Recording these etudes is really helping me to see areas I’d like to improve, particularly around my breathing. I’m gasping more than I’d like, and what is up with all the weird shoulder movement? In spite of that, this etude felt much more comfortable than the previous two. Today was also the first day in about a week that I’ve done really serious warm up and technique practice. Correlation?? You decide, dear readers.
Hello again! It’s been a quiet weekend around these parts, but since I have two etudes for you today my neighbors might disagree with that.
I’ve moved on to No. 2 from Moyse’s 24 Petites Études Mélodiques. While this one presents about the same level of technical challenge as No. 1, it also provides similar opportunities to focus on tone, intonation, and beautiful interval leaps. I’m enjoying playing these etudes at the end of my warm up to check in with how I’m doing with the expressive elements of my playing each day.
Focusing on the larger intervals in this one has been good preparation for this week’s Etude of the Week assignment. We’re working through the Donjon Etudes de Salon and I’m really enjoying getting to know this new-to-me book. Today is the end of Week 2- Serenade so it’s time to stop trying to perfect it and just turn in my homework. Last week’s etude (Elegie) was much flashier, but in a lot of ways I find this one more challenging. Those leaps! Those high notes! Those (hopefully) beautiful pianissimo note endings!
24 Little Melodic Studies with Variations (Easy)- let’s start with number 1! It has simple rhythms, the fingers don’t have to move very quickly, and it’s in C Major. Easy indeed!
Not so fast.
What you don’t see in the video are the first six times I tried to start with a beautiful pianissimo right at the beginning. I found that as I worked on this there was always more I could do with dynamics and phrasing and intonation and everything. I tried to keep things from getting too slow and really focused on not gasping too loudly when it was time to breathe. Moyse’s definition of “easy” is actually incredibly difficult to pull off! This etude will be a great one to revisit when I want to focus on the things around the notes- breath, posture, light fingers, the list is endless!
Thanks for listening today- I always welcome constructive feedback!
I’m Elizabeth and I’m a flutist, music teacher, and one half of the Jolly Jones Duo. I live in Washington with my husband and greyhound, and I like to spend my non-flute time playing with yarn, fabric, and nail polish.
So what’s this Etude Encounters project all about?
I’ve been a member of the Etude of the Week group on Facebook for some time now, and I love all the wonderful inspiration to be found there. However, I’ve been somewhat lax about my own contributions to the group and have only followed through with completing one book- Köhler’s 25 Romantic Etudes. In fact, that’s the only etude book I’ve completed in my entire flute playing life.
I’m writing this from the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and like many people have had more time to go through the stacks of music and maybe even get some more practicing done. After finding a giant stack of etude books I’ve barely touched, I’ve decided that now is the time to finally learn them for real, cover to cover.
I will be starting by working my way through 24 Petites Etudes Melodiques by Marcel Moyse. Since these etudes don’t present as many technical challenges as some of the other books in my pile, I’d like to try and learn at least a few each week and move through this book quickly. These lovely little studies include plenty of expressive non-finger challenges, which I’ll talk more about as I work through them.
I can’t wait for you to join me on my Etude Encounters!