Thursday 1 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Hope's Hornpipe

 Traditional English tune

This hornpipe is taken from the 1840 music manuscript book Multum in Parvo, or A Collection of Old English, Scotch, Irish, Welsh Tunes by John Rook, a musician from Warerton, England. Rook was a multi-instrumentalist, judging from the cover picture of his collection, and played what appears to be the Northumbrian small-pipes, bugle, flute, fife and fiddle, among others, as he indicates the collection is “for his amusement on the above instruments”.

Categories: Hornpipes Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Friday 2 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Largo by Benedetto Marcello

 from Recorder Sonata No. 8 in D minor

This Largo is the third movement of a Sonata in D minor for recorder and basso continuo, written by Italian composer Benedetto Marcello around 1712.

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: easy
Saturday 3 January 2015

Tune of the Day: La Criarde

 Flute duet by J.B. de Boismortier

This gavotte constitutes the second duet in E major from the 55 Easy Pieces collection by French Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. The French title “La Criarde” literally means “The Yelling One”.

Categories: Baroque Gavottes Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 4 January 2015

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

 from “50 Etudes mélodiques”

This study is the fifteenth piece from 50 Etudes mélodiques pour la flûte by French flutist and composer Jules Demersseman.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 5 January 2015

Tune of the Day: The Sun Beams

 Traditional English tune

This English country dance tune appears in the 1770 music manuscript collection of Northumbrian musician William Vicker. Three years later it was also published in the third volume of Charles and Samuel Thompson's Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances.

Categories: Dance tunes Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Tuesday 6 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Allegro by Blavet

 from Flute Sonata No. 2

This Allegro is the fifth and final movement of the second of six sonatas for flute and continuo that Michel Blavet published in Paris in 1732.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 7 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Moderato by Kummer

 from “Trois petit duos faciles”

This Moderato is the opening movement of the third duet from German flutist and composer Caspar Kummer's Trois petits duos faciles (also published as Three Small and Easy Duos), Op. 20.

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 8 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Study in G minor by Andersen

 from “18 Etudes for Flute”

This is the fourteenth study from a collection of 18 Etudes for flute published in 1891 by Danish flutist and composer Joachim Andersen.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 9 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Rule, Britannia!

 British patriotic song

This famous song originates from the poem “Rule, Britannia” by James Thomson, which was set to music by composer Thomas Arne in 1740. It is strongly associated with the Royal Navy, but also used by the British Army.

The melody was reused by many composers. It was the theme for a set of variations for piano by Ludwig van Beethoven (WoO 79), who also used it in “Wellington's Victory”, Op. 91. Richard Wagner wrote a concert overture in D major based on the theme in 1837 (WWV 42). Johann Strauss I quoted the song in full as the introduction to his 1838 waltz “Homage to Queen Victoria of Great Britain”, Op. 103. Arthur Sullivan, Britain's leading composer during the reign of Queen Victoria, quoted from “Rule, Britannia!” on at least three occasions in music for his comic operas written with W.S. Gilbert and Bolton Rowe.

Thanks to Sebastian for suggesting this tune!

Categories: PatrioticDifficulty: easy
Saturday 10 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Presto by Benedetto Marcello

 from Recorder Sonata No. 8 in D minor

This 3/8-time Presto is the closing movement of a Sonata in D minor for recorder and basso continuo written by Italian composer Benedetto Marcello around 1712.

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 11 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Doucement by Boismortier

 from “Petites sonates à deux flûtes traversières”

This short duet is the third movement of the eighth sonata from a collection of 12 “little sonatas” for two flutes by the prolific French Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Monday 12 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Study in A major by Demersseman

 from “50 Etudes mélodiques”

This cut-time Allegro is the sixteenth piece from 50 Etudes mélodiques pour la flûte by French flutist and composer Jules Demersseman.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 13 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Chapel Keithack

 Traditional Scottish slow air

This tune was composed by fiddler William Marshall (1748–1883) of Fochabers, Morayshire. The Gaelic keithack translates as “wood”, so the title presumably means “chapel in the wood” or “wooden chapel”.

Thanks to Ronald for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Slow airs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 14 January 2015

Tune of the Day: La Vénitienne

 by Louis de Caix d'Hervelois

This piece was composed around 1730 by French Baroque composer and Louis de Caix d'Hervelois. Caix d'Hervelois wrote music almost exclusively for the viol, but most of his music has been transcribed for other instruments as well.

Thanks to Mag for suggesting this piece!

Categories: Baroque RondosDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 15 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Rondo by Kummer

 from “Trois petit duos faciles”

This Allegretto is the final movement of the second duet from German flutist and composer Caspar Kummer's Trois petits duos faciles (also published as Three Small and Easy Duos), Op. 20.

Categories: Romantic Rondos Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 16 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Study in E-flat major by Andersen

 from “18 Etudes for Flute”

This “slow” 9/8-time study constitutes the fifteenth piece from a collection of 18 Etudes for flute published in 1891 by Danish flutist and composer Joachim Andersen.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 17 January 2015

Tune of the Day: The Swallow's Tail

 Traditional Irish reel

This reel is known under many different titles, including “The Steeplechase”, “Take your Hand Away” and “Molly's Nightcap”. In his book Between the Jigs and the Reels (1994), Caoimhin Mac Aoidh states the tune is more correctly called in County Donegal the “Swallow's Tail Coat”, named after the long split-tail coats dancing masters wore.

