Woodwind repertoire

Here are a few brief notes from some of the pieces that drew my attention at the woodwind final in the BBC’s ‘Young Musician of the Year’.

Godard – Suite de Trois Morceaux (flute)

The first movement is a very fast moving melody, soaring up and down the range of flute. There is a lot of symmetry in the ascending and descending arpeggios which appealed to me, it is a very elegant style of music which suits the flute well.

Pequena Czarda – Iturralde (saxophone)

The introduction to this piece is a sad, slow melody, from which a fast gypsy style dance emerges, occasionally interrupted by the original theme.  In the dance itself the melody is formed primarily by the top notes which sing out over the busy arpeggios happening underneath.  I enjoyed the energy in the dance, which contrasted nicely with the opening.

Sancan – Sonatine (flute)

A musing sort of melody which frequently rests on long notes and then moves on again, with the harmonies from the piano underneath changing quickly.  I like the passages which start slowly, accelerate and then slow down again, conveying a kind of uncertainty.

Ziegenmeyer – Na Zdrowie from ‘The delayed flute’ (recorder)

An unusual and very clever piece by a contemporary composer which uses electronics to repeat back each phrase with a delay so that it sounds like an echo.  There are also some interesting effects on the recorder such as glissandos and sliding off the pitch at the end of the note.  It’s in a minor key with lots of emphasis on the 7th, and the melody alternates between staccato and legato passages which gives it lots of character.

Schumann – Romance Op. 94 no. 2 (flute)

A very lyrical piece which seamlessly changes between major and minor keys, exploiting different colours from the same musical idea.

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