Flute Orchestral Excerpts I
Instrument: Flute Ensemble
Rrr. for flute quartet by Marko Zupan Vol. 1 Bach to Bizet Vol. 2 Brahms to Hindemith
We are all familiar with the fact that playing in a group with other musicians influences the way we interprete our own part. Since the orchestral flute "solos" are mostly just the leading melody in the given piece of music, it is necessary to study and above all, experience them within the whole musical context. Rhythm, harmony, intonation (in relation with harmony), colour, the breathing process, etc., they all reveal themselves with the praxis. The "solo" suddenly becomes music! Naturally, the opportunity to practice with an actual orchestra is rare and that is where these arrangements for a flute quartet will come in handy. I find playing the parts of other instruments particularly interesting, since it develops the colour pallete and enchances the overall expressivity of the player. I hope this approach to music will inspire and enrich your future playing in the orchestra!
It is one of the ironies of preparing for a career as a musician that studying and learning the great orchestral solos means isolating the music from its context. In a perfect Catch-22, you are not ready to perform the solos until you know them, but you can’t really know them until you’ve played them in their original place, set amongst the harmonic richness of the full orchestration.
Marko Zupan pondered this dilemma and has come up with an inventive and delightful approach to orchestral excerpts, arranging the essential solos for flute quartet (or, more precisely, for solo flute and accompanying flute trio). He tackles the dilemma in his introduction, writing, “We are all familiar with the fact that playing in a group with other musicians influences the way we interpret our own part. Since the orchestral flute ‘solos’ are mostly just the leading melody in the given piece of music, it is necessary to study and above all, experience them within the whole musical context. Rhythm, harmony, intonation (in relation with harmony), colour, the breathing process… they all reveal themselves with the praxis. The solo suddenly becomes the music.”
With these arrangements of orchestral excerpts, Zupan brilliantly masters this problem, providing two volumes ordered chronologically (Bach to Bizet; Brahms to Hindemith), which give us the solo surrounded by the bones of the orchestration. In the case of operatic arias, the vocal line and text is also included. Zupan includes detail in the arrangement, noting instrumentation, and occasionally requiring simple extended techniques in the accompanying parts (such as key clicks to represent percussion and Aeolian sounds with a ‘tz’ attack to represent col legno in the strings).
Volume 1 offers us the exquisite aria ‘Aus Liebe’ from Bach’s St Matthew Passion, three Mozart arias, Beethoven’s Eroica symphony and Leonora 1, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the William Tell Overture by Rossini, and the Entr’acte from Carmen by Bizet.
Volume 2 contains Brahms 1 and 4, Dvorak 8, Debussy’s L’Après-midi, Mahler 9, Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé, Richard Strauss Salome and Der Rosenkavalier, Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev, and Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis. The second volume ends, for no apparent reason, but nonetheless very pleasingly, with an alternative arrangement of ‘Aus Liebe’ from the St. Matthew Passion. Each volume contains both score and parts, and is produced to Edition Svitzer’s usual beautiful quality.
These volumes would be enjoyable for any intermediate or advanced flute player, and would be particularly useful for teachers who choose the excerpt option in preparing students for the higher grade Trinity exams. They should also find a particular welcome in music colleges, where like-minded students will now be able to have fun exploring the great orchestral solos in a chamber music context.
The British flute magazine “Pan”, September 2015.
Voici un travail intelligent et de première utilité réalisé par un artiste accompli. Quel dommage d'être contraint à travailler seul le répertoired'orchestre qui par essence relève plus de la musique de chambre que de la seule maîtrise de son instrument, fût-elle quasiment parfaite. Il faut ajouter au contrôle instrumental la conscience de jouer ensemble, de réagir au contexte harmonique et de se plier à la fois aux nécessités de la précision rythmique et de la souplesse du chef d'orchestre. Tout un art! Grâce à ce cahier, les flûtistes peuvent enfin se préparer efficacement et facilement à l'orchestre puisqu'au sein d'une même classe. Marko Zupan propose là un ouvrage musical, divertissant, éminemment pédagogique, un outil qui sera bientôt une référence et s'imposera partout rapidement j'en suis convaincu. Qu’il en soit remercié et félicité chaleureusement.
"Here we have an intelligent and highly useful work by an accomplished artist. It's a shame that one is forced to practise the orchestral repertoire alone. It is in essence more about chamber music than the mastery of one's instrument, as perfect as that may be. One must add to the control of the instrument the consciousness of playing together, the abilities to react to the harmonic context and to comply with both the rhythmic precision and flexibility of the conductor. It's an art in itself !With this book, flutists can finally, with the help of their colleauges, prepare both efficiently and easily for the orchestra. Marko Zupan offers an entertaining musical work which is highly educational. It is a tool that will soon become a reference and I'm sure it will quickly prove itself. I warmly congratulate and thank him and Edition SVITZER."
Professeur au CNSMDP
Professeur à l'ENMP
DHC de l'université de Bucarest
"After commencing as my assistant at the Academy of Arts in Split, Marko Zupan saw the need for this manual, which is extremely necessary for the flutist getting to know the orchestral literature. It is significant as the flute student, within the harmonic structure of the quartet, becomes familiar with the orchestration, thus working specifically on imitating other instruments, allowing wider expressive possibilities within their playing. This contribution is even more significant as it introduces the orchestral repertoire to students at a time when they are unable to gain experience in the orchestra. I am especially proud to have such an assistant."
Professor at the Academy of Arts in Split, Croatia
Explaining the musical context (rhythm, phrasing, articulation, harmony, ...intonation!!) in a sterile classroom situation is very complicated and time consuming for both teacher and student. Knowing the solo part and orchestral score well is very different to being able to play the excerpt in a real-life situation. With this method, realised by Marko Zupan, it is possible to practically recreate that situation and to work concretely on all of the abovementioned musical elements. Studying the excerpts in this way not only helps to save time, but also encourages the student to achieve deeper knowledge of the score, along with greater autonomy and responsibility as an individual playing together with other musicians.
Principal Flute Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Germany
Teacher at Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" Berlin, Germany
Front Cover design: Ary Golomb
Engraving: Ary Golomb
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark