Thursday 1 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Allegro di molto by Quantz

 from Flute Sonata in A major

This is the central movement of Johann Joachim Quantz's Sonata in A major for flute and continuo, QV 1:143. It is one of many works for flute that Quantz composed for his student and patron Frederick II, King of Prussia.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Friday 2 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Two Sarabandes by Montéclair

 for two flutes

These two sarabandes constitute the fourth movement of the third 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.

Categories: Baroque Sarabandes Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 3 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Study in C minor by Terschak

 from “Exercices journaliers”

Today we propose the twenty-second piece from Exercices journaliers pour la flûte (or Tägliche Studien in German, i.e. “Daily Exercises”) by Austro-Hungarian composer Adolf Terschak. It was first published in 1867.

In the original edition the time signature is 2/2, although the piece is notated entirely in 6/4. To avoid confusion, we used a time signature of 6/4.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 4 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Paddy McNamara's Reel

 Traditional Irish reel

This Dorian-mode reel is taken from 200 Irish Melodies for the Flute, published in 1840 by Irish-born flute maker, composer and player John Clinton.

Categories: Celtic Music Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Monday 5 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Two Minuetti by Boimortier

 from Flute Sonata No. 6 in A minor

These two minuets constitute the fourth and final movement of the sixth sonata from Sonates pour la flûte traversière avec la basse, Op. 19 by the prolific French Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. These sonatas were originally published in Paris in 1727.

Categories: Baroque Minuets Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 6 August 2019

Tune of the Day: L'amour est un enfant trompeur

 arranged for two flutes

This song was composed in 1792 by Jean Paul Égide Martini, who also authored the more famous “Plaisir d'amour”.

Love is a deceitful child,
My mother often tells me:
With its air full of sweetness
It's worse than a viper!

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

Categories: Classical Love songsDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 7 August 2019

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

 from “24 Technical Studies”

This is the twenty-first piece from 24 Technische Studien für Flöte (24 Technical Studies), Op. 11, by German flutist Emil Prill. It was first published in Leipzig in 1911.

Categories: Etudes Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 8 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Trying to Go to Sleep

 Traditional Irish reel

This reel is taken from Francis O'Neill's Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody, published in Chicago in 1922. In the collection, O'Neill cites himself as the source for this melody.

Categories: Celtic Music ReelsDifficulty: easy
Friday 9 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Allegretto ma grazioso by Quantz

 from Flute Sonata in A major

This is the third movement of Johann Joachim Quantz's Sonata in A major for flute and continuo, QV 1:143. It is one of many works for flute that Quantz composed for his student and patron Frederick II, King of Prussia.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 10 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Prelude by Montéclair

 for two flutes

This prelude is the fifth movement of the third 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.

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 11 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Study in A-flat major by Terschak

 from “Exercices journaliers”

Today we propose the twenty-third piece from Exercices journaliers pour la flûte (or Tägliche Studien in German, i.e. “Daily Exercises”) by Austro-Hungarian composer Adolf Terschak. It was first published in 1867.

The author notes that this study can also be played staccato with double-tonguing.

Categories: Double tonguing Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 12 August 2019

Tune of the Day: The Swells of Coolrahan

 Traditional Irish reel

This reel is taken from Francis O'Neill's collection Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melod,, published in 1922. O'Neill cites the “Pat. Dunne manuscript” as his source, and remarks that “Mr. Dunne was a farmer of the townland of Kilbraugh not far from Thurles, Tipperary.”

Categories: Celtic Music Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 13 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Allegro by Quantz

 from Flute Sonata in A major

This is the opening movement of Johann Joachim Quantz's Sonata in A major for flute and continuo, QV 1:145. It is one of many works for flute that Quantz composed for his student and patron Frederick II, King of Prussia.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 14 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Lass, Gin Ye Lo'e Me

 Traditional Scottish air, arranged for two flutes

This traditional Scottish song is said to be very ancient, the earliest appearance of the tune being in the second volume of James Aird's Selection of Scotch, English, Irish, and Foreign Airs (1782). The present arrangement for two flutes is taken from Blake's Young Flutist's Magazine, published in Philadelphia in 1833.

