Saturday 1 September 2018

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

 from “Melodic Exercises”

This is the eighth piece from 24 Etudes mélodiques, Op. 110 by German flutist and composer Caspar Kummer. This collection has also been published in English as 24 Melodic Exercises.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 2 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Johnny with the Queer Thing

 Traditional Irish reel

This reel was collected by Chicago Police captain Francis O'Neill around the turn of the 20th Century, and published in his 1903 collection Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies. In his later collection Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody, O'Neill compares the first part of this tune with that of the more famous “The Arkansas Traveler”.

Categories: Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Monday 3 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Siciliano by Sammartini

 from Recorder Concerto in F major

A younger contemporary of J.S. Bach, Giuseppe Sammartini is generally recognized as one of the most significant composers of concertos and sonatas during his time. He was an oboist, but it is likely that he played the flute and recorder as well: indeed, among his vast instrumental output, there are 24 sonatas for flute and bass, and 30 trios involving the flute. The piece we present today is the central movement of his best-known composition, the Concerto in F major for recorder.

Thanks to Pamellia for suggesting this piece!

Categories: Baroque Concertos SicilianasDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 4 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Corrente by Corelli

 from Trio Sonata in E major, transcribed for two flutes

Today we propose the closing movement of Italian Baroque composer Arcangelo Corelli's Trio Sonata No. 10 in E major. You may notice that the key signature has only 3 sharps instead of 4, despite the piece being in E major (as testified by the numerous D-sharps). This kind of discrepancy was relatively common during the Baroque period.

Thanks to Mario for contributing this piece!

Categories: Baroque Courantes SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 5 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Study in E major by Hugues

 from “40 Esercizi per Flauto”

Today's piece is the nineteenth study from 40 Esercizi per Flauto (40 Exercises for Flute), Op. 101, by Italian flutist, composer and arranger Luigi Hugues.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 6 September 2018

Tune of the Day: St. Patrick's Day

 Traditional Irish jig and march

The first mention of this tune is that it was one of two tunes (with “The White Cockade”) played by the pipers of the Irish Brigade attached to the French forces which helped turn the tide of battle against the English troops at the battle of Fontenoy on May 11, 1745. Rutherford's 200 Country Dances (1756) contains the first country dance printing of the tune, which also appears in English collections as a jig by the name “Barbary Bell”. Typically for popular melodies of the time, it also became the vehicle for many songs, and as song, country dance or quickstep it remained popular for many years.

Queen Victoria requested the melody from piper Thomas Mahon when she and the Prince Consort visited Ireland for the first time in 1849. Mahon was surprised to learn that she and the Prince were familiar “with the best gems in Irish music”.

The melody has been danced and marched to in North America for some two hundred years where it has been very popular, sustained in part by the large immigrant Irish population as a signature anthem.

Categories: Jigs Marches Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Friday 7 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Le Retour de Mars

 from “Amusement palatin”

Today we propose the opening movement of Amusement palatin, a suite for solo instrument (“musette, vielle, flute and oboe” according to the original edition) and continuo by the French Baroque composer Nicolas Chédeville. The French title translates as “The Return of Mars”.

The piece is quite ornamented and features complex rhythms. In the last two measures the melody splits into two voices, so ideally the piece should be performed by two flutes, playing in unison until the finale. If that is not an option, one could simply play the upper voice, maybe inserting the two runs of 32ths from the lower voice.

Categories: BaroqueDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 8 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Begone Dull Care

 Traditional English song and dance tune

This song's title appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes, which he wrote c. 1800.

Begone dull care! I prithee be gone from me;
Begone dull care! You and I shall never agree.
Long time hast thou been tarrying here and fain thou wouldst me kill.
But in faith, dull care, thou never shalt have thy will.

The present arrangement for two flutes is taken from Blake's Young Flutist's Magazine, which was published in Philadelphia in 1833.

Categories: Dance tunes Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Sunday 9 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Study in E major by Kummer

 from “Melodic Exercises”

This is the ninth piece from 24 Etudes mélodiques, Op. 110 by German flutist and composer Caspar Kummer. This collection has also been published in English as 24 Melodic Exercises.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 10 September 2018

Tune of the Day: The Queen's Shilling

 Traditional Irish reel

The first appearance of this reel in print is in Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland, published in Chicago in 1903, under the title “Lady Mary Ramsay”. The title “The Queen's Shilling” made its debut in O'Neill's “The Dance Music of Ireland”, published in 1907.

The King's shilling, sometimes called the Queen's shilling when the Sovereign is female, is a historical slang term referring to the earnest payment of one shilling given to recruits to the Armed forces of the United Kingdom. To “take the King's/Queen's shilling” was to agree to serve as a sailor or soldier in the Royal Navy or the British Army. The term is still used informally, although the practice officially stopped in 1879.

Categories: Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Tuesday 11 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Capriccio in G major by Ruge

 for solo flute

This is the fourteenth piece from a collection of 17 Capricci for Flauto Traverso by Italian flutist and composer Filippo Ruge. Born in Rome around 1725, Ruge appears to have spent most of his professional life in France, and especially in Paris, where several of his compositions were published, ranging from small-scale chamber music to large-scale symphonic works.

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 12 September 2018

Tune of the Day: L'Italienne

 by Michel Pignolet de Montéclair, for two flutes

This is the sixth movement of the fourth of six Concerts à deux Flutes Traversières sans Basse by the French Baroque composer Michel Pignolet de Montéclair. Here the French word concert is a synonym of “suite”, and has nothing to do with the Italian concerto. The title of the movement, “L'Italienne”, translates literally as “The Italian One”.

Thanks to Marco for suggesting this piece!

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 13 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Study in C-sharp minor by Hugues

 from “40 Esercizi per Flauto”

Today's piece is the twentieth study from 40 Esercizi per Flauto (40 Exercises for Flute), Op. 101, by Italian flutist, composer and arranger Luigi Hugues.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 14 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Rory O'More

 March and country dance tune

Roger “Rory” O’More (c. 1600–1655) was a minor Irish noble and the titular King of Laois, who rose to fame as the scourge of the English during the reign of Charles I.

This jig was composed by Irish songwriter, composer, novelist and painter Samuel Lover (1797–1868), and became the “hit tune” of 1837. Although initially a dance tune (a popular Scottish country dance is called “Rory O'More”), it was absorbed as a common march in the Victorian era British army, and can be found in martial manuscript books dating from the 1850s. Overseas, in America, it also caught popular fancy and appeared in Elias Howe's The Complete Preceptor for the Accordeon (1843), surviving and achieving some longevity in its initial genre, i.e. as a country dance tune.

Categories: Dance tunes Jigs MarchesDifficulty: easy
Saturday 15 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Andante by Paul Merkus

 for flute and piano

Today we have a new contribution from our guest composer from the Netherlands, Paul Merkus. This early piece for flute and piano was written back in the summer of 1986.

This little piece of only 32 bars is in the key of D minor, which is so attractive for the flute to play. The piece starts with the exposition of the theme by the flute in the first eight bars, after which the piano takes over, accompanied by the flute. In the second part there is a counter-theme which is at first supported by quiet chords in the piano accompaniment, but in the recapitulation of the main theme this quietness has given way to animosity in (especially the left hand of) the piano part. In this final reprise the flute reaches higher heights, before coming to a conclusion in a closing Picardy chord.

Categories: Contemporary Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 16 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Duet in G minor by Devienne

 from “Nouvelle Méthode pour la flûte”

This short duet is taken from the Nouvelle Méthode théorique et pratique pour la flûte by the French flutist and composer François Devienne.

Thanks to Paul for requesting this piece!

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Monday 17 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Study in C-sharp minor by Kummer

 from “Melodic Exercises”

This is the tenth piece from 24 Etudes mélodiques, Op. 110 by German flutist and composer Caspar Kummer. This collection has also been published in English as 24 Melodic Exercises.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 18 September 2018

Tune of the Day: The Happy Clown

 Traditional English tune

This air was first published in London by John Young in the Second Volume of the Dancing Master (1718). However, William Stenhouse, in commentary on The Scots Musical Museum, claims to have had a manuscript version from 1709. John Gay employed the melody in The Beggar's Opera (1729) for a song by Lucy beginning “I'm like a skiff on the ocean toss'd”. Subsequently, it was included in a number of ballad operas of the period.

Thanks to Phil for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Jigs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Wednesday 19 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Le Cerf

 from “Amusement palatin”

Today we propose the second movement of Amusement palatin, a suite for solo instrument (“musette, vielle, flute and oboe” according to the original edition) and continuo by the French Baroque composer Nicolas Chédeville. The French title “Le Cerf” translates as “The Deer”.

Categories: BaroqueDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 20 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Laurette

 from “Le petit chaperon rouge”, arranged for two flutes

This melody appears, as a ronde for voice and piano with first line “Depuis longtemps, gentille Anette”, near the end of Act I of the 1818 opera Le petit chaperon rouge (Little Red Riding Hood) by French composer François-Adrien Boieldieu.

The present arrangement for two flutes is taken from Blake's Young Flutist's Magazine, published in 1833.

Categories: Arias Classical Opera excerptsDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 21 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Study in B major by Hugues

 from “40 Esercizi per Flauto”

Today's piece is the twenty-first study from 40 Esercizi per Flauto (40 Exercises for Flute), Op. 101, by Italian flutist, composer and arranger Luigi Hugues.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 22 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Cameron House

 Traditional Scottish strathspey

This traditional Scottish tune appears in the 5th volume of James Aird's Selections of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, published in Glasgow in 1797.

Cameron House, an 18th-century baronial mansion, was built on the remains of a 14th-century keep in Luss, on the southwest shore of Loch Lomond, Dunbartonshire (now Argyll and Bute).

Categories: Celtic Music Reels Strathspeys Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 23 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Capriccio in D major by Ruge

 for solo flute

This is the fifteenth piece from a collection of 17 Capricci for Flauto Traverso by Italian flutist and composer Filippo Ruge. Born in Rome around 1725, Ruge appears to have spent most of his professional life in France, and especially in Paris, where several of his compositions were published, ranging from small-scale chamber music to large-scale symphonic works.

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: advanced
Monday 24 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Preludio by Corelli

 from Trio Sonata in E-flat major, transcribed for two flutes

Today we propose the opening movement of Italian Baroque composer Arcangelo Corelli's Trio Sonata No. 11 in E-flat major. You may notice that the key signature has only 2 flats instead of 3, despite the piece being in E-flat major. This kind of discrepancy was relatively common during the Baroque period.

This piece was originally composed for two violins and continuo. A couple of notes have been altered to make it playable on the flute, namely three Bb3 which have been raised: the 2nd note of measure 3 and the 7th note of measure 12 in the first violin, and the 2nd note of measure 4 in the second violin.

Thanks to Mario for contributing this piece!

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 25 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Study in B major by Kummer

 from “Melodic Exercises”

This is the eleventh piece from 24 Etudes mélodiques, Op. 110 by German flutist and composer Caspar Kummer. This collection has also been published in English as 24 Melodic Exercises.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 26 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow

 Traditional Irish air

“Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow” (Cailin Deas Crúite na mBó in the Irish language) is a traditional 18th-century Irish ballad. The song was originally sung in Irish Gaelic, but there is also an English version, attributed to Thomas Moore. It was popular through the early 20th century, and enjoyed a revival when an updated swing version sung by Irish-American singer/actress Judy Garland was featured in the 1940 film Little Nellie Kelly. It remained a popular number for Garland throughout her career.

Categories: Ballads Celtic Music Slow airs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Thursday 27 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Menuet by Chédeville

 from “Amusement palatin”

This short minuet constitutes the third movement of Amusement palatin, a suite for solo instrument (“musette, vielle, flute and oboe” according to the original edition) and continuo by the French Baroque composer Nicolas Chédeville.

Categories: Baroque MinuetsDifficulty: easy
Friday 28 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Duet in A major by Devienne

 from “Nouvelle Méthode pour la flûte”

This short duet is taken from the Nouvelle Méthode théorique et pratique pour la flûte by the French flutist and composer François Devienne.

Thanks to Paul for suggesting this piece!

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 29 September 2018

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

 from “40 Esercizi per Flauto”

This study in F-sharp major (6 sharps in the key signature) is the twenty-second piece from 40 Esercizi per Flauto (40 Exercises for Flute), Op. 101, by Italian flutist, composer and arranger Luigi Hugues.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 30 September 2018

Tune of the Day: Sweet Molly

 Traditional Scottish reel

The earliest appearance of this reel in print is in Neil Stewart's A Collection of the Newest and Best Reels Or Country Dances, published in 1761. It is however very similar to another reel, titled “Hopetoun House”, which first appeared in Robert Bremner's A Collection of Scots Reels or Country Dances (1757). The tune has many variants and is known under a number of different titles, both in Scotland and in Ireland.

Categories: Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy