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!

Book Finish! Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No. 22-24

TGIF! I wanted to hurry up and get to the end of this book, so here are three etudes in one day. Number 22 in B minor was definitely the most fun of these last three, though I found it challenging to keep the tempo steady and not slow down during the syncopated quarter notes. It was also a really good exercise in practicing alternate F-sharp and A-sharp fingerings back-to-back with the standard fingerings.

Number 23 was another one of the long repetitive etudes that seem so common in this book. As it says at the top of the page, the challenge is in making the turns sound different in “binary and tertiary rhythm,” which we see here as 4/4 and 12/8. Since there are no dynamics or other expressive instructions, I tried to make the binary sections sound more vibrant and aggressive and tried to play more softly and gently for the 12/8 variations.

Last one! Playing septuplets evenly is always a big challenge, and for this exercise I wanted to make sure I was playing all the real fingerings accurately and not using any trill fingerings to cheat. The thing that made this especially tough was the instruction senza accentuare (without accent), since I found it very tempting to emphasize the first note of each beat to make the melodic line more obvious. It seems appropriate that this last etude ends with octaves that are really difficult to play beautifully in tune- so much of this material has looked deceptively simple but has turned out to be really challenging!

Final reflections on Moyse’s 24 Petites Études Mélodiques:

  • Date started: April 24, 2020
  • Date completed: June 12, 2020
  • Favorite etude: No. 18 Allegro molto staccato (C sharp minor)
  • Most challenging etude: No. 20 Andantino (F sharp minor)

I’m looking forward to starting a new book! See you soon!

Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No. 21

Another short Moyse etude! This one was fun to play and generally not too taxing. It’s a good one for making sure your quintuplets aren’t lopsided, and for finding spots where the fingers don’t want to play half steps smoothly.

I know I said I’d try to post an etude a day and didn’t succeed with that, but I’m hoping to power through and get to No. 24 by Friday!

Book Finish! Donjon: Etudes de Salon – No. 8 Le Tambour

With this etude, I’ve finished my first book since starting this project! Because of everything going on this week, my focus and practicing weren’t great, so this recording definitely has things I’d like to improve. When I’m not playing as much, the first thing to go is my flexibility and that’s a really big deal in this etude, much like all the others in this book. I would have liked to do more with dynamics since this one is so repetitive, but for now this has to be good enough.

Final reflections on Donjon’s Etudes de Salon:

  • Date started: April 17, 2020 (before this blog was born!)
  • Date completed: June 7, 2020
  • Favorite etude: No. 7 Le Follet
  • Most challenging etude: No. 5 Gigue

See you tomorrow for some Moyse!

Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No. 20

I know I said i was going to try to post an etude a day through the end of this book, but it seems that life has gotten in the way. This has been a really challenging week for everyone, and it’s been difficult to focus on etudes when the world is facing huge issues that demand our attention and support.

I found this particular etude to be a bit repetitive, so with that in mind I tried to work on shaping each phrase. This one is a really good example of how to practice four-note patterns with a variety of different rhythms. I’ve used these variations to work on tricky sixteenth note groups with my students a lot, so it was nice to find an exercise that does exactly the same thing.

See you tomorrow for the last Donjon etude!

Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No. 19

After several shorter etudes, here’s a longer one. This one isn’t as complex as some of the ones I’ve done recently but I had the hardest time getting a good recording. My left pinky was a bit sloppy all day today, and that became a real problem for this particular key. Looks like it’s time to revisit some of the Trevor Wye finger exercises tomorrow!

Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No. 18

Hello on a very stormy Saturday! Since today’s etude is another very short one, I decided this would be a good time to play back-to-back on both head joints. I’ve mostly been playing the Rodger Young grenadilla head joint lately, but today I did my entire warm up on the Powell 14K Arumite head joint that came with my flute. I hadn’t planned to play on the wood head joint at all today but as I was finishing up the first part of the recording I decided to give it a shot.

The second half of this video was recorded with only a couple minutes of warm up on that head joint, but I can tell that I feel more comfortable and confident on it. I didn’t mean to, but I even played faster for that version! I can definitely hear differences in the sound and articulation between the two head joints – please comment and let me know what you think!