013 to critical acclaim. 

In 2016, the Documentary, “Letter from Italy, 1944: A New American Oratorio” created by Karyl Evans, and narrated by Merle Streep, was nominated in two categories, winning in one of the categories at the Emmy Awards Ceremony. In 2017, the combined forces of the GMChorale, the Hartford Chorale, and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra presented a second premiere of “Letter from Italy,1944” at the Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford, CT.

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  1. […] Four Elements was also previously featured in The Flute […]

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