Categories: Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 15 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Study in C minor by Prill

 from “24 Technical Studies”

This is the twenty-second piece from 24 Technische Studien für Flöte (24 Technical Studies), Op. 11, by German flutist Emil Prill. It was first published in Leipzig in 1911.

Categories: Etudes Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 16 August 2019

Tune of the Day: The Old Maid

 Traditional Irish reel

This reel is taken from Francis O'Neill's Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody, published in Chicago in 1922. In the collection, O'Neill cites himself as the source for this melody.

Categories: Celtic Music Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Saturday 17 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Adagio by Boismortier

 from Flute Sonata No. 1 in D major

This is the opening movement of the first sonata from Six Sonates pour la Flûte traversière avec la Basse, Op. 44 by the prolific French Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. These sonatas were originally published in Paris in 1733.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 18 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Allemande by Montéclair

 for two flutes

This allemande is the sixth movement of the third 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.

Categories: Allemandes Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 19 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Study in F minor by Terschak

 from “Exercices journaliers”

Today we propose the twenty-fourth piece from Exercices journaliers pour la flûte (or Tägliche Studien in German, i.e. “Daily Exercises”) by Austro-Hungarian composer Adolf Terschak. It was first published in 1867.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: advanced
Tuesday 20 August 2019

Tune of the Day: The Falls of Doonass

 Traditional Irish reel

This reel is taken from Francis O'Neill's collection Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody, published in Chicago in 1922. The cited source is James Clancy from San Francisco. The Falls of Doonass are a section of rapids on the River Shannon, near the village of Castleconnell in County Limerick, Ireland.

Categories: Celtic Music Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 21 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Alla Siciliana by Quantz

 from Flute Sonata in A major

This is the central movement of Johann Joachim Quantz's Sonata in A major for flute and continuo, QV 1:145. It is one of many works for flute that Quantz composed for his student and patron Frederick II, King of Prussia.

Categories: Baroque Sicilianas Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 22 August 2019

Tune of the Day: The Harmonious Blacksmith

 by G.F. Handel, arranged for two flutes

“The Harmonious Blacksmith” is the popular name of the fourth and final movement, “Air and variations”, of George Frideric Handel's Suite No. 5 in E major, HWV 430, for harpsichord. This instrumental air was one of the first works for harpsichord published by Handel

There have been a number of explanations proffered as to why this movement was called “The Harmonious Blacksmith”. The name was not given by Handel and was not recorded until early in the 19th century, when the movement became popular on its own.

One story is that Handel, when working at Cannons between 1717 and 1718, once took shelter from the rain in a smithy, and was inspired to write his tune upon hearing the hammer on the anvil. A variation on the story is that he heard the blacksmith singing the tune which would later become the Air; this explanation fits in nicely with Handel's general technique of borrowing tunes. Neither story is true. The legend began three-quarters of a century after Handel's death with Richard Clark in his Reminiscences of Handel (1836). Clark found an old anvil in a smithy near Whitchurch, Edgware and fabricated a story to identify William Powell as the fictitious blacksmith, when, in fact, he had been the parish clerk. They raised a subscription for a wooden memorial to him, and in 1868, the people of Whitchurch subscribed again for a grandiloquent gravestone, which is still standing. However, Handel had written his harpsichord suites of the 1720 publication before he lived at Cannons, probably when he was at Adlington Hall in Cheshire, or even earlier still.

Another possible story concerns William Lintern, a blacksmith's apprentice from Bath who later took up music and so was The Harmonious Blacksmith. The piece came to be called after him, probably because he published it under that name for reasons outlined by William Chappell in the following extract from Grove's Dictionary of Music:

A few months after Clark's publication the writer saw the late J.W. Windsor, Esq., of Bath, a great admirer of Handel and one who knew all his published works. He told the writer that a story of the Blacksmith at Edgware was pure imagination, that the original publisher of Handel's lesson under that name (The Harmonious Blacksmith) was a music seller at Bath, named Lintern, whom he knew personally from buying music at the shop, that he had asked Lintern the reason for this new name, and he had told him that it was a nickname given to himself because, he had been brought up as a blacksmith, although he had afterwards turned to music, and that was the piece he was constantly asked to play. He printed the movement in a detached form, because he could sell a sufficient number of copies to make a profit.

