Saturday 1 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Young Terence McDonough

 Traditional Irish air

This lament was composed (as “Lament for Terence MacDonough”) by Turlough O'Carolan to commemorate the death of the son of Terence MacDonogh of Sligo, Ireland, in 1713. The melody, which was first printed in Dublin in Collection of the Most Celebrated Irish Tunes (c. 1724), was later used with Sir Walter Scott's poem “The Return to Ulster”, and was also employed as the air to the song “The Moon Dimmed Her Beams”.

Categories: Slow airs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Sunday 2 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Adagio by Boismortier

 from Flute Sonata in A major

This is the third movement of the fifth 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 3 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Bourrée by Montéclair

 for two flutes

This bourrée and its accompanying double constitute the seventh movement of the last 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 Bourrées Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 4 February 2020

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

 from “24 Etudes for Flute”

Today we propose the twenty-first study from Twenty-Four Etudes for Flute, Op. 21, by Danish flutist Joachim Andersen. It was first published in 1886.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 5 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Rocking the Cradle

 Traditional Irish air

Tune collector Francis O'Neill found that this song and air had been almost entirely forgotten in Ireland. The version he printed in his Music of Ireland (1903) was taken from an American publication of c. 1850, though he found a “fair version” in Smith's Irish Minstrel (Edinburgh, 1825). Paul de Grae remarks that O'Neill's “American” setting is likely drawn from J.T. Surenne's 1854 song setting called “I sat in the vale”, for which “Rocking the Cradle” is the indicated air.

Categories: Slow airs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Thursday 6 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Largo by Locatelli

 from Flute Sonata in F major

This Largo is the opening movement of the eighth of 12 sonatas for flute and continuo by Italian composer Pietro Antonio Locatelli, originally published in Amsterdam in 1732.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 7 February 2020

Tune of the Day: The Celebrated Saxon Air

 arranged for two flutes

This flute duet is taken from Blake's Young Flutist's Magazine, published in Philadelphia in 1833.

We were unable to track the exact origins of the melody, but we found that it had previously appeared in a 1823 collection of music titled The Melodist.

Categories: Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 8 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Study in D minor by Prill

 from “30 Studies in All Keys”

This is the eighteenth piece from 30 Etüden in allen Tonarten für Flöte (“30 Studies in All Keys for Flute”), Op. 6, by German flutist Emil Prill. It was first published in Leipzig in 1894.

Categories: Etudes Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 9 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Old Man Rocking The Cradle

 Traditional Irish air

According to Francis O'Neill's collection Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (1922), this is a descriptive piece wherein an old man gives voice to his woes, punctuated by the wailing of a peevish child and its calls for its Ma-ma. Skillful fiddlers and pipers would imitate those cries. The fiddle was lowered in pitch and the fiddler would lightly touch the bridge with a large door key held in his teeth to simulate the tones of human expression.

Categories: Lullabies Slow airs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Monday 10 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Gavotta by Boismortier

 from Flute Sonata in A major

This gavotte is the fourth and final movement of the fifth 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 Gavottes Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 11 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Gavotte by Montéclair

 for two flutes

This gavotte is the eighth movement of the last 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 Gavottes Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 12 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Study in G minor by Andersen

 from “24 Etudes for Flute”

Today we propose the twenty-second study from Twenty-Four Etudes for Flute, Op. 21, by Danish flutist Joachim Andersen. It was first published in 1886.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 13 February 2020

Tune of the Day: One Bottle More

 Traditional Irish air

The tune is often attributed to blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670–1738), although Donal O'Sullivan, in his definitive work on the bard could find no incontrovertible evidence of its origin. He does say it is in the harper's style and may have been composed by him, but the only attribution to Carolan in printed sources is in O'Neill's Music Of Ireland (1903), and it is not considered reliable. The tune was first published by Holden in 1806. Lyrics (not original with O'Carolan, but of a later era) set to the tune were published in Crosby's Irish Musical Repository (1808), and go:

Assist me, ye lads who have hearts void of guile,
To sing in the praises of old Ireland's isle,
Where true hospitality opens the door,
And friendship detains us for one bottle more.
One bottle more, arrah, one bottle more,
And friendship detains us for one bottle more.

Categories: Slow airs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Friday 14 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Vivace by Locatelli

 from Flute Sonata in F major

This Vivace is the second movement of the eighth of 12 sonatas for flute and continuo by Italian composer Pietro Antonio Locatelli, originally published in Amsterdam in 1732.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 15 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Oh Nanny Wilt Thou Gang With Me

 arranged for two flutes

The music to this 18th-century song was composed by Thomas Carter (1735–1804), who published it in his first collection of Vauxhall songs in 1773. Carter was born in Dublin, but settled in London around the year 1772, where he found employ as a composer of songs for public gardens, later graduating to composing for the stage. Words to the ballad were by Shropshire-born cleric Thomas Percy, author of Reliques of English Poetry (1765). His wife Nanny (Nancy) was appointed nurse to the infant Prince Edward in London in 1771. Her duties fulfilled, she returned home to her disconsolate husband, who greeted her with his verses. The Gentleman's Magazine of 1780 regarded it as “the most beautiful song in the English language”.

The music was in the Scottish style, and proved popular both in England and Scotland, although poet Robert Burns objected the foisting of Scottish dialect into Percy's version (called “O Nanny, Wilt Thou go with Me?”).

O Nannie, wilt thou gang wi' me,
Nor sigh to leave the flaunting town?
Can silent glens have charms for thee,
The lowly cot, the russet gown?
No longer dress'd in silken sheen,
No longer deck'd wi' jewels rare,
Say can'st thou quit each courtly scene,
Where thou wert fairest of the fair?

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

Categories: Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 16 February 2020

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

 from “30 Studies in All Keys”

This is the nineteenth piece from 30 Etüden in allen Tonarten für Flöte (“30 Studies in All Keys for Flute”), Op. 6, by German flutist Emil Prill. It was first published in Leipzig in 1894.

Categories: Etudes Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 17 February 2020

Tune of the Day: On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at

 Traditional English song

Often considered the unofficial anthem of Yorkshire, this folk song is of course sung in the Yorkshire dialect. Its title, “On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at”, means “On Ilkley Moor without a hat”.

The song tells of a lover courting the object of his affections, Mary Jane, on Ilkley Moor without a hat (“baht 'at”). The singer chides the lover for his lack of headwear – for in the cold winds of Ilkley Moor this will mean his death from exposure. This will in turn result in his burial, the eating of his corpse by worms, the eating of the worms by ducks and finally the eating of the ducks by the singers.

The song is sung to the Methodist hymn tune “Cranbrook”, composed by Canterbury-based shoemaker Thomas Clark in 1805, which was later used as a tune for “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks”. However, “On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at” became so popular that the origin of the music as a hymn tune has been almost forgotten in the United Kingdom. It is still used for “While Shepherds Watched” in some churches, but no longer widely recognized as a hymn or carol tune, except perhaps in the United States, where it is customarily used with the lyrics of Philip Doddridge's “Grace! 'Tis a Charming Sound”.

Thanks to Heather for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Hymn tunes Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Tuesday 18 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Andante by Boismortier

 from Flute Sonata in G minor

This Andante is the opening movement of the sixth 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
Wednesday 19 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Sicilienne by Montéclair

 for two flutes

This sicilienne is the ninth movement of the last 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 Sicilianas Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 20 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Study in F major by Andersen

 from “24 Etudes for Flute”

Today we propose the twenty-third study from Twenty-Four Etudes for Flute, Op. 21, by Danish flutist Joachim Andersen. It was first published in 1886.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 21 February 2020

Tune of the Day: Teddy O'Neill

 Traditional Irish air

This gorgeous air comes from the Rice-Walsh manuscript, a collection of music from the repertoire of Jeremiah Breen, a blind fiddler from North Kerry, Ireland, notated by his student.

Categories: Slow airs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy