Today's study is the eleventh piece from 48 Études pour hautbois ou saxophone, composed around 1835 by German oboist and clarinetist Franz Wilhelm Ferling.
This minuet-like piece for two flutes is the twenty-third duet from François Devienne's XXIV Duos faciles pour deux flutes à l'usage des commençans (24 Easy Duets for two flutes for use by beginners). It was first published in Leipzig around 1800.
Today we propose the fourth air from Italian flutist Tebaldo Monzani's Twelve Airs as Solos for a German Flute with a Violoncello or Bass Accompaniment, published in London around the year 1800.
In its present form, this jig first appeared in Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland, published in Chicago in 1903. It is probably named after Ballyhooly, a small village in north County Cork, Ireland. The first strain of the melody was however borrowed from a Scottish song, “The Drucken Wife o' Gallowa'”, which first appeared in a collection published in Edinburgh in 1751. The tune is apparently older still, with scholars tracing it back to the air of “To horse, brave boys of Newmarket, to horse”, a song that was printed by Thomas D'Urfey in Pills to Purge Melancholy (1719).
This study is the fifty-fifth piece from 58 Esercizi per flauto (a.k.a. First Exercises for Flute, or Die ersten Übungen für Flöte) by Italian Romantic flutist and composer Giuseppe Gariboldi.
This Andante is the third movement of a duet for two flutes or violins by Baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann, first published in 1728 as part of Der getreue Musikmeister (“the faithful music master”), a musical journal aimed at amateurs.
Today's piece was kindly contributed to our collection by its composer, Paul Merkus from the Netherlands.
The “Pledge” was originally written for alto saxophone and piano in 2014, but has been transcribed for flute and piano by octavating the flute part. The original intent was to exploit the sultry character of the low register of the alto saxophone, while contrasting it with passages in a higher position.
Hence, the piece begins with a questioning in the low register. After a first phrase, the questioning becomes a bit more impatient, with staccato notes and an exclamation. Then the main theme gradually unfolds with rhythmic evolution, followed by an interlude and a second theme, first rising, then falling. This pattern repeats before leading into an epilogue, in which the questioning return one final time.