Friday 1 January 2021

Tune of the Day: O'Sullivan's March

 Traditional Irish tune

This tune is nowadays played more often as a jig, but is said to have been the march of the Kerry-based Irish Clan of O'Sullivan. However, antecedents to the melody can be found in the Scottish “The Highlander's March” (printed in James Oswald's “Caledonian Pocket Companion”, c. 1760) and, nearly a century earlier, in the English “Montrose's March” (printed in Playford's “Musick's Hand-Maid”, 1663).

A recording of “O'Sullivan's March” by Matt Molloy of The Chieftains was notably featured in the soundtrack for the 1995 film Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson.

Categories: Celtic Music Jigs Marches Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Saturday 2 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Study in E minor by Fürstenau

 from “24 Daily Studies”

Today we propose the sixth study from 24 Tägliche Studien (24 Daily Studies) by German flutist and composer Anton Bernhard Fürstenau, first published in Berlin in 1839.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 3 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Allegro by Bellinzani

 from Recorder Sonata in A minor

This is the fourth and final movement of the sixth sonata from Sonate a flauto solo con cembalo, o violoncello (“Sonatas for solo flute with harpsichord or cello”) by Italian Baroque composer Paolo Benedetto Bellinzani, originally published in Venice in 1720.

This movement has actually no tempo indication in the original manuscript, but it usually appears as an “Allegro” in modern editions.

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 4 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Duet in E minor by Köhler

 from “20 Easy and Melodic Studies”

Today's piece is duet No. 7 from the second volume of Ernesto Köhler's Twenty Easy Melodic Progressive Studies. The second flute part is more technically demanding then the first flute part, as it is meant to be played by a teacher.

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 5 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Study in A major by Hugues

 from “30 Studies”

This study in triple-tonguing is the twenty-second piece from 30 Studi, Op. 32, by Italian flutist, composer and arranger Luigi Hugues.

Categories: Double tonguing Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: advanced
Wednesday 6 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Gladly Would I Go

 Traditional Scottish/Irish tune

This march tune is taken from Francis O'Neill's collection Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody, published in Chicago in 1922. He writes:

This fine old march was memorized from the playing of William McLean, a famous Highland piper much admired in Chicago some fifty years ago. The tune in almost identical setting was included in a book of pipe music, published at Glasgow about 1825 under two names: “The Duke of Athol's March” and a long Gaelic title expressive of romance and chivalry. Its spirited swing and characteristic cadences, no less than its Gaelic title indicate an Irish origin.

The tune is practically identical to the Irish jig “Move Up to Me”.

Categories: Jigs Marches Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Thursday 7 January 2021

Tune of the Day: So Long, Mother

 by Egbert Van Alstyne, transcribed for flute and piano

Originally written for voice and piano, this World War I era song was released in 1917. It is one of the best-known compositions by Illinois-born pianist Egbert Van Alstyne, and was notably sung by the great Al Jolson.

The song is told from a soldier's point of view as he comforts his heavyhearted mother before he leaves for war.

So long my dear old lady, don't you cry
Just kiss your grown-up baby goodbye
Somewhere in France I'll be dreaming of you
You and your dear eyes of blue
Come let me see you smile before we part
I'll throw a kiss to cheer your dear old heart
Dry the tear in your eye
Don't you sigh, don't you cry
So long, mother, kiss your boy goodbye

Thanks to Sarah for suggesting this piece!

Categories: 20th century MarchesDifficulty: easy
Friday 8 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Trilogette by Paul Merkus

 for flute quartet

Today we have a new contribution from our guest composer from the Netherlands, Paul Merkus. And this time, it's a flute quartet!

Back in the summer of 2002 I dedicated some time in an attempt to write a small fugue (hence a “fughetta”). As is widely known, a characteristic of the polyphonic fugue is that (just like in a canon) the voices enter one by one and so only a single voice sounds in the beginning. One of the differences between a fugue and a canon is that in a fugue the voices do not start at the same pitch (as they do in a canon), but always a fifth higher. Well, always, that's what I thought, and in this fughetta I've also had the third voice enter in the fifth higher above the second entrance. Later it turned out (by reading more on it) that I was wrong and that normally the third voice starts again on the same pitch as the first (so not again in the upper fifth). Furthermore, I thought that the second theme (the countersubject) is immediately played by the first voice, together with the start of the theme by the second voice. In general, this does not appear to be the case either.

Hence, this first result has become a kind of crossing between a fugue and a canon. Every voice is and remains the same (even after the theme) and all voices enter on the upper fifth of the previous one. The whole fughetta therefore keeps modulating from tonality to tonality.

In music literature a fugue is often preceded by a prelude, which is why one often speaks of “Prelude and Fugue”. Here too I added such a prelude, and also a small one (like the fughetta), hence the name “Preludietto”. The eight bars of prelude are in the parallel minor key of the first fughetta theme and attempt to create the right atmosphere at a slow tempo, set in the form of a kind of chorale. But then, it remained a very short, open ended piece, so I added another part at the end: a short coda, followed by an extended reprise of the “Preludietto”. This resulted in the complete piece, which could have been called “Preludietto, Fughetta e Codetta”.

Although originally written for string or vocal quartet, I rearranged this as a flute quartet, to be played by four flutes (of which at least one has a B foot).

