Choice of pieces
List A includes staples from Mozart and Telemann, as well as Tre giorni son che Nina, an arrangement of a song attributed to Pergolesi. This is melodic and
highly appealing, though the complexities of rhythm and timing throughout may deter some candidates. However, it is well worth persevering with this piece.
List B gives two pieces in swung style, but in different tempi,as well as the haunting Chanson Serbe by Arrieu. The latter is a lovely introduction to Arrieu's more difficult works, whereas the other two pieces have challenges of rhythm and tonality which need to be fully understood in the initial learning stages.This could impair the enjoyment of the music for some candidates.
List C returns to the more traditional Chanson Serbe, by Dermesseman, as well as two modern studies. Oliver Ledbury's Waltzer cleverly depicts the fairground ride of the same name, with lots of dynamic contrast. The title of Graham Lyons' Study in C is slightly misleading, as there is plenty of chromaticism here to challenge the brain!
The music is well laid out, with no awkward page turns for flautist or accompanist. The accompaniments need to be secure and well-rehearsed with the soloist, as the music complements and supports, without overpowering. There are plenty of challenges throughout, although I think there is an emphasis on modern pieces in this selection which may not suit all tastes.
- (Worcester, United Kingdom)