Chopin – Etude (Op10 No2)

CD130 solo 1st flute, 3 flutes (3rd flute alto ad lib) & bass flute (or clarinet or any bass clef instrument) Grade 3 & 8 1′ 30″

Though Polish, by the time he was twenty-one Chopin had decided to settle in Paris. As well as composing he appeared frequently in public and gave private lessons. His health was frail and he suffered from tuberculosis of the throat. In 1848 he was brought to Scotland by one of his pupils, though was later able to give performances in some of Britain’s major cities. He later returned to Paris where he eventually succumbed.

Nearly all Chopin’s compositions are for piano, though his Variations on a Theme of Rossini ) is also popular with flautists. When he was nineteen he had heard the violinistic wizardry of Paganini and this inspired him to write the first of three sets of studies, which was published in 1833.  Although each piece concentrates on a particular aspect of technique, both this and the Opus 25 set of four years later are artistic creations of the highest order. The present Etude, Opus 10 Number 2, is no exception in making great demands upon the performer’s technical and musical ability.

This arrangement has been specially made so that only the first flute need be concerned with this problem(!). It is aimed at those groups where one player’s standard is considerably higher than the rest, such as a school band directed by a teacher, or an amateur group led by a professional.  So that the first flute’s breathing shall not interrupt the piece’s momentum, certain notes may be omitted. These are indicated in the score. The first flute should play very smoothly to contrast with the rest of the group’s detached quavers, accents and syncopated, slurred couplets. The tempo is fast.

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