The present arrangement for two flutes appeared in Blake's Young Flutist's Magazine, published in Philadelphia in 1833.

Categories: BaroqueDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 23 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Study in A-flat major by Prill

 from “24 Technical Studies”

This is the twenty-third piece from 24 Technische Studien für Flöte (24 Technical Studies), Op. 11, by German flutist Emil Prill. It was first published in Leipzig in 1911.

Categories: Etudes Written for FluteDifficulty: advanced
Saturday 24 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Oranges and Lemons

 Traditional English nursery rhyme

This traditional English nursery rhyme refers to the bells of several churches, all within or close to the City of London.

Oranges and lemons, Say the bells of St. Clement's. You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.
When will you pay me? Say the bells at Old Bailey. When I grow rich,
Say the bells at Shoreditch.
When will that be? Say the bells of Stepney. I do not know,
Says the great bell at Bow.

The song is used in a children's singing game with the same name, in which the players file, in pairs, through an arch made by two of the players (made by having the players face each other, raise their arms over their head, and clasp their partners' hands). The challenge comes during the final lines:

Here comes a candle to light you to bed, Here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

On the last word, the children forming the arch drop their arms to catch the pair of children currently passing through, who are then “out” and must form another arch next to the existing one. In this way, the series of arches becomes a steadily lengthening tunnel through which each set of two players has to run faster and faster to escape in time.

The song is one of the nursery rhymes most commonly referred to in popular culture. These include George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, where it is used as a snippet of nursery rhyme embodying the forgotten past that protagonist Winston Smith yearns for.

Thanks to Jan-Steyn for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Nursery rhymes Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Sunday 25 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Allegro by Boismortier

 from Flute Sonata No. 1 in D major

This Allegro is the second movement of the first sonata from Six Sonates pour la Flûte traversière avec la Basse, Op. 44 by the prolific French Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. These sonatas were originally published in Paris in 1733.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 26 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Gigue en Rondeau by Montéclair

 for two flutes

This gigue is the seventh movement of the third 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.

Categories: Baroque Jigs Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 27 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Study in D-flat major by Terschak

 from “Exercices journaliers”

Today we propose the twenty-fifth piece from Exercices journaliers pour la flûte (or Tägliche Studien in German, i.e. “Daily Exercises”) by Austro-Hungarian composer Adolf Terschak. It was first published in 1867.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 28 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Maiden Lane

 Traditions English tune

This tune was first published by London publisher John Playford in his English Dancing Master (1651) under the title “Mayden Lane”. It was retained by the Playfords, father and son, in the long-running series through the 10th edition of 1698, albeit the title spelling changed to “Maiden Lane” in 1675.

The Maiden Lane section of London, near Covent Garden and the River Thames, has been alternately a dissolute area and one of high fashion, sometimes at the same time.

Thanks to Phil for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Thursday 29 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Grazioso ma Vivace by Quantz

 from Flute Sonata in A major

This is the third and final movement of Johann Joachim Quantz's Sonata in A major for flute and continuo, QV 1:145. It is one of many works for flute that Quantz composed for his student and patron Frederick II, King of Prussia.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 30 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Evening Song of the Tyrolese Peasants

 arranged for two flutes

This song was originally a poem, authored in 1827 by English poet Felicia Hemans; shortly thereafter, it was set to music by her sister, Harriet Browne.

Come to the sunset tree! The day is past and gone;
The woodman’s axe lies free, And the reaper’s work is done.

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

Categories: RomanticDifficulty: easy
Saturday 31 August 2019

Tune of the Day: Study No. 24 in F minor

 from “24 Technical Studies”

This is the twenty-fourth piece from 24 Technische Studien für Flöte (24 Technical Studies), Op. 11, by German flutist Emil Prill. It was first published in Leipzig in 1911.

Categories: Etudes Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate