Friday, April 27, 2012

Early flute recordings on Robert Bigio's website


I am grateful to Robert Bigio for posting on his website early recordings from Christopher Steward's collection.

These recordings are truly inspiring-- a reminder of a time when tone and technique were synonymous--a time when and elegance and beauty reigned. I've bookmarked this page and enjoy listening to at least one recording before I practice each day.

While typing this post, I listened to a recent addition to the webpage: Simonetti: Madrigal. Heinz Breiden, flute; Siegfried Borries, violin; and Max Saal, harp. So lovely! The recording was made in 1937 0r 1938. Breiden was a flutist in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra from 1921 until his death.

Recent additions to this page include recordings by Frances Blaisdell and Gaston Crunelle. There is also a recording of Georges Barrère playing Alfredo d'Ambrosio's Canzonetta, Op. 6.  Such artistry...

Robert Bigio's website is a also great resource for historical information on flutes, flutists and flute-playing. Thanks, Robert!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

More on "Constructive Rest"


I posted this article a few months ago after attending an Alexander Technique Workshop presented by Rachel Niketopoulos and Pam Nelson for the Raleigh Area Flute Association.

Since then, I have held several workshops with my students at Rachel's Raleigh studio. I have seen great improvements in each student who participated in at least one of these workshops.

We begin each workshop with 20 minutes of Constructive Rest to allow adequate time for our vertebrae to realign and our discs (which act as shock absorbers) to rehydrate.

I am a longtime Alexander Technique student myself, but only recently I have come to acknowledge that "Constructive Rest" is possibly the most helpful practice technique for wind players to improve their tone and breathing. I learned this from watching my students improve!

 Check out this Guide to Constructive Rest on http://alexandertechnique.com.

Soprano Andrea Matthews has prepared a teaching handout on Constructive Rest.

I recently discovered another great Alexander Technique resource: Sarah Chatwin's Alexander Technique website and blog. Sarah offers a free e-course if you sign up for her email newsletter. I now look forward to my email reminders about all things "Alexander!"


Friday, April 13, 2012

Frederick Fennell: A Life of Joyful Discovery


Inspiring four minute trailer for A Life of Joyful Discovery, a documentary about the icon of wind ensemble music, Frederick Fennell.

Here are my favorite quotes from Fennell in the trailer:

• “Your business is to make music with the people in front of you. It doesn’t matter who they are.”
• “…feel their contact with each other…their reaching out beyond themselves to other people.”
• “They were not just players, they were listeners, and that’s were they were the kind of players they were., because they were the kind of listeners they were.”