Noteworthy Sheet Music, LLC

Uncommon Sheet Music for Flute and Alto Flute

The table below lists articles written by Noteworthy Sheet Music's associates, published elsewhere but reproduced on the NSM website for the convenience of our visitors.  Click on the specific article title link in the "Article Title" column to read the piece here, or click on the "Source" link to read it at the original publication site.

 

Author Article Title Source
Pratt Arranging Haydn's Adagios for Flute, or Alto Flute, and Piano Flute Focus
Bloom Effective Writing for Flutes and the Contemporary Flutist Snow Pond Composers Conference
Bloom Foreword to Debussy's Première Rhapsodie trans. for Alto Flute Flute Focus
Bloom Foreword to Drouet's Salute to New York NSM
Pratt  Mozart's Mannheim Sonatas  Flute Focus

The table below lists the works in Noteworthy Sheet Music's catalog that have received outside critical reviews.  Click on the individual title link in the "Piece Reviewed" column to read the review.  

 

Composer/Author Trans./Arr. Piece/Book/CD Reviewed Instr. Reviewer
Benavides n/a The Piano in Spain n/a Santa Maria Bouquet
Fado, trad. Figueiredo Na Rua dos Meus Ciúmes WW Quintet Ranck
Traditional Nicholson Coolun, A Favorite Irish Air with Four Variations Flute, ad lib Piano or Harp Borst Jones
Tchaikovsky Rupert  The Nutcracker Flute & Harp Price-Glynn
Tchaikovsky Rupert The Nutcracker Flute & Piano Ranck
The Mark Harvey Group n/a CD: A Rite for All Souls Brass, Woodwinds, Percussion Music Zoom
The Mark Harvey Group n/a CD: A Rite for All Souls Brass, Woodwinds, Percussion Donald Elfman, The New York City Jazz Record
Vercoe n/a Butterfly Effects Flute(s) & Harp Riner
Vercoe n/a CD: Butterfly Effects and Other Works Flute(s) & Harp Cinemusical, Flutist Quarterly
Vercoe n/a Kleemation Flute & Piano Bloom
Vercoe n/a Kleemation Flute & Piano Kafka
Vercoe n/a Kleemation Flute & Piano Passarella
Walckiers n/a 2nd Book of Duets, Op.11 2 Flutes Borst Jones
Walckiers n/a 5th Book of Duets, Duetto 1 2 Flutes Plummer

John W. Pratt’s engaging article describing the rationale and underlying processes involved in the creation of effective, compelling music arrangements for flute and piano duo, specifically those he has created of a few of Haydn’s Adagios, was published by Flute Focus on July 15, 2012.  We have reproduced the article here, with permission from Flute Focus.  

 

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Arranging Haydn's Adagios for Flute, or Alto Flute, and Piano

Written by John W. Pratt

  

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), father of the symphony, string quartet, and piano sonata, unfortunately left no known compositions for flute and keyboard duo (see Grove Music Online), although he had a fine appreciation for the flute and used it extensively in his larger ensemble and orchestral works. There is, however, a long and valued tradition of creating transcriptions of Haydn's marvellous music, although fewer are for flute and keyboard than one might hope, and our flute and piano partnership has enjoyed taking up the challenge. We have identified a few wonderful movements that, when carefully and respectfully arranged for this instrumentation, are as effective and delightful as the originals and allow one to hear them when one might never otherwise, or with new ears if one is already familiar with them.

One example is the slow movement of his 24th symphony (1764), a beautiful Adagio for flute solo accompanied by strings, with even a place for a cadenza. Haydn's flute part needs no change, of course, but it was an enjoyable outlet for a would-be composer to write a cadenza based closely on Haydn's material and style, of a length and freedom suitable to a movement standing alone, with only a pianist, not a full orchestra, waiting in admiration. The string parts, however, require not just transcription but significant adaptation to the piano's sonority. For instance, some of the murmuring in octaves by the strings becomes etude-like on the piano, calling for thoughtful selection of which notes to omit in light of the flute part as well as the piano sound. On the other hand, the lower octaves played by the double bass are surprisingly essential, giving the piano an orchestral feel. Interestingly, going down to the low E of the double basses proves to be just right on the piano.

We are fans of the alto flute, and we found that an arrangement of the Adagio from Symphony No.24 for alto flute that is mellower than that for flute, but also extremely beautiful, is obtained by lowering the pitch a minor third. A fourth would allow the alto flute to read the C-flute part directly but feels too low all around. Less than a minor third works for the piano but does not show the alto to greatest advantage.

Haydn wrote many wonderful string quartets throughout his life. His early ones, especially the three sets of six written in 1768–1771 (Opus 9, Opus 17, and the "Sun" quartets Opus 20), are generally considered to have advanced immensely the development of the classical string quartet. The flute can, of course, play the first violin part in string quartets, raising it an octave where necessary and finessing the double stops in some way, but string quartets usually have no need or reason to seek flutes for violin parts. Arrangement for flute and piano obviates this issue, however, and can work well when, for example, the first violin is featured and the other strings support it.

The third movement of Haydn's Opus 20, No. 5, is an Adagio with a simple melody that is treated to delightful filigreed elaboration and obbligato decoration by the first violin. Although more complex string quartet movements may be unsuited to transcription for keyboard and one other instrument, the soloistic nature of the violin part and the simplicity of the lower string parts in this lovely Adagio lend themselves to arrangement for flute and piano. In several passages we found it desirable to raise the violin part an octave to suit the characteristics of the flute, as well, of course, as its range. When the other string parts are transcribed for piano, some octave changes improve the sonic characteristics and help keep the string lines clear, especially where they cross, and partial octave doubling of the melody here and there improves its sound on the piano.