This reel is often paired with “The Green Fields of America”.

Categories: Celtic Music Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 18 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Por qué de mis ojos

 from “La Revoltosa”, transcribed for solo flute

This duet, sung by the characters Felipe and Mari Pepa, is possibly the most famous piece from Ruperto Chapí's 1897 zarzuela La Revoltosa, one of the finest works of the genre. It is said that Camille Saint-Saëns, who was present at the premiere, commented: “How is it possible that in Spain they call this genre ‛small’ (chico)?”. What the composer of Carmen probably didn't know is that the adjective referred to the length of these comic opera pieces, rather than to their quality.

Thanks to Pablo for suggesting this piece!

Categories: ZarzuelasDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 19 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Prélude in F minor

 Flute duet by J.B. de Boismortier

This short prelude opens the fourteenth section of the 55 Easy Pieces collection by French Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier.

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Tuesday 20 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Study in E major by Demersseman

 from “50 Etudes mélodiques”

This “Allegro maestoso” in E major is the seventeenth piece from 50 Etudes mélodiques pour la flûte by French flutist and composer Jules Demersseman.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 21 January 2015

Tune of the Day: La Concorde

 National anthem of Gabon

This anthem was composed by Georges Aleka Damas, a public Gabonese figure who held many diplomatic posts since the mid-1940s, and was actively involved in politics and in the formation of labor unions. “La Concorde” was adopted as the national anthem of Gabon in 1960, the same year the Gabonese Republic was born.

Thanks to Paula for requesting this tune!

Categories: Marches National anthems PatrioticDifficulty: easy
Thursday 22 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Adagio by Blavet

 from Flute Sonata No. 3

This is the opening movement of the third of six sonatas for flute and continuo by French Baroque composer and flute virtuoso Michel Blavet, first published in Paris in 1732. This sonata is nicknamed “La Dhérouville”.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 23 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Allegretto by Devienne

 from “Six Duos pour Deux Flûtes”

This is the opening movement of the first of French flutist and composer François Devienne's Six Duos pour Deux Flûtes (“Six Duets for Two Flutes”), published in Paris around 1790.

Categories: Classical Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 24 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Study in C minor by Andersen

 from “18 Etudes for Flute”

This is the sixteenth study from a collection of 18 Etudes for flute published in 1891 by Danish flutist and composer Joachim Andersen.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 25 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Spanish Ladies

 Traditional British naval song

This capstan shanty (a shanty sung as the capstan was turned to raise the anchor) describes the story of British navy men sailing north from Spain and along the English Channel.

A ballad by the name of “Spanish Lady” was registered in 1624 with the Stationers' Company, and it is possible that it is related to this tune or one of its variants. The oldest mention of the present song, however, does not appear until the 1796 logbook of HMS Nellie, making it more likely a Napoleonic era invention.

The song has been found in several different minor and major keys, but folk music collector Cecil Sharp considers the version in minor keys to be the original. Several variants exist that use the same melody but substitute different lyrics. “Brisbane Ladies” is an Australian tune about drovers instead of sailors; a significantly modified version called “The Ryans and the Pittmans”, widely known as “We'll Rant and We'll Roar”, is from Newfoundland; and there is an American variant called “Yankee Whalermen”. The melody is also used for “Streets of Laredo”, a 19th-century American cowboy ballad.

“Spanish Ladies” is mentioned in the 40th chapter of Melville's Moby-Dick, and appears in Spielberg's 1975 film Jaws. It was also sung in the 2003 film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and in the 2007 film Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

Thanks to Steve for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Sea shanties Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Monday 26 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Adagio by Benedetto Marcello

 from Recorder Sonata No. 9 in C major

This Adagio is the opening movement of a Sonata in C major for recorder and basso continuo, written by Italian composer Benedetto Marcello around 1712.

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: easy
Tuesday 27 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Gavotte by Boismortier

 from “Petites sonates à deux flûtes traversières”

This gavotte constitutes the fourth and final movement of the eighth sonata from a collection of 12 “little sonatas” for two flutes by the prolific French Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier.

Categories: Baroque Gavottes Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 28 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Study in E-flat major by Demersseman

 from “50 Etudes mélodiques”

The piece we propose today is the eighteenth study from 50 Etudes mélodiques pour la flûte by French flutist and composer Jules Demersseman.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 29 January 2015

Tune of the Day: The Lass O' Corrie Mill

 Traditional Scottish strathspey

This Scottish tune is also known as “Carlisle Lasses”, and appears in Feldman and O'Doherty's Northern Fiddler collection as “Neil Gow's Strathspey”.

Categories: Celtic Music Strathspeys Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 30 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Mother Gigogne

 from “The Nutcracker”, transcribed for solo flute

This lively tune is taken from Act II of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's famous ballet The Nutcracker, when Mother Ginger has her children, the Polichinelles, emerge from under her enormous skirt to dance. The number is also known under the title “Mother Gigogne and the Clowns”.

Thanks to Mairi for suggesting this piece!

Categories: Ballet excerpts RomanticDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 31 January 2015

Tune of the Day: Duet in C major by Hugues

 from “School of Flute”

This is duet No. 18 from the first volume of Luigi Hugues's La scuola del flauto (The School of the Flute).

Thanks to Paolo for contributing this piece!

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate