Thursday 1 December 2011

Tune of the Day: The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring

 from “The Mikado”, arranged for flute and piano

In its original form, this duet is sung by Nanki-Poo and Ko-Ko in Gilbert and Sullivan's 1885 comic opera The Mikado.

The flowers that bloom in the spring,
Breathe promise of merry sunshine.
As we merrily dance and we sing,
We welcome the hope that they bring
Of a summer of roses and wine.
And that's what we mean when we say that a thing
Is welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring.

Thanks to Ronald for suggesting this piece!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Opera excerptsDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 2 December 2011

Tune of the Day: La Mijaurée

 Flute duet by J.B. de Boismortier

This sarabande is the fifth duet in D major from Joseph Bodin de Boismortier's 55 Easy Pieces, Op. 22. “Mijaurée” is a dialectal term from western France, used to indicate a pretentious woman.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Baroque Sarabandes Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Saturday 3 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Study in B-flat major by Gariboldi

 from “20 Petites Etudes”

Here is a new study in the Italian style from Giuseppe Gariboldi's Vingt petites études, or Twenty Studies. Play this piece as a light waltz, keeping a steady tempo throughout.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 4 December 2011

Tune of the Day: The Night Paddy Murphy Died

 Traditional drinking song

This popular Newfoundland folk song was written by Johnny Burke (1851–1930), a Canadian songwriter and musician who was nicknamed the “Bard of Prescott Street”.

The song has been recorded by numerous artists; the version by the Canadian folk-rock band Great Big Sea is sung by Russell Crowe in the 2009 movie State of Play.

Thanks to Riamu for suggesting this tune!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Ballads Drinking songs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Monday 5 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Españoletas

 by Gaspar Sanz, transcribed for solo flute

This piece is extracted from the second of three pedagogical volumes for the baroque guitar written by Gaspar Sanz. The book, entitled “Libro Segundo de cifras sobre la guitarra española”, was first printed in Saragossa in 1675.

Thanks to Cidiclei for suggesting this piece!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: BaroqueDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 6 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Les Bourgeois du Roule

 Flute duet by J.B. de Boismortier

Here is another duet from 55 Easy Pieces by French Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier'. This is a bourrée, so it should be played as if to accompany a quick double-time dance.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Baroque Bourrées Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Wednesday 7 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Gigue by J.S. Bach

 from Cello Suite No. 3, transcribed for solo flute

This is the final movement of Johann Sebastian Bach's third Suite for unaccompanied cello. After the galant spirit of the bourrées, this Gigue restores the lightness of a very bouncy, virtuosic suite.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Baroque JigsDifficulty: advanced
Thursday 8 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Campanas de Belén

 Traditional Spanish Christmas carol

“Campanas de Belén” (“Bells of Bethlehem”), also known by its opening line “Campana sobre campana” (“Bell over Bell”), is probably the most typical Spanish Christmas song. It originated in the Spanish region of Andalusia, and, unlike many Christmas tunes, it doesn't appear to have an English equivalent.

This song is an example of the very popular musical form of a villancico, which is made up of a refrain (estribillo) alternating with verses (estrofas).

Thanks to Austin for suggesting this tune!

Friday 9 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Valse brillante in A minor

 by Frédéric Chopin, transcribed for solo flute

This waltz is taken from a collection of Trois valses brillantes, first published in 1838. The title “Valse brillante”, however, hardly seems appropriate for such a melancholy, subdued work.

The composer Stephen Heller related that Chopin called this slow (Lento) waltz his favorite. When Heller told the Pole that he, too, loved it best, Chopin immediately invited him for lunch at a fashionable café. Frederick Niecks wrote of this piece, “The composer evidently found pleasure in giving way to this delicious languor, in indulging in these melancholy thoughts full of sweetest, tenderest loving and longing.”

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Romantic WaltzesDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 10 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Duet in E minor by Hugues

 from “School of Flute”

This is duet No. 10 from the first volume of Luigi Hugues's La scuola del flauto (The School of the Flute).

