Friday, October 23, 2020

Rachel Brown plays Beethoven 1st

A special film to see!

Beethoven Symphony No. 1 with Rachel Brown Principal Flute (video)

(filmed in Sept. 2020 with social distancing)

As you can hear and see, Rachel is performing on a Beethoven-period flute (video demo of that historical flute) and she mentions that the flute of that time does not play A3 easily (takes extreme stamina and feels like a fifth higher!) and as a result, Beethoven avoids it by dropping the octave in the flute part for third octave A, Bb, & B.

On one of the flute discussion groups, Rachel asked:

In symphony orchestras with modern instruments do you automatically extend the phrases up to Bb (where the 1st flute is the only one to drop down), for instance in the Scherzo of the 9th symphony, and if so, where do you stop? Do you go up to B natural, for instance on the last page of the ninth? Do certain orchestras or particular conductors have their own traditions with this, or do you stick faithfully to what Beethoven wrote, even though it would be easy, in fact sometimes easier, to extend the range and stay in the high register?

Super interesting question when you can actually hear the tessitura of the period instruments in her most recent performance! (I remember asking myself the same question when playing Beethoven Symphonies!) Well, dive in. (flute parts at imslp). Use the comment button! :>)

Hope everyone is well in this seventh month of darn weirdo-time-bending lockdown.

All is well here in hobbity-land. 

October has been beautiful for us here on the coast. (photo by my neighbour)

Yes, we have deer here. And freighters. :>) Hoooooooooot!!!!

Best, Jen