Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gypsy Style flute repertoire for students

Dear Jen
I’m a flutist and teacher and just read your blog about the Xmas trios and thought I would ask your advice about repertoire for intermediate level HS students. Specifically, I have a couple of students who have been excited by and excelled at playing the “Hungarian Serenade” by Joncieres (in the Cavally, 24 Short concert Pieces book). They would love to play more pieces like this one, but I’m having trouble finding anything appropriate. Their interest and abilities are admittedly somewhat limited of course. Do you have some ideas?
I have found your website to be wonderful and fascinating.
Thanks so much.

Sample: Joncieres - Hungarian Serenade

Dear flute teacher,
Thanks for the sample of the Joncieres. Yes Hungarian style Serenades and other "gypsy-esque" pieces are so popular with teens between 12 and 16. I wish there were more!

Fortunately, there is a great deal of a similar style of music in the new Overtones flute series of repertoire books.

As I read through this set of eight repertoire books (with flute & piano full parts plus playalong CDs each book is only $18 to $24 each grade) I was struck by how many are in attractively exotic sounding minor keys, are nice and moody/emotional, have the kind of flash and flair and fast staccato sixteenth notes that highschool students typically love. So many students go through that "gypsy wanderer and flashy gypsy dance" stage, that I've always felt we should have more repertoire choices for them.

Of course it's tricky to know from your email exactly what difficulty level you need without hearing the students, but I'll start with suggestions for grade 4-7 so you can have an idea about the levels I'm using (a chart of flute levels is here.)

The five biggest winners for an exact match in style to the Hungarian Serenade by Joncieres are these selections from the new Overtones Flute Repertoire series: (note: I am not related to the sales of any flute books for any company in any way--I just love these graded flute solo collections! See indexes at bottom of this post.**)

Here are my flute repertoire picks for an exact match:

Grade 4 Overtones: Andersen Tanzlied opus 52, bk.2
Free Tanzlied sheetmusic.
Hear Tanzlied using the grade 4 repertoire video below from Overtones CD .

For these short videos, below, I've chosen all the similar style selections from the Grade 4 Overtones book, made fade-out clips so you can hear for yourself. (with lovely photos randomly added from the cameras of my friends and I).

I have chosen those flute pieces that are either in minor/moody modes, have fun and boppy sixteenth note passages, have a strong emotional appeal to teens, or have a folk music style themes.

Now: Continuing up the grade levels to flute grades 5 and 6:

Grade 5 Overtones book: Check out the Szervanszky Sonatina

(see grade 5 video below to hear it.)

Grade 6 Overtones: Andersen Intermezzo opus 52 no. 2
Free sheetmusic Andersen Library

(Click on the grade 5&6 video below hear a performance Andersen's Intermezzo at 1:45 minute mark.)

Grade 7 selections from Overtones:

Amirov - Six Pieces; the three movements selected here are PERFECT for students who want to sound rough, rollicking, folksy and middle-European! :>)

LISTEN: Amirov - Six Pieces excerpts

Also of interest:
Duvernoy - Morceaux op 41 excerpt

And of course, for grade six and higher I can also suggest the standard repertoire:

Grade 6-7 standard flute repertoire: gypsy-style/Hungarian/ethnic folk-theme flute music

Émile Pessard - Andalouse

Georges Hue - Serenade

Grade 8-9 flute level:

Donjon - Eight Salon Etudes - especially those like "Les Follets" which is terrific for this style of music and so very attractive to students. For unaccompanied flute solo or etude.

Morlacchi - The Swiss Shepherd (a bit dorky of theme, but folk like it!)

Sarasate - Czardas for flute & piano (too violinistic and "wrong key" for students, at least for me, but again, the ending kind of rocks the house if you manage it.) Free Czardas pdf.

Grade 9 to 10+

Doppler - Hungarian Pastorale Fantasy op. 26 (naturally!)

Andersen - Hungarian Fantasie Opus 2 (free online)

Jacob Gade - Tango Fantasy - James Galway edition.

Andersen - Fantasy Hongrois op. 59 (free online)

Note: When viewing the free Andersen pdfs, scroll down to final few pages, as the flute part is below piano score in the above pdfs.

If you want lots of this style at HIGHER grades to sift through, definitely look to Andersen library online. Andersen free sheetmusic library in Denmark. There are all opus numbers there in pdf.

More titles to check out:

Similar interest repertoire: Grade 4-9

Zgraja - The Modern Flutist Vol. 1 - 1970s folk-rock with lots of Hungarian style rhythmic flair
Garibaldi Etudes (free online)
Marais - La Basque (free online)
Berbiguier Eighteen Etudes - available in duet version with teacher's part by Altes.
Telemann - 12 Fantasias (free online)
Marais - Les Folies D'Espagne (selected variations)
Bartok - selected mvmts from Suite Paysanne Hongrois
Borne - Selections from the Ransom Wilson Edition (slightly easier) of Carmen Fantasy

For contrasting solos, here are pieces that often appeal to those same students:

Moody flute solo music - usually liked by students who like Doppleresque pieces:

Ravel - Pavane pour une infante defunte
Ravel - Piece en forme de Habanera
Gaubert - Madrigal
Faure - Sicilienne
André Reichert - Theme from Fantaisie mélancolique (OVERTONES*)
Michel Blavet - Sonata in G Minor(“La Lumagne”) - Siciliana (OVERTONES)
Foote - Trios pieces pour flute et piano op. 31 (OVERTONES)
Lefebre - Barcarolle Melancholique (OVERTONES)
Doppler - Hungarian Fantasy (an easy, short version: first 2 pages, then skip to last 2)
Faure- Morceau de Concours
Godard - Idylle from Suite de Trois Morceau
Miyagi - The Sea in Springtime - or Toward the Sea
Rhene-Baton - Passacaille
Mouquet - Bergeres from "La Flute de Pan"
Vivaldi - slow mvmts.from Piccolo Concerto in C, and other flute works.

Your students might also enjoy some playalong or "Music Minus One" sets for working on their own during holidays on music from other "gypsy" styles like Tangos & South American Choros by Celso Machado (very good!).

Grade 7-9 Music Minus One of spanish-style music are:

Music Minus one of Bossa Nova and Tangos (with playalong CD for flute and guitar) that is good for grade 6-8. This includes Liebertango by Piazzolla, Choros by Machado & other favourites: MMO3366

Also: Piazzolla Histoire du Tango and other Latin Classics for Flute (with playalong CD): MMO 3364 Note: The Sarasate pieces, and Granados are the easiest. The Piazzolla "Cafe 1930" movement is also playable at this level.

The Music Minus One books only come with the solo part and CD, so are not for use in concerts unless the accompanist buys the guitar MMO book. However there are MMO online sound samples of each of the pieces at the above links, which can be fun to preview new pieces the student might use for fun.
Also, here's a list for other likely favourite solos for flute of similar attractiveness.

For Duets in this style, of course, naturally, you'll be checking the Doppler duet repertoire once the students get to grade 9 level.

The easiest of the Doppler duets (grade 9 or so) is the Andante and Rondo op. 25

More Doppler Duos on youtube:
Doppler Hungarian Phantasy for Flute Duo op. 35 - played by two outstanding HS flutists into a mic in a gym, and they play without moving at all! Send your students to see this one!

Doppler - Duettino Hongrois Motifs op. 36

Doppler - Duettino Americain op. 37

And for grade 5-7 flute students there are some fun, sort-of boppy-folky-variation style duets here:

Galli - Divertimento for two flutes: free online
Duets in theme-variation style by Cambini-Bellini and others are free online also.

The Overtone flute repertoire books are NEW this year, by the way!

*NEW Overtones series for flute - my previous Overtones blog post.

**Full index of Overtones Series: (page samples, complete descriptions.)

Hope this helps, and other teachers, do add your fave choices below using the comment button.
Best, Jen