Elaine Goodall – Oriental Butterfly
This piece is written in a pentatonic scale and I think does a beautiful job of conveying the image of an oriental butterfly. I love the way the melody glides up and down, and the trills are also particularly effective. Most of the melody is legato which suits the flute really well, but there is also a staccato section in the middle which makes a nice contrast.
David Bennett Thomas – Steeples in my Soul
This is an atonal piece which changes time signature frequently, including the use of very uncommon signatures such as 15/16. The overall effect is unusual and in places quite eerie. There are several interesting effects which I think work well on the flute, including a gradually faster and louder trill in bar 43, and a decrescendo followed by a crescendo through the same note at the very end.
Arthur Honegger – Danse de la Chevre
This is a piece of two characters – one a slightly cheeky dance with plenty of chromatic passages, and the second a peaceful pastorale in a more traditional major key. The dance is introduced first quite slowly and tentatively in the lower register, and returns in this way towards the end of the piece too giving it a sense of completion.
Mozart – Concerto for Flute and Harp, K.299
I went to a live performance of this concerto a few years ago by the European Medical Students’ Orchestra (EMSO), and was blown away by the flautist whose whole body seemed to move along in complete synchronisation with the beautiful melody. It’s a very traditionally Classical piece of music, full of elegance and symmetry. The second movement in particular has such a clear sense of direction in each of the melodic phrases, you almost feel yourself waiting to breathe with the flautist. I think this is achieved through a very clever combination of the dynamics and melodic shapes.