This piece was originally written for Violin and Piano, and if the 'New World' Symphony and the 'American' String Quartet are the best-known products of Antonín Dvorak's years in the United States, the little Sonatina in G major (sometimes called the 'Indian Lament' Sonatina) may well be the most obscure; yet it is a charming work that deserves better than its relegation to the learning books of young violinists. The Sonatina is in four movements: Allegro risoluto, Larghetto, Scherzo (molto vivace), and Allegro. The first movement's principal tune has a firm rhythmic spine, its second tune a gentle plaintiveness; there is just a hint of American folk music in the movement.
The following Larghetto earned the Sonatina its nickname. The succession of its three melodies - one in G minor, one in B flat major, and one in G major - has to it the same wistfulness, and the same sudden brightening and then softening of mood, that we hear in the famous slow movement of the 'New World' Symphony.
The Scherzo takes the very first gesture of the Allegro risoluto as its starting-point. The finale is a substantial sonata-allegro movement, with three wonderful themes: the opening, syncopated idea in G major, a subsidiary thought in E minor, very dancelike and built around a repeating marcato cell, and finally a rich tranquillo melody that closes the exposition.
This adaptation for Flute and Piano by James Galway conveys all the spirit of the original.