Tuesday 1 May 2012

Tune of the Day: À part for solo flute

 by Jeffrey Harrington

This piece was kindly contributed to our collection by its composer, Jeffrey Harrington.

“À part” is a meditative piece which uses rhythmic quirks to create the effect of two voices at once, but without the virtuosity required to create the illusion in my other recent solo flute pieces. I had been writing a solo flute tango when this rhythmic figure appeared, and it seemed too lovely to ignore; the piece ended up revolving around it and expanding it. The title comes from the generally melancholic mood throughout.

Categories: Contemporary Written for FluteDifficulty: advanced
Wednesday 2 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Duet in C major by Köhler

 from “20 Easy and Melodic Studies”

This is duet No. 7 from the first volume of Twenty Easy Melodic Progressive Studies by Ernesto Köhler. It is composed of three parts: a Moderato marziale in C major, a livelier Allegretto in G major, and a final restatement of the opening theme.

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 3 May 2012

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

 from Cello Suite No. 6, transcribed for solo flute

This Sarabande constitutes the fourth movement of Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No. 6 for unaccompanied cello. While the Sarabande of the fifth suite completely avoided chords, this piece is characterized by a constant presence of double, triple and quadruple stops, which are rendered as broken chords (arpeggios) on the flute.

Categories: Baroque SarabandesDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 4 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Lady MacKenzie of Coull

 Traditional Scottish strathspey

Today's tune is a Scottish strathspey. A strathspey is a type of dance tune in 4/4 time, similar to a hornpipe but slower and more stately, and usually characterized by the presence of many dotted rhythms. These rhythms are usually left out of written notation, but they can be added to give a more authentic feel to the music.

Thanks to Ronald for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Celtic Music Strathspeys Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Saturday 5 May 2012

Tune of the Day: A Night to Remember: Prelude

 Flute solo by Leonard Birch

Here we are with a new contemporary piece, kindly contributed to our collection by its composer, Leonard Birch! This is the opening movement of a suite in C major for solo flute entitled A Night to Remember.

Categories: ContemporaryDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 6 May 2012

Tune of the Day: La Claudine

 Flute duet by J.B. de Boismortier

This is the last duet in E minor from the 55 Easy Pieces collection by French Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier.

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Monday 7 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Study in E minor by Köhler

 from “20 Easy and Melodic Studies”

Here is another relatively easy étude, in E minor this time, from the first book of Twenty Easy Melodic Progressive Studies by Italian flutist and composer Ernesto Köhler.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 8 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Mairi's Wedding

 Traditional Scottish folk song

This tune is from the Hebrides Islands which lie off the north coast of Scotland; it is also known as the “Lewis Bridal Song”, title that refers to the Isle of Lewis. As George Emmerson noted in his book A Social History of Scottish Dance, there is nothing that particularly distinguishes this tune as Scottish; nevertheless, it has had remarkable longevity, and is popular in traditional circles to this day.

It is frequently heard at Irish sessions under the title “Jack Sweeney's Polka”. Sweeney was a musician who passed on numerous polkas to accordion player Johnny O'Leary.

Thanks to Jess for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Celtic Music Polkas Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Wednesday 9 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Allegro by Albinoni

 from “Trattenimenti armonici”

This binary-form Allegro in A minor is the final movement of the sixth Sonata from the Trattenimenti armonici collection by Italian Baroque composer Tomaso Albinoni, who originally composed it for violin and basso continuo.

Thanks to Başak from Turkey for suggesting this piece!

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 10 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Andante sostenuto by Köhler

 from Forty Progressive Duets for Two Flutes

This is flute duet No. 14 from the second volume of Ernesto Köhler's Forty Progressive Duets, Op. 55. In this piece the second flute does not merely accompany the first one: they both share the main melody.

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 11 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Two Gavottes by J.S. Bach

 from Cello Suite No. 6, transcribed for solo flute

This pair of gavottes constitutes the fifth movement of Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suite No. 6 in D major, BWV 1012. As is always the case in suites, remember that the first gavotte is repeated once after the second gavotte.

Categories: Baroque GavottesDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 12 May 2012

Tune of the Day: The Heights of Dargai

 Traditional Scottish pipe tune

The heights of Dargai are a promontory in India, the site in 1897 of a charge by massed Highlanders. A famous military anecdote has it that one of the Scots pipers continued to play to inspire his comrades, though shot through both legs.

According to some sources, the tune was composed as a retreat march by piper James Wallace. It is interesting to note that a “retreat march” is not necessarily a march-time tune which would be marched to. Instead, it was often played as part of the evening ritual in military camps as day duties gave way to night ones. It was not linked to the military maneuver of retreating from battle, but was linked to the idea of refuge and safety in the camp.

Categories: Celtic Music Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Sunday 13 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Pastorale by Chédeville

 from “Il pastor fido” Sonata No. 4

This Pastorale for flute, cello and organ is taken from the fourth of the Il pastor fido sonatas, composed by Nicolas Chédeville but traditionally attributed to Antonio Vivaldi. This calm, graceful movement is marked “con tenerezza” (“with tenderness”) in some editions.

Thanks to Lucas for suggesting this piece!

Categories: BaroqueDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 14 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Duet in B minor by Köhler

 from “20 Easy and Melodic Studies”

Today's piece is duet No. 8 from the first volume of Ernesto Köhler's Twenty Easy Melodic Progressive Studies.

Thanks to Bruno for contributing this piece!

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 15 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Study in C major by Berbiguier

 from “Eighteen Exercises or Etudes for Flute”

Today we propose an étude by Benoit Tranquille Berbiguier, taken from his book 18 exercices pour la flûte traversière. Berbiguier was a French flutist and composer of the Romantic Era. He was very prolific as a composer, having written 11 concertos for flute and orchestra and many flute duets, as well as two methods for the instrument.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 16 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Sadi moma bela loza

 Traditional Bulgarian tune

This folk tune, whose title means “A girl planted a vine”, comes from Bulgaria. Those unaccustomed to odd rhythms could take its unevenness to be a mistake, but the tune is really in 7/8 time. The meter can be analyzed into three subgroups as slow-quick-quick or 3-2-2. Such meters in Bulgarian music can often be stretched, and some musicians play this song as 3-2-3 instead; however, Yves Moreau, who collected and taught the dance, endorses the rhythm of 7.

This is the tune used by Richard Stallman for “The Free Software Song”.

Categories: Dance tunes Gypsy music Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 17 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Allegro by John Ranish

 from Flute Sonata in B minor

This Allegro is the central movement of Sonata No. 3 in B minor from XII Solos for the German Flute, Op. 2 by English Baroque composer John Ranish.

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 18 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Adagio by Loeillet

 from Recorder Sonata No. 1

This is the third movement of an A-minor sonata written by Belgian Baroque composer Jean-Baptiste Loeillet of Gant around 1710.

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: easy
Saturday 19 May 2012

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

 from Cello Suite No. 6, transcribed for solo flute

This gigue is the sixth and very last movement of Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No. 6 in D major for unaccompanied cello.

With the addition of this piece, our collection now includes the complete Bach Cello Suites!

Categories: Baroque JigsDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 20 May 2012

Tune of the Day: The Sweet Maid of Glendaurel

 Traditional Scottish pipe tune

“The Sweet Maid of Glandaurel” (or “Glendaruel”) is a traditional Scottish march in A Mixolydian, a mode that is similar to A major but has a G-natural instead of a G-sharp.

Thanks to Ronald for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Celtic Music Marches Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Monday 21 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Sonata in C by Donizetti

 for Flute and Piano

Gaetano Donizetti, one of the most famous Italian opera composers of the Romantic Era, wrote this sonata for flute and piano in 1819. It consists of a slow Largo in C minor and a lively Allegro in C major.

Many thanks to Paolo for contributing this piece!

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 22 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Andante by Köhler

 from Forty Progressive Duets for Two Flutes

This basic flute duet in G major is taken from Volume I of Ernesto Köhler's Forty Progressive Duets. In this piece the main melody is given to the first flute, while the second flute plays an accompaniment role.

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Wednesday 23 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Study in A minor by Berbiguier

 from “Eighteen Exercises or Etudes for Flute”

Here is the second étude from 18 exercices pour la flûte traversière by French Romantic composer Benoit Tranquille Berbiguier.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 24 May 2012

Tune of the Day: The Balmoral Highlanders

 Traditional Scottish pipe tune

This march was composed by Highland Piper Angus Mackay of Raasay, who was piper to Queen Victoria from 1843 to 1853. Mackay wrote, while still in his early twenties, a book entitled A Collection of Ancient Piobaireachd, or Highland Pipe Music, which served as a piper's bible for many decades after its appearance in 1838.

The word Balmoral is said to mean “the house of the laird”, the root being the Gaelic baile, a homestead or, later, village.

Categories: Celtic Music Marches Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 25 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Theme from Piano Concerto No. 1

 by P.I. Tchaikovsky, transcribed for solo flute

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky comosed his Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23, between 1874 and 1875. It is one of the most popular compositions by the Russian composer, and among the best known of all piano concertos.

The concerto's first theme is based on a melody that Tchaikovsky heard performed by blind beggar-musicians at a market in Kamenka (near Kiev), and is notable for its apparent independence from the rest of the movement and from the concerto as a whole, especially given its setting not in the work's nominal key of B-flat minor but rather in D-flat major, that key's relative major. Despite its very substantial nature, the theme is only heard twice, and it never reappears at any later point in the concerto.

Categories: Concertos RomanticDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 26 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Giga by Loeillet

 from Recorder Sonata No. 1

This is the fourth and final movement of an A-minor sonata composed by Jean-Baptiste Loeillet around 1710. Originally written for recorder and continuo, the work has subsequently been arranged for two flutes.

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 27 May 2012

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

 from “20 Easy and Melodic Studies”

Here is a new simple étude, this time in B-flat major, from the first book of Twenty Easy Melodic Progressive Studies by Italian flutist and composer Ernesto Köhler.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 28 May 2012

Tune of the Day: The Sound of Sleat

 Traditional Scottish reel

The Sound of Sleat is a narrow sea inlet off the western coast of Scotland, dividing the Sleat peninsula on the south-east side of the Isle of Skye from Morar, Knoydart and Glenelg on the Scottish mainland.

Most sources identify Donald MacKinnon as the author of this reel.

Categories: Celtic Music Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 29 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Réjouissance by Telemann

 from the Suite in A minor for recorder and strings

This famous Baroque piece is taken from Georg Philipp Telemann's Ouverture-Suite in A minor, TWV 55:a2. The solo flute and the orchestra engage in an animated dialogue, as they race around in visceral rushes of sixteenth notes trying to capture their mutual joy.

This movement was recorded by Sir James Galway on his popular album Pachelbel Canon and other Baroque Favorites.

Thanks to Erika for suggesting this piece!

Categories: BaroqueDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 30 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Duet in A major by Köhler

 from “20 Easy and Melodic Studies”

This is duet No. 9 from the first volume of Twenty Easy Melodic Progressive Studies by Ernesto Köhler. It is composed of three parts: an Allegretto moderato, a plaintive (flebile) central section, and a final restatement of the opening theme.

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 31 May 2012

Tune of the Day: Study in F major by Berbiguier

 from “Eighteen Exercises or Etudes for Flute”

This is the third étude from 18 exercices pour la flûte traversière by French Romantic composer Benoit Tranquille Berbiguier. Try to keep a steady tempo throughout the piece, and don't let the quintuplets scare you!

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate