Slovakian Children's Songs - Paul Schoenfeld

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Format: Piano Score and Part

Composer: Paul Schoenfeld (formerly Paul Schoenfield)

Instrumentation: Flute and Piano

Duration: Approx. 21 minutes

Date Written: 1995

Commissioned by: Carol Wincenc

Premiered: 1995

Additional Information: "Slovakian Children's Songs" was composed by Paul Schoenfeld (formerly Schoenfield) in 1995 for flutist Carol Wincenc. It incorporates Slovakian folk quotes from Béla Bartók’s "For Children" (Volume II, Based on Slovakian Folk Tunes) with layers of Slovakian folk elements used in the overall texture. 

The work consists of six movements (Overture, Hopfrog, Lullaby, Furiant, Romanza, Hopak).

Paul on Slovakian Children's Songs:

Slovakian Children's Songs were composed in 1993 as a result of a close collaboration with flutist Carol Wincenc and my great friends from Minnesota, Jack and Linda Hoeschler. Carol and I met over 30 years ago when we were both students at Chautauqua and have enjoyed a close musical association ever since. I have had the pleasure of accompanying her several times in concert, and it was for Carol that I wrote the flute concerto, Klezmer Rondos. We share a common love of folk music, and Carol, being of Slovac descent, had frequently discussed my composing a flute and piano work based on Slovakian folk elements.

Several years ago, Linda Hoescher (née Lovas), who is also of Slovac descent, had asked that I compose something in honor of the Lovas family. The Hoeschlers have commissioned four works from me and have long admired Carol's playing since her days at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. When they heard Carol's idea, they encouraged me to write the sonata. The birth of Carol's child, Nicola, nourished the decision to base the work on children's music, and in the end, this suite, Slovakian Children's Songs, was the result.

In technical terms, these pieces fall between arrangements and original compositions. Certain folk tunes are quoted verbatim, but more often than not, isomorphic images are presented or the tunes are simply imbedded in an overall texture which masks their presence.

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