Saturday 1 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Ger the Rigger

 Traditional Irish tune

This tune can be set variously as a hornpipe, as a single reel, or as a polka. The title seems to refer to a man, “Ger” (probably short for Gerard, Gervase, or Roger, and therefore pronounced with a soft “G”) or “Jer” (short for Jeremiah), and his occupation. In the construction industry, a “rigger” is a person that specializes in the lifting and moving of extremely large or heavy objects.

Categories: Celtic Music Hornpipes Polkas Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Sunday 2 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Le Lutin

 from Blavet's Flute Sonata No. 4

In French folklore and fairy tales, a “lutin” is a type of amusing goblin. This is the fifth and last movement of Michel Blavet's flute sonata nicknamed “La Lumague”, which was published in Paris in 1732.

Thanks to Monique for suggesting this piece!

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 3 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Largo by Telemann

 from Canonic Sonata for Two Flutes No. 2

This is the central movement of Georg Philipp Telemann's Canonic Sonata No. 2 for two flutes, although it was published as Sonata No. 6 in at least one collection. As with all canons, both players can play from the same part.

Categories: Baroque Canons SonatasDifficulty: easy
Tuesday 4 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Study in B major by Berbiguier

 from “Eighteen Exercises or Etudes for Flute”

This Allegro in B major is the fifteenth étude from 18 exercices pour la flûte traversière by French Romantic composer Benoit Tranquille Berbiguier.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 5 September 2012

Tune of the Day: The Marines' Hymn

 Official hymn of the United States Marine Corps

The "Marines' Hymn" is the oldest official song in the United States military. It is typically sung at the position of attention as a gesture of respect, but is also used as a toast during formal events, such as the birthday ball and other ceremonies.

The music is from the Gendarmes' Duet from an 1867 revision of the 1859 opera Geneviève de Brabant by Jacques Offenbach, which debuted in Paris in 1859. Correspondence between Colonel Albert S. McLemore and Walter F. Smith (the second leader of the Marine Band) traces the tune:

Major Richard Wallach, USMC, says that in 1878, when he was in Paris, France, the aria to which the Marines' Hymn is now sung was a very popular one.

The name of the opera and a part of the chorus was secured from Major Wallach and forwarded to Mr. Smith, who replied:

Major Wallach is to be congratulated upon a wonderfully accurate musical memory, for the aria of the Marine Hymn is certainly to be found in the opera, 'Genevieve de Brabant'... The melody is not in the exact form of the Marine Hymn, but is undoubtedly the aria from which it was taken. I am informed, however, by one of the members of the band, who has a Spanish wife, that the aria was one familiar to her childhood and it may, therefore, be a Spanish folk song.

Thanks to Radford for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Marches Military music Patriotic Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Thursday 6 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Minuet by Handel

 from Flute Sonata in E minor

Halle Sonata No. 2 breaks from Handel's usual sonata da chiesa pattern, but with only a minor departure. There is still the slow-fast-slow-fast sequence of movements, but instead of ending with the usual abstract piece, Handel writes a minuet, the sort of dance movement found in a sonata da camera. Unlike the preceding Grave, whose attribution is doubtful, this Minuet is clearly Handelian, a transcription of an early G minor harpsichord piece.

Categories: Baroque Minuets SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 7 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Duet in G major by Hugues

 from “School of Flute”

This is the ninth duet from the first volume of La scuola del flauto (The School of the Flute) by Italian composer and arranger Luigi Hugues.

Thanks to Paolo for contributing this piece!

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 8 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Study in D major by Andersen

 from “24 Etudes for Flute”

Here is another étude by Joachim Andersen. This 12/8-time Larghetto in D major is study No. 5 from Twenty-Four Etudes for Flute, Op. 33.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 9 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Lochrynach

 Traditional Scottish reel

This reel can be found in William Marshall's Scottish Melodies, which was first published at the end of the 18th century. A note in the book reads: “This good Old Reel is inserted at the particular request of the Duke of Gordon”. “Lochrynach” was not one of Marshall's compositions, but was rather a favorite tune of Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon, who was Marshall’s employer at the time.