Categories: Contemporary Fugues Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 9 January 2021

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

 from “24 Daily Studies”

Today we propose the seventh study from 24 Tägliche Studien (24 Daily Studies) by German flutist and composer Anton Bernhard Fürstenau, first published in Berlin in 1839.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: advanced
Sunday 10 January 2021

Tune of the Day: The Railway

 Traditional Scottish tune

The earliest known appearance of this cheery jig is in Volume 3 of James S. Kerr's Merry Melodies, published in Glasgow around 1880.

Thanks to Phil for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Jigs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Monday 11 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Vivace by Corelli

 from Violin Sonata in G minor, transcribed for flute and keyboard

This Vivace is the fourth movement of Italian Baroque composer Arcangelo Corelli's Violin Sonata No. 5 in G minor, which was originally published in 1700 as part of his 12 Violin Sonatas, Op. 5.

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 12 January 2021

Tune of the Day: They're a' Noddin'

 Traditional Scottish air, arranged for two flutes

Now better known as “We're a Nodding”, this humorous mid-19th century song was included in a musical play based on Sir Walter Scott's Tales of My Landlord, called Montrose, or the Children of the Mist. Staged at Covent Garden Theatre in 1822, it was quite successful, and the song even received an encore. The music was apparently selected from existing Scottish airs.

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

Categories: Traditional/FolkDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 13 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Study in D minor by Hugues

 from “30 Studies”

This agitated study is the twenty-fourth piece from 30 Studi, Op. 32, by Italian flutist, composer and arranger Luigi Hugues.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: advanced
Thursday 14 January 2021

Tune of the Day: No Surrender

 Traditional Irish march

The oldest known appearance of this tune is in a manuscript volume of Irish melodies compiled by Henry Hudson (Dublin, c. 1841). In Ancient Irish Music (Dublin, 1873), P.W. Joyce remarks:

It is printed in the Ordnance Memoir of Londonderry where, however, it is practically inaccessible to the general public, as that book is very scarce. It has long been appropriated as the marching tune of the yearly celebration of the shutting and opening of the gates of Derry.

Categories: Marches Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Friday 15 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Largo by Bellinzani

 from Recorder Sonata in G minor

This is the opening movement of the seventh sonata from Sonate a flauto solo con cembalo, o violoncello (“Sonatas for solo flute with harpsichord or cello”) by Italian Baroque composer Paolo Benedetto Bellinzani, originally published in Venice in 1720.

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 16 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Duet No. 10 by Köhler

 from “20 Easy and Melodic Studies”

Today's piece is duet No. 10 from the second volume of Ernesto Köhler's Twenty Easy Melodic Progressive Studies.

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 17 January 2021

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

 from “24 Daily Studies”

Today we propose the eighth study from 24 Tägliche Studien (24 Daily Studies) by German flutist and composer Anton Bernhard Fürstenau, first published in Berlin in 1839.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: advanced
Monday 18 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Winter Garden Quadrille

 Traditional Irish tune

This quadrille set is taken from Francis O'Neill's Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody, published in Chicago in 1922. It cites as the source the manuscripts in the possession of his colleague, Chicago Police Sergeant James O'Neill.

Categories: Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Tuesday 19 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Giga by Corelli

 from Violin Sonata in G minor, transcribed for flute and keyboard

This gigue is the fifth and last movement of Italian Baroque composer Arcangelo Corelli's Violin Sonata No. 5 in G minor, which was originally published in 1700 as part of his 12 Violin Sonatas, Op. 5.

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 20 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Knight Errant

 arranged for two flutes

This march is attributed to Hortense de Beauharnais, the stepdaughter of French Emperor Napoleon I and Queen consort of Holland. Though she did not have any known education in composition, it is said that she was a very talented singer and pianist, and an acclaimed amateur composer.

A knight-errant is a figure of medieval chivalric romance literature. The adjective “errant” (meaning “wandering”) indicates how the knight-errant would wander the land in search of adventures to prove his virtues, either in knightly duels or in the pursuit of courtly love.

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

Categories: MarchesDifficulty: easy
Thursday 21 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Study in C major by Hugues

 from “30 Studies”

This study is the twenty-fifth piece from 30 Studi, Op. 32, by Italian flutist, composer and arranger Luigi Hugues.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 22 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Holiday Fancy

 Traditional Irish tune

This (apparently arbitrarily named) polka is taken from Francis O'Neill's Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody, published in Chicago in 1922.

This spirited tune was found among the [Chicago Police Sergeant James] O'Neill manuscript but without a title. With a view to its identification in the Index we have named it.

Categories: Polkas Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Saturday 23 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Presto by Bellinzani

 from Recorder Sonata in G minor

This is the second movement of the seventh sonata from Sonate a flauto solo con cembalo, o violoncello (“Sonatas for solo flute with harpsichord or cello”) by Italian Baroque composer Paolo Benedetto Bellinzani, originally published in Venice in 1720.

Categories: Baroque SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 24 January 2021

Tune of the Day: Allegro by Quantz

 from Flute Duet No. 4 in C major

This Allegro is the opening movement of a Flute Duet in C major by famous German flutist and composer Johann Joachim Quantz, first published in 1759.

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate