Andersen: 26 Small Caprices, Op. 37 – No. 8

Here’s Andersen Op. 37 Number 8, a pretty little etude for your Monday listening. Not a huge technical challenge for the fingers, but this one is great for working on supporting through softer dynamics. There are also plenty of C sharps- opportunities to check on intonation! This was an interesting one to record, because while I was playing I didn’t feel great about it but upon listening back it was better than I thought. More proof that it’s important to record as much as possible, because your ears may deceive you!

See you tomorrow!

Andersen: 26 Small Caprices, Op. 37 – No. 7

Just a quick post this morning- I actually recorded this etude yesterday but forgot to post it! I’d been kind of stuck on this one for a couple days because Andersen’s dynamics and breath marks seemed really counterintuitive and I couldn’t really find my way into the piece in a way that made sense to me. Eventually I decided to just get through it, awkwardness and all, so here it is!

Köhler: 22 Etudes d’expression, Op. 89 – No. 2

Time for another Etude of the Week post! Here’s Köhler No. 2 in A minor, recorded in one take because it was too hot to keep the fan turned off for any further attempts.

There are definitely a few spots I would have liked to play more cleanly, and some spots where the intonation is a little suspicious. There are a lot of dynamic contrasts written into this one, and I felt like I was doing a pretty good job observing them, but they’re not apparent on this recording. Most of my recordings are done using an iPhone, but I have a nicer Zoom H2 recorder that I think I need to start using again. I also need to dig out the foot pedal so I don’t have pause at the page turn- fortunately in this etude it was already in a decent spot for a small break!

I hope to be back tomorrow for another Andersen etude! Happy Friday!

Andersen: 26 Small Caprices, Op. 37 – No. 6

Hello again! Here’s the next etude in Andersen Op. 37- this one was harder for me than the previous studies in this book. The challenge in this one was maintaining nice long phrases and trying not to sound too repetitive. This one also has a lot of soft dynamics, so trying to observe those while still providing contrast in the right spots was tricky as well. This one was a good lesson in finding the music in something where it doesn’t seem as obvious!

Andersen: 26 Small Caprices, Op. 37 – No. 5

Here’s a cute little etude for your Monday enjoyment! I did a very thorough (and tiring!) warm-up/scale workout for the first time in quite a while, so by this point in my practice session today I was feeling pretty good about my sound and overall flexibility. I do think I could have done a better job with dynamic contrasts but it’s possible that not everything I felt I was doing actually got picked up by the iPad.

My favorite thing about this etude? It reminds me of Baroque Hoedown, the music from Disney’s Electrical Parade!

Andersen: 26 Small Caprices, Op. 37 – No. 4

Two posts in one day! I wanted to keep moving through the Andersen etudes, but I decided I’d like to give each recording its own post moving forward.

This one was full of chances to fight my current big nemesis, the cracked note monster. It turns out that all those things I tell my students to do (roll out, make sure the flute’s in the right spot on the lip, think about where the air is going) work for me too! I’ve taken about a week off from really serious interval/harmonic practicing, so I’ll have to revisit this one when I’m not so out of shape to see if it’s easier to play cleanly.

See you tomorrow!

Köhler: Etudes d’expression Op. 89 – No. 1

It’s time to start a new book in the Etude of the Week group! This time the group voted for Ernesto Köhler’s Etudes d’Expression Op. 89, which was a book I hadn’t heard of. If the rest of it is anything like this first etude, it’s going to be a lot of fun!

As it says in the title, these studies are all about expression, so it was fun to play with different characters. There are lots of opportunities for dynamic contrast, but between the quality of my iPhone recording and the sound of the washing machine upstairs, I’m not sure how well that translated in this recording. One thing I noticed while practicing this was a tendency to use my vibrato to subdivide, so I’d like to work on varying its speed and making it feel more organic.

See you soon for more of the Andersen etudes!

Andersen: 26 Small Caprices, Op. 37 – No. 3

Hello again! Here’s Andersen Op. 37 Number 3, so far the trickiest etude I’ve played from this book – full disclosure: I’ve read ahead a bit! This collection seems to be fairly sight-readable at or near performance tempos, but I did have to spend some time with Mr. Metronome to get this one under my fingers. The big challenges for me here were making the dynamics interesting while trying to maintain the forward momentum. I tend to get a little aggressive during faster pieces, which for me leads to cracked notes, so I’m trying to resist that tendency.

I would have loved to make the last note a little less abrupt, but ran out of time for a do-over, so it is what it is!

See you tomorrow!

Andersen: 26 Small Caprices Op. 37 – No. 2

Happy Monday! This etude was a great exercise in playing larger intervals really smoothly. I spent more time on harmonics during today’s warm up, and I feel like that really paid off for this study. As I said yesterday, I’m still trying to be really aware of my abdominal support and that was really helpful as well. This is a really pretty etude and I really enjoyed it!

Andersen: 26 Small Caprices Op. 37 – No. 1

Time for a new book! There are so many etude books by Joachim Andersen and they’re a hugely important part of flute pedagogy, but have I finished any of them? No! I’ve decided to start with 26 Small Caprices Op. 37 and will progress to the harder books once I’ve worked through this one.

This etude was a good one for working on nice clean staccato articulations. I was aiming for maximum clarity at the beginning of each note, which was tough! I’ve also tried to be more aware of my support lately, so keeping that in mind will be a constant challenge.

Since the studies in this book are on the shorter side, I’d like to try to get through this set quickly. The stack of etude books waiting for me is quite tall and seems to keep growing! See you tomorrow for No. 2!