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Thread: Seeking flute/cello duet, where the cello part is the harder of the two, prefer tonal

  1. #1
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    Default Seeking flute/cello duet, where the cello part is the harder of the two, prefer tonal


    [Disclaimer: please forgive any bumbling misuses of musical terminology. My grounding in music theory is limited to the extreme, and my grasp of musical parlance worse still.]

    I am a 11+ year classically trained cello player, looking to play a piece with a young flautist, a close family member of a friend of mine. She has five years of non-classical flute training, though she has been classically trained with private lessons on other instruments that she is not currently practicing. I originally thought she had many more years of flute practice than she actually did, so I thought I would try Villa-Lobos' Assobio a játo/The Jet Whistle (I know, not exactly the shining example of tonality, but I try to keep an open mind, and it's about the limit of what I can take at this time). Unsurprisingly, she said it was too technically demanding for her. Now that I have a better estimate of her capabilities, I would still like to find a duet we could play together, but I'd prefer a piece that is interesting enough for her while still being able to keep me engaged. Also, my palate is not very well developed when it comes to atonality, dissonance, and newish stuff, so I'd prefer that kept to a minimum if there is any - I'm sorry, but I guess I'm stuck in the past with the old school of tonality and consonance. I don't mind a little of any of the more recent innovations listed above (no singing/other vocalizations though, for reasons I'm not ready to share right now), so long as they are used sparingly and for effect, and not permeating the entire piece. I guess a trio with piano/harpsichord as the third part would be okay as well, if there were nothing else that fits the above criteria.

    So, for a quick summary:
    • Interesting for both 5th year flautist and 11+ year cellist
    • Minimal atonality, dissonance, and modernish stuff, if any
    • Trios may work, depending on instrument called for

    I've seen Krantz's Flute & Cello Duets web page, by the way, but I haven't had time to track down and look through all of them yet.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Prodromides's Avatar
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    Greetings to you, Athe, and welcome to this Board.

    I may not be the ideal person to offer suggestions to you (I'm not a musician, yet I love to listen to atonal music). Looking through my classical music album collection, I uncover no such pairings of cello with flute as a duo. As you are likely aware, there are plenty of Sonatas for Cello & Piano in chamber music repertoire. Trios seem to be the "form" in which cello & flute are most likely to be combined.

    Here's my input for whatever it's worth:
    • Trio for Flute, Harp & Cello by Jean-Michel Damase
    • Trio for Flute, Cello & Piano by William Alwyn

    The Alwyn is probably the easier piece to assemble, unless you know a harpist for the Damase piece.

    Cello & Flute increase in frequency within Quartet and Quintet repertoire, especially French chamber music
    Last edited by Prodromides; Apr-22-2012 at 12:35.

  3. #3
    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    I´ve got a large record collection, but a combination for these instruments rarely turns up in recordings, it´s very much a musician´s / specialist´s field.
    I guess Elliott Carter´s "Enchanted Preludes" are irrelevant, though belonging to his later, somewhat more approachable style.

    The best I can think of could be either transcriptions or letting the duo become a trio .. :-)
    For instance, John Taverner (1944- ) has written some beautiful/conservative "Akhmatova Songs" for Soprano & Cello ... Here they are on you-t:

    I guess you know this listing of pieces for flute & cello:
    Last edited by joen_cph; Apr-22-2012 at 12:25.

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