Thanks to Paolo for contributing this piece!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 11 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Study in D major by Köhler

 from “Progress in Flute Playing”

This is étude No. 10 from the first book of Ernesto Köhler's Progress in Flute Playing, Op. 33. From its very beginning it is evident that this is mainly a study in thirds. It starts off in D major, and explores the keys of G major and E minor before going back to the original key to restate the initial theme.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 12 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Still, Still, Still

 Traditional Austrian Christmas carol

Not a lot is known about this Austrian Christmas carol and lullaby. The melody is a folk tune from the State of Salzburg, first appeared around 1819, while the German lyrics were published for the first time in 1865 in a folksong collection by Maria Vinzenz Süß, founder of the Salzburg Museum.

Thanks to Phil for suggesting this tune!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Christmas carols Lullabies Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Tuesday 13 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Son vergin vezzosa

 from Bellini's “I puritani”, arranged for flute and piano

This joyful polonaise is sung by Elvira near the end of Act I of Vincenzo Bellini's 1835 opera I puritani (The Puritans).

I'm a charming virgin in a wedding dress,
I'm white and humble as an April lily.

Thanks to Luis for suggesting this piece!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Arias Opera excerpts Polonaises RomanticDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 14 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Le Faineant

 Flute duet by J.B. de Boismortier

This is the last duet in D major from the 55 Easy Pieces by Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. The French word faineant indicates an irresponsible or lazy person.

Thanks to Paolo for contributing this piece!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Baroque Minuets Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Thursday 15 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Study in G major by Köhler

 from “20 Easy and Melodic Studies”

This easy étude in G major is taken from the first book of Twenty Easy Melodic Progressive Studies by Italian composer Ernesto Köhler.

Thanks to Bruno for contributing this piece!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Friday 16 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Il est né, le divin enfant

 Traditional French Christmas carol

The tune for this carol first appeared in print in R. Grosjean's Airs des noêl lorrain (1862), where it is called “Ancien air de chasse” (“Old hunting air”). It is indeed the case that an old Normandy hunting tune known as “Tête bizarde”, though in 6/8, is melodically very similar.

English translations of this carol include “He Is Born, the Holy Child”, “He Is Born, The Heav'nly Child”, “He Is Born, The Divine Christ Child”, and many others.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Christmas carols Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Saturday 17 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Allegro molto by Vivaldi

 from Concerto for Piccolo in C major

This is the last movement of the famous Piccolo (or Recorder) Concerto in C major by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi. The soloist's plethora of fast-note patterns is here even more dazzling that in the first movement, with swirls of colorful sounds and notes tossed about athletically!

Thanks to Benito for suggesting this piece!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Baroque Concertos Piccolo tunesDifficulty: advanced
Sunday 18 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Duet in F major by Köhler

 from “20 Easy and Melodic Studies”

This is duet No. 4 from the first volume of Twenty Easy Melodic Progressive Studies by Ernesto Köhler. The upper part is very melodic, while the lower part is more of an accompaniment.

Thanks to Bruno for contributing this piece!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Monday 19 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Prelude by J.S. Bach

 from Cello Suite No. 4, transcribed for solo flute

Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No. 4 for unaccompanied cello is known as one of the most technically demanding of the six cello suites. The Prelude primarily consists of a difficult flowing quaver movement that leaves room for three wave-like cadenzas before returning to its original theme. The composer makes use of repetitive arpeggios to build complex phrases, as he did in the first suite, but here the sense of improvisatory fantasy is stronger: the arpeggio descends in a gradual figure and varies negligibly as it explores a range of keys.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: BaroqueDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 20 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Arre borriquito

 Traditional Spanish Christmas carol

Here is another nice Spanish Christmas carol!