The lowest note available on most alto flutes is the same as the violin's lowest note, so simply transposing the violin part would solve all problems were their characteristics not so different. The third movements of Haydn's Opus 17, No. 1 and Opus 17, No. 2 are both Adagios with gorgeous violin melodies that are harmonized simply by the other three strings. Happily these melodies are equally beautiful on alto flute with very few alterations. When transcribing the other string parts for the piano, octave adjustments are again desirable, for the reasons mentioned earlier. Opus 17, No. 2 also has some passages where we found that the life that strings might add in their way could be supplied most effectively on the piano by further elaboration in the style of Haydn's keyboard music, and it was advantageous to exchange two very high notes for alto flute with the piano a third lower.

With all the music we have played together, from Bach to Walckiers to Martinu to Taktakishvili, these Haydn arrangements for flute and piano are among our favorite repertoire. They are true to the Haydn we revere, yet they also work and are enjoyable for players and audiences alike.

John W. Pratt, May 27, 2012 ©

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jwp 122611

 

John W. Pratt is a retired Harvard Business School professor and pianist whose transcriptions and arrangements are published by Noteworthy Sheet Music, LLC (click here to view all his catalog listings)

 

The Mark Harvey Group's 2-CD set A Rite for All Souls, released in 2020 by Americas Musicworks, received the following review in Music Zoom.  Check out the original posting in Italian at http://www.musiczoom.it/?p=31627#.XqwhzZlCR1M, or read the Google translation here:

Mark Harvey Group – A Rite for All Souls

We now know Mark Harvey as an established musician and arranger at the head of the Boston Aardvark Orchestra and who has often played alongside many of the big names in contemporary jazz. This double album, however, is something special:   it is a concert held in 1971 at the Old West Church in Boston, found while putting his tapes in order. Then he made music with a group together with Peter H. Bloom on reed instruments and flutes, and Craig Ellis and Michael Standish on percussion; there was also Duncan John Draper on keyboards, who is not present here. After a first phase playing jazz rock, the group finds its own physiognomy on the avant-garde paths. It is a very creative period in American music and the four of them play in front of audiences lit only by the light of candles, creating intimate atmospheres for the enjoyment of the music. In this concert, almost a ritual, as the title wants to underline, the two parts are published entirely, each on a CD, the theatrical part is missing, but the music conveys the intentions of the group performed in very particular conditions. The interaction and concentration of the musicians is obvious, everything flows between inspired solos and free from constraints, in complete freedom. Also contributing is the multitude of instruments used, both by percussionists and Harvey, on trumpet, flugelhorn and other instruments of the brass family and Peter H. Bloom.  In the midst of the music poems are recited, including Craig Ellis' Napalm: Rice Paper, in which the drama of the Vietnam war is remembered with the power of words. A beautiful historical and musical document.

The Mark Harvey Group's 2-CD set A Rite for All Souls, released in 2020 by Americas Musicworks, received the following review by Donald Elfman, The New York City Jazz Record, July 2020 (page 19).

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A Rite For All Souls

The Mark Harvey Group

(Americas Musicworks)

by Donald Elfman

In the liner notes for John Coltrane’s Live At Birdland album, Amiri Baraka (then Leroi Jones) referred to the “daringly human quality” of his music and suggested that with ears open to it, a listener may think of “weird and wonderful things” and possibly “even become one of them.” This reviewer was reminded of those sensations and sense of becoming upon encountering Mark Harvey’s extraordinary “aural theatre” A Rite For All Souls.

The recording is a complete and unedited performance of a concert at Old West Church in Boston (at which Harvey was an intern minister) on Halloween Night 1971. It embraces explorations of sound, spiritual, social and political direction and activism, poetry, a sense of theater and, certainly, the colors and textures of jazz and improvisational music. The musicians are Harvey (oddly credited on “brasswinds”), Peter Bloom on woodwinds and both Craig Ellis and Michael Standish on percussion (alas, the latter two, so vital to the ultimate power of this music, are now deceased). There is a dazzling array of instruments at work and play here: trumpet, flugelhorn, conch shell, saxophones, clarinet, kazoo, mbira, brake drums, iron cookware ... and so on.

The 90-minute concert opens with “Invocation” and a recitation called “Spel Against Demons” (by poet Gary Snyder). There are mysterious sounds played on flute, a length of pipe and a saxophone mouthpiece. Immediately, Baraka’s words come into play as the resonances are otherworldly, yet, somehow inviting and pointing towards what else may come. Harvey is strange and wonderful on trumpet, punctuated by delicate percussion sounds. There’s a trap drum solo by Ellis and that shepherds in Bloom playing tenor saxophone in a full-throated and enfolding manner. Ellis takes on Snyder’s poem, a sort of anti-violence intonation, and it ends in an actual Sanskrit chant.

In the church, the four return in monk’s robes and blow into organ pipes for a “Fanfare”, which, evolving into a meeting of trumpet and tenor, leads to a recitation of William Butler Yeats’ noted “Second Coming” poem, recited by Standish. Bloom takes off on tenor again, eddying into a more lyrical section by Harvey, who spreads his palette on trumpet and makes intensely intimate use of silence as a kind of outlining device to highlight his distinctive sounds. And so, the first disc concludes.

In the second section, we hear again the deliberate and yet subtle interaction between group and individual. There’s a haunting prelude with cosmically unusual sounds that introduce Ellis reading his own “Napalm: Rice Paper”, which seems like a threnody to the suffering of children, from the Vietnam War and beyond—think of all war and the unique situation in our world at present. Bloom on soprano and Harvey on French horn express sorrow and compassion and then there is a devastating percussion duet seeming to encapsulate the violence and suffering the poem has amassed.

A Rite For All Souls is a deeply engaging series of improvisations, sound worlds and rich musical expression.

For more information, visit americasmusicworks.com