Categories: Celtic Music Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 10 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Last Spring

 by Edvard Grieg, transcribed for flute and piano

In the period between 1877–1880, Grieg produced a set of songs as his Op. 33 on texts by Norwegian poet Aasmund Vinje. The composer had been greatly inspired by the poet's verses, so much so that after completing the set, he decided to arrange two of its songs for string orchestra, this one “Last Spring” and “The Wounded Heart”. He made piano versions of them as well.

“Last Spring” is a sad piece; in the song version, the text tells of a dying man who is aware he is observing his last spring. The main theme is nostalgic and features considerable expressive depth, especially considering Grieg's penchant for lightness of mood even in melancholy works. It has an air of resignation about it, but as it struggles on, its manner sweetens a bit, nearly suggesting hope.

Thanks to Phil for suggesting this piece!

Categories: RomanticDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 11 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Vivace by Telemann

 from Canonic Sonata for Two Flutes No. 2

This is the third and final movement of Georg Philipp Telemann's Canonic Sonata No. 2 for two flutes, which appears as Sonata No. 6 in some collections. As with all canons, both players can play from the same part.

Categories: Baroque Canons SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 12 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Ormond House

 Traditional English dance tune

This is one of the most complex tunes in John Playford's The Dancing Master, the most important source of English Country Dance music from 1651 to about 1728. “Ormond House” was probably named in honor of James Butler, the second and last Duke of Ormond. The Butlers were powerful Irish lords and ardent Jacobites, whose cause was lost along with their lands and title early in the 18th century. As Protestant nobility the Butlers held Ireland for Charles I and Charles II, but maintained a residence, Ormond House, in London on St. James's Square.

Categories: Dance tunes Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 13 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Study in B minor by Berbiguier

 from “Eighteen Exercises or Etudes for Flute”

This common-time Moderato in B minor is the sixteenth étude from 18 exercices pour la flûte traversière by French Romantic composer Benoit Tranquille Berbiguier.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 14 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Adagio by Handel

 from Flute Sonata in E minor

This is the opening Adagio of Handel's Halle Sonata No. 2. The flute strives slowly up the scale over a more quickly descending figure in the bass, then levels off into a series of gently rolling phrases.

This is a transcription of the opening movement of Handel's Oboe Sonata in C minor.

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 15 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Allegro by Quantz

 from Flute Duet No. 1 in G major

This is the opening Allegro of a Flute Duet in G major that the famous German flutist and composer Johann Joachim Quantz composed in 1759.

Thanks to Deb for suggesting this piece!

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 16 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Study in A major by Andersen

 from “24 Etudes for Flute”

Here is another étude by Danish flutist Joachim Andersen. This common-time Allegro animato in A major is study No. 7 from his Twenty-Four Etudes for Flute, Op. 33.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 17 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Ergo bibamus

 German student song

This famous student song was written in 1810 by German national poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and set to music by composer Max Eberwein three years later. To this day, “Ergo bibamus” is still one of the most popular traditional German student songs.

We're gathered together to sing and rejoice,
My Brothers! Let us drink!

Categories: Drinking songs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Tuesday 18 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Allegro by Ranish

 from Flute Sonata in D major

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

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 19 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Vivace by Telemann

 from Canonic Sonata for Two Flutes No. 5

This is the first movement from Georg Philipp Telemann's fifth Canonic Sonata for two flutes. As with all of these sonatas, the two players play the exact same melody, but (in this case) three measures apart.

Categories: Baroque Canons SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 20 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Study in F-sharp major by Berbiguier

 from “Eighteen Exercises or Etudes for Flute”

This is the seventeenth étude from 18 exercices pour la flûte traversière by French Romantic composer Benoit Tranquille Berbiguier. Don't get intimidated by all the sharps!