Giddy up, little donkey, giddy up,
Hurry up because we're late,
Giddy up, little donkey, we're going to Bethlehem,
For tomorrow is a holiday and so is the day after.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Adagio by Chédeville

 from “Il pastor fido” Sonata No. 2

This is the prelude to the second of the Il pastor fido sonatas, first published in 1737. The composer, Nicolas Chédeville, made a secret agreement with Jean-Noël Marchand to publish a collection of his own compositions as Antonio Vivaldi's Op. 13. Chédeville supplied the money and received the profits, all of which was recorded in a notarial act. This may have been an attempt to give his instrument, the musette, the endorsement of a great composer which it lacked.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 22 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Largo by Telemann

 from “Sonates sans Basse à deux Flutes traverses”

This is the first movement from the fourth of Telemann's Sonates sans Basse à deux Flutes traverses, ou à deux Violons, ou à deux Flutes à bec, or “Sonatas without Bass for Two Transverse Flutes, or Two Violins, or Two Recorders”.

Thanks to Raquel for suggesting this piece!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 23 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Study in A major by Gariboldi

 from “20 Petites Etudes”

This “Largo cantabile” is étude No. 10 from Giuseppe Gariboldi's Vingt petites études, or Twenty Studies. While it is a Largo, it shouldn't be played too slowly.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 24 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Quelle est cette odeur agréable?

 Traditional French Christmas carol

The melody to this French Christmas carol about the Nativity was used by John Gay in his famous The Beggar's Opera in 1728. Since it originated in France and made its way across the channel into that famous English stage effort, it must have been in existence for some decades, because Gay only used familiar tunes for his production. The carol is also popular in English translations, the most common one appearing to be by A.B. Ramsay:

Whence is the goodly fragrance flowing,
Stealing our senses all away,
never the like did come a-blowing,
Shepherds, in flow'ry fields of May,
Whence is that goodly fragrance flowing,
Stealing our senses all away.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Christmas carols Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Sunday 25 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Aurelia

 Merry Christmas from flutetunes.com!

The tune “Aurelia” was written in 1864 by organist Samuel S. Wesley, one of the most influential figures in Victorian English Cathedral music. It was originally composed for John Keble's wedding hymn “The voice that breathed o'er Eden”, but it was later used for many other hymns as well, including “The Church's One Foundation” and “Another Year Is Dawning”.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Hymn tunesDifficulty: easy
Monday 26 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Sakura Sakura

 Traditional air arranged for three flutes and guitar

The wonderful arrangement for flute trio and guitar that we present today was kindly contributed by Chris. The piece is an old Japanese air known as “Sakura Sakura”, or simply “Sakura”.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 27 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Allemande by J.S. Bach

 from Cello Suite No. 4, transcribed for solo flute

This Allemande is the second movement of Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No. 4 for unaccompanied cello. It has simple lines, and very few chords.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Allemandes BaroqueDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 28 December 2011

Tune of the Day: The Boar's Head Carol

 Traditional English Christmas carol, arranged for four flutes

The “Boar's Head Carol” is a 15th-century English Christmas carol that describes the ancient tradition of sacrificing a boar and presenting its head at a wintertime feast. In antiquity the fierce boar was feared and respected; because of its ferocious nature, it was associated with death, just as the winter solstice was associated with the death of light.

Of the several extant versions of the carol, the one most usually performed today is based on a version published in 1521 in Wynkyn de Worde's Christmasse Carolles.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Christmas carols Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Thursday 29 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Allegro assai by Chédeville

 from “Il pastor fido” Sonata No. 2

Here is the second movement of the Il pastor fido Sonata No. 2, composed by Nicolas Chédeville but originally published as Antonio Vivaldi's Op. 13.

Thanks to Paolo for contributing this piece!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 30 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Duet in E minor by Köhler

 from “20 Easy and Melodic Studies”

This is duet No. 5 from the first volume of Twenty Easy Melodic Progressive Studies by Ernesto Köhler. As for all duets of the collection, the second flute part is meant to be played by the teacher.

Thanks to Bruno for contributing this piece!

Bookmark and ShareCategories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Saturday 31 December 2011

Tune of the Day: Study in D minor by Gariboldi

 from “20 Petites Etudes”

This is étude No. 11 from Giuseppe Gariboldi's Vingt petites études, or Twenty Studies. It is a 2/4-time Allegro in ternary form, with a central part marked grandioso, i.e., “majestic”, “grand”.

Bookmark and ShareCategories: EtudesDifficulty: intermediate