Monday, November 14, 2022

Prokofiev Classical Symphony Update


(to enlarge, click on photo)
Dear Flutelovers,
Eleven years ago ago I re-wrote the final movement of Prokofiev's Classical Symphony op. 25, for both flute players to switch to piccolos and play all the high Ds and all the difficult intersecting slurry eighth note bits on piccolo, instead of maiming themselves for months trying to play it the way it is actually written. 
The audible flute solos in the Finale are still on Flute, but the rest is quite relaxing to play comparatively.
And over the years I've received quite a few emails* that say "Whew!! Thanks for saving us HOURS of work Jen!" from grateful amateur players who feel that I've 'saved their bacon' with this easier re-write.
So I am pleased that it has worked out! And thanks to the eagle eyes of one player, who emailed today, I even found a bar missing from my original pdf of the parts, and so now have updated the score and parts with several small corrections and my Flute1&2/piccolo pdfs are all new and worth trying out in your own living room! Play along with the videos below and compare and contrast!

 In the emails and comments with thanks* that I've received from flutists trying out this Prokofiev piccolo re-write in performance, apparently, not once has a conductor yet noticed that the flute players were switching instruments. So you never know, the focus may not be on the flutes after all, but on the strings ha ha.
So try it. Just get your piccolo and flute out and learn how to do fast switches in cut time (hint: use your lap) and try out my free pdf parts:

This is the tempo it does go at, so be ready with your quick picc switches: (video starts at fourth mvmt.)

If you want to compare how all this works, and you don't have the parts that Prokofiev originally wrote, here are the original flute parts at IMSLP (you may have to wait 15 second for the free pdf at imslp's Prokofiev op.25 parts library).

We should all be able to focus on the gorgeous flute parts in the first three movements, and be able to have a fun piccolo time in the Finale, at least that's my theory for non-panic-making playing. I mean, what's with pianists-who-avoid-piccolo-switches-in-their-first-symphony-EVER anyway? Don't they know how super-fast we can do it?  (see my photo of Prokofiev at the top of the blogpost to see what I think he's thinking. :>)

My original post was from 2009 with more positive player-feedback in the comments there, and a bit more info. about how and why I did this. And the pdf parts and score links there are all updated too. So help yourselves. 
Now to update the REST of my website, hahahaha. Wow that'll take all winter if I start now! (Some of it is from 2001!! Eeek.)
Best, Jen
Notes from a happy picc-switcher:
* Dear Jen,
A thousand thanks for your excellent transformation of the Flute 1 and Flute 2 parts in the Finale of Prokofiev’s 1st Symphony.  You have saved me and my colleague hours and weeks of work which then in the end would only have produced a less than satisfactory result.  We’ve both taken out our piccolos and used the parts at our last two rehearsals and unless I’m much mistaken, I seem to recall the conductor said “Flutes – Brilliant!” at the end of the movement, having not even noticed that we were playing piccolos.  Now we can relax a little and enjoy the wonderful music, thank you so much. 
With best wishes  H