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: advanced
Friday 21 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Her Sheep Had in Clusters

 Traditional English air

This traditional air appears in the 1840 music manuscript collection of musician John Rook. The song “Her sheep had in clusters crept close to a grove”, a setting of Dublin-born poet and dramatist John Cunningham's pastoral poem Corydon and Phyllis, appears in a number of late 18th and early 19th century songsters on both sides of the Atlantic.

Categories: Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Saturday 22 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Adagio by John Ranish

 from Flute Sonata in D major

This ornate Adagio is the opening movement of Sonata No. 2 in D major from XII Solos for the German Flute, Op. 2 by English Baroque composer John Ranish.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 23 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Larghetto by Quantz

 from Flute Duet No. 1 in G major

This is the slow central movement of a Flute Duet in G major that the famous German flutist and composer Johann Joachim Quantz composed in 1759.

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 24 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Study in F-sharp minor by Andersen

 from “24 Etudes for Flute”

Here is another étude by Danish flutist Joachim Andersen. This 3/8-time Allegretto in F-sharp minor is study No. 8 from his Twenty-Four Etudes for Flute, Op. 33.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 25 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Hail to the Chief

 Official Presidential Anthem of the United States

This tune accompanies the appearance of the President of the USA at many public appearances.

Verses from Sir Walter Scott's poem The Lady of the Lake, including “Hail to the Chief who in triumph advances!” were set to music around 1812 by the songwriter James Sanderson, a self-taught English violinist and the conductor of the Surrey Theatre, London, who wrote many songs for local theatrical productions.

Scott's romance was quickly made into unauthorized romantic melodramas. Around that time, the poet received a letter from a friend and army officer who ended his note with a copy of the music of “Hail to the Chief”. In 1829, Andrew Jackson was the first President to have the song used to honor his position.

Thanks to Steve for suggesting this tune!

Categories: PatrioticDifficulty: easy
Wednesday 26 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Allegro by John Ranish

 from Flute Sonata in D major

This is the final movement of Sonata No. 2 in D major from XII Solos for the German Flute, Op. 2 by English Baroque composer John Ranish.

Categories: Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 27 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Cantabile by Telemann

 from Canonic Sonata for Two Flutes No. 5

This is the central movement from Georg Philipp Telemann's fifth Canonic Sonata for two flutes. As with all of these sonatas, the two players play the exact same melody, but one (as in this case) or more measures apart.

Categories: Baroque Canons SonatasDifficulty: easy
Friday 28 September 2012

Tune of the Day: La flûte élastique

 Contemporary étude for solo flute

Today's piece was kindly contributed to our collection by its author, Italian flutist and arranger Corrado Cristaldi. It is a study in flexibility, to be played “softly but brilliantly, like the movement of a feather in the wind”.

The composer suggests the following fingerings for measures 12 and 13:

Also note that the unterminated slur at the very end of the study instructs the performer to let the flute resonate on that last note.

Categories: Contemporary Etudes Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 29 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Gaudeamus igitur

 Traditional European academic song

Also known as “De Brevitate Vitae” (“On the Shortness of Life”), this is a popular academic song in many European countries, mainly sung or performed at university graduation ceremonies. Despite its use as a formal graduation hymn, it is a very light-hearted composition in the tradition of carpe diem (“seize the day”), which exhorts to enjoy life. The song dates to the early 18th century, based on a Latin manuscript from 1287.

Johannes Brahms quoted the hymn in the final section of his Academic Festival Overture. The hymn is also quoted, along with other student songs, in the overture of Franz von Suppé's 1863 operetta Flotte Burschen.

Categories: Drinking songs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Sunday 30 September 2012

Tune of the Day: Grave Adagio by Albinoni

 from “Trattenimenti armonici”

This “Grave Adagio” is the opening movement of the first Sonata from the Trattenimenti armonici collection by Italian Baroque composer Tomaso Albinoni. Quite unusually, this piece starts off in C major, but ends in the parallel minor key of C minor.

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate