Between the late 19th century and the early 1960s, French music experienced a Golden Age during which the flute played a prominent role: this age-old instrument played by fauns and shepherds spun numerous arabesques whose sensuous contours seemed to celebrate “the mysterious connections between nature and the imagination” (Debussy). It was therefore quite tempting to draw on the rich catalogue of French works from the Editions Leduc and Heugel and put together this collection of pieces for flautists in the fourth year of study and up.
It’s simply impossible to resist the compelling lyricism that floats up from such celebrated pages as Fauré’s Sicilienne or the Pièce en forme de Habanera, a composition by Ravel superbly transcribed by Theodore Doney. Philippe Gaubert’s Orientale and Sicilienne – two bestsellers – are also included. Original pieces, such as the Aria for flute and piano by Roussel, rub shoulders with delightful arrangements, such as the one by Marcel Moyse based on Jacques Ibert’s gentle Histoires, or the successful adaptation of Hahn’s À Chloris; while famous pieces – like Debussy’s Le Petit Nègre – nestle against a few rare gems (Pierné, Bozza) that are utterly charming.