Philippe Gaubert, born on this day in 1879, is well-respected as a flutist, composer, and pedagogue. As the flute professor at the Paris Conservatory, he wrote many of his compositions and methods to help the students there. This shorter piece is less often played but exhibits the flutist’s knowledge of the sonority of the instrument.
Today we celebrate the birthday of Alfredo Casella, born in 1883 in Italy. Casella was an avid promoter of Vivaldi’s compositions and is sometimes credited with the 20th-century resurrection of this master composer’s works. Despite being a composer at the turn of the century, many of Casella’s works invoke older styles including the dance forms that inspire the Barcarola and Scherzo forms of this piece.
Emily Stumpf received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from USC and now lives and teaches in Columbia, SC.
Flute Sonata by Francis Poulenc: II. Cantilena
Today we celebrate the birthday of Francis Poulenc with a recording of the beautiful second movement from his Flute Sonata. A member of the composer collective Les Six, Poulenc was an active composer in the beginning of the 20th century. This second movement is representative of his style that is reminiscent of romanticism but written for the 1900s.
Morgan Monty, the flutist on this recording, is a first-year Bachelor of Music student in flute performance at the University of South Carolina from Charleston, SC.
Performed by Morgan Monty, flute and Winifred Goodwin, piano.
Born on this day in 1941, Dick Goodwin is a prolific composer, arranger, and performer of a wide range of musical styles. A longtime member of the Columbia musical community, he holds the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina, where he started USC’s doctorate of composition program. His piece Lullaby, for flute and piano, was recorded as part of the album Night Music, released in Columbia, SC in 2014. Performed by Jennifer Parker-Harley, flute and Winifred Goodwin, piano.
Sigfried Karg-Elert, born on this day in 1877, was a German composer and organist who wrote several boundary-pushing works for the flute in addition to his many well-known works for organ and harmonium. While many flutists are familiar with his 30 Caprices for Solo Flute, Karg-Elert wrote eight other substantial works for the flute including Impressions Exotiques, all written between 1917 and 1919. His compositions for flute sought to exploit the full range of dynamics, colors, and technical capacity of the increasingly popular Boehm flute.
Performed by Jenny Davis, flute and Claudio Olivera, piano
Today we celebrate the birthday of Gaetano Donizetti, born in 1797. Donizetti was a leading composer of bel canto opera in the early 1800s and this piece clearly comes from a similar aesthetic. A rare piece of flute music from the early romantic period, this work shows off soaring melodic lines carried by brilliantly technical passages as only an opera composer can supply.
Performed by Sabrina Raber, flute and Qiaoni Liu, piano
Today we celebrate the birthday of the contemporary American composer, Michael Torke. Torke’s music has been described as “optimistic, joyful, and thoroughly uplifting” (Gramophone) and his piece, Sprite, falls easily into all three categories. The piece was written for and premiered by Carol Wincenc who, according to the composer’s program note, asked for “a valentine, for flute and piano.”
Performed by Jenny Davis, flute, who is a DMA student at the University of South Carolina, and Claudio Olivera, piano, who received a DMA from USC.
Recorded by Jeff Francis.
Henri Tomasi, born on August 17, 1901, was French composer and true contemporary of his time. He was a founder of the influential music group, Triton, alongside Prokofiev, Milhaud, Honegger, and Poulenc. As the title suggests, Tomasi was inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s writings about India and his perception of Indian tonality. He weaves these sounds into a lament and then a dance, ending with a cadenza-like coda. Emily Stumpf and Yewon Kerr received DMA degrees from the University of South Carolina.
Georges Enesco, born on this day in 1881, is widely regarded as one of the most successful Romanian composers of all time. He studied composition at the Paris Conservatory until 1899 and in 1904 was commissioned to write his Cantabile et Presto as the flute examination piece for that year. This piece showcases many aspects of the flute as well as the romantic style that was popular in Paris at the time. Jenny Davis is a DMA student at the University of South Carolina.
Claude Debussy was born on this day in 1862. He is most well known for his impressionistic style of composition and his extension of the contemporary limits of harmony and form through the usage of non-traditional scales and chromaticism. The Three Pieces for Flute and Piano are a transcription of movements from two different suites for piano. This movement, Menuet, is from his Petite Suite, L. 65 for four-hands.
Performed by Brianna Futch, flute and Claudio Olivera, piano