This English jig was originally published in Charles and Samuel Thompson’s Compleat Collection, vol. 3, appeared in London in 1773. The title refers not to the American Bill of Rights (which, of course, the tune predated) but to the English Bill of Rights, passed by Parliament in 1689 when they invited William and Mary to the throne of England. It enumerates, among other important points, governance under a constitutional monarchy.
This gorgeous Adagio is the central movement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Flute Quartet in D major, composed in 1777. In this case, “flute quartet” does not mean that the work is written for four flutes; instead, it is scored for flute, violin, viola, and cello. As with his other flute quartets and the Oboe Quartet in F major, Mozart constructed the work as if he were writing a string quartet with the wind instrument replacing the first violin.
Thanks to Erika for suggesting this piece!
This prelude opens the second section of the 55 Easy Pieces collection by French Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier.
Thanks to Paolo for contributing this piece!
This is the sixth and last movement of Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No. 5 for Unaccompanied Cello. It is one of the few movements in the six suites that present no chords.
This tune appeared with a song in Vocal Music or The Songster's Companion, printed in London in 1775, and with a country dance in Charles and Samuel Thompson's Twenty Four Country Dances, also printed in London the next year. Later it appeared in the Entire New and Compleat Instructions for the Fife, and in numerous instrumental tutors. “Guardian Angels (Watch Over Me)” was a popular song in the post-Revolutionary period in both Britain and America, and was published in numerous instrumental collections and song sheets.
This is the final movement of the first sonata that appears in Troisième Livre de Sonates pour la Flûte traversière (“Third Book of Sonatas for the Flute”), published in Paris in 1740 by Michel Blavet.
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This piece, whose original title is “Wir gehn nun, wo der Tudelsack”, constitutes the final chorus of the Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet (“We have a new governor”) cantata, BWV 212, composed in 1742. This secular cantata was entitled the “Cantate burlesque” (burlesque cantata) by Bach himself, but is now popularly known as the Peasant Cantata.
Thanks to Michael for suggesting this tune!
This is étude No. 11 from Ernesto Köhler's Progress in Flute Playing, and it is based on an almost hypnotizing succession of triplets. With this study, the whole first volume is now available for download.
Thanks to Roberto from Italy for requesting this piece!
Albert Farmer was a butcher from Lingfield, Surrey. When he returned home from World War I, he found the shop where he worked had been demolished and another built in its place. Largely self-taught, he learned to play the concertina and melodeon, and with a drum set he started a one-man band. As the title of this tune suggests, Farmer’s home town of Lingfield had a bonfire tradition, much in the tradition of neighboring Sussex.
The tune can be played either as a polka or as a hornpipe.
This Serenade is part of a Suite for Cello and Orchestra composed in 1882 by Irish-American cellist and composer Victor Herbert. Herbert also wrote a Serenade for String Orchestra and an operetta entitled The Serenade, which however have nothing to do with the present Serenade!
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This is the second duet in E minor from the 55 Easy Pieces by Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. The French title “La Craintive” could be translated literally as “The Apprehensive One”.
Thanks to Paolo for contributing this piece!
These two gavottes constitute the fifth movement of Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No. 5 for Unaccompanied Cello. The first gavotte is chordal and anguished; in contrast, the second gavotte is completely chord-free, and makes a surprising switch to a lively compound meter.
The James Freney of the title was a noted 18th-century Irish highwayman, who is still well remembered in Munster folklore. When he surrendered, the authorities feared executing him would make him a folk hero and lead to further disturbances, so in the end he was pardoned, and spent the evening of his life peacefully, as tide-waiter in New Ross. In this situation he always maintained a character for integrity and propriety, a favorite with all, both gentle and simple.
This untitled piece in the form of a sarabande opens the third suite of Handel's Water Music. The solo flute, supported by the first violins, sings a flexible melody atop a transparent background that, even at its most active, moves no faster than in quarter notes.
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This Largo in B minor is the fourth movement of the first of Jean-Baptiste Loeillet's Six sonatas of two parts, made on purpose for two German flutes, composed in 1720.
Today's piece is étude No. 17 from Italian flutist and composer Giuseppe Gariboldi's Twenty Studies, Op. 132. This study is mainly in F-sharp minor, with some passages in the relative major key of A.
In his book The Irish Song Tradition, Sean O Boyle identifies this song as a reverdie, a type of Irish vision poetry in which a maiden appears and is at first thought to be supernatural, but who turns out to be real. Though in English, he believes this air to be derived from Gaelic origins.
One morning as I went a fowling Bright Phoebus adorned the plain, 'Twas down by the shores of Lough Erne I met with this wonderful dame; Her voice was so sweet and so pleasing, These beautiful notes she did sing; The innocent fowl of the forest their love unto her they did bring.
This is the first movement of the Il pastor fido Sonata No. 4, composed by Nicolas Chédeville but originally published in 1737 as Antonio Vivaldi's Op. 13.
Thanks to Lucas from Brazil for suggesting this piece!
This Allegro in D major is the fifth and last movement of the first of Jean-Baptiste Loeillet's Six sonatas of two parts, made on purpose for two German flutes, composed in 1720.
This joyous Gavotte closes Johann Sebastian Bach's Wedding Cantata “Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten” (“Give way now, dismal shadows”), BWV 202.
See in contentment
a thousand bright and prosperous days,
so that soon as time passes
your love may bear its flower!
Thanks to Alex for suggesting this piece!
This two-part slip jig in the key of E Dorian is also known under the alternate title “The Whistling Thief”, which comes from a song set to the air by the 19th-century songwriter Samuel Lover. The title “Cucanandy” derives from a lilt meant for baby-dandling, sung by Elizabeth Cronin on a 1951 Seamus Ennis recording: “Cuc, cucanandy, cucanandy, O.”
Here is the second movement of the fourth of the Il pastor fido sonatas, composed by Nicolas Chédeville but traditionally attributed to Antonio Vivaldi. As the tempo indication says, this piece should not be played too fast.
This is the third duet in E minor from the 55 Easy Pieces by Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. The French title “La Seduisante” can be translated as “The Seductive One”.
Thanks to Paolo for contributing this piece!
This study in triplets is taken from Giuseppe Gariboldi's Vingt petites études, or Twenty Studies. It opposes two long successions of triplets with a central 3/4-time section marked grandioso (“majestic”, “grand”).
“Der er et yndigt land” (“There is a lovely country”) is the national anthem of Denmark. The lyrics were written in 1819 by Adam Oehlenschläger and bore the Latin motto Ille terrarum mihi praeter omnes angulus ridet (Horace: “This corner of the earth smiles for me more than any other”). The music was composed in 1835 by Hans Ernst Krøyer. Later, Thomas Laub and Carl Nielsen each composed alternative melodies, but neither of them has gained widespread adoption, and today they are mostly unknown to the general population.
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Ludwig van Beethoven composed his seventh symphony in 1811–1812. At the premiere, which took place in Vienna in 1813, the composer was noted as remarking that it was one of his best works. The second movement, marked “Allegretto” (“a little lively”), was the most popular movement and had to be encored immediately. Its instant popularity resulted in its frequent performance separate from the complete symphony.
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This is the second movement of an A-minor sonata composed by Jean-Baptiste Loeillet around 1710. The sonata, originally written for recorder and continuo, has been arranged for two flutes.
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Johann Sebastian Bach's fifth Suite for solo cello replaces the toccata-like prelude of the rest of the set with an overture in the French style, beginning with a slow, emotional Adagio that explores the deep range of the cello. After that comes a fast and very demanding single-line fugue, that leads to a powerful end.
“Eight Men of Muidart” (also spelled “Mudart” or “Mudwart”) is the title of a Scottish reel dance for eight, and the name stems from a legend regarding Bonnie Prince Charlie. Prince Charles Edward Stuart arrived in 1745 in the bay of Loch nan Uagh, along with a handful of followers. At the very moment the famous royal rebel disembarked there happened to be seven fishermen along the shoreline, and upon seeing the prince their joy was overwhelming, causing them to dance on the sands. They performed a dance for eight, but being one diminished they stuck a spade in the sand to represent the missing dancer, and their unknown dance became known as “The Eight Men of Moidart”. The spot is today marked by seven great oak trees, the “Seven Men of Moidart”, to honor the fishermen.
This is the fourth and last movement of the Il pastor fido Sonata No. 4, composed by Nicolas Chédeville but initially attributed to the famous Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi for “marketing” purposes.
Thanks to Lucas for suggesting this piece!
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Here is the fourth duet in E minor from the 55 Easy Pieces by Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. The French title “L'Indiscrète” means “The Indiscreet One”.