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Philippe Bernold, Boehm, Grande Polonaise

Sequence published on 10/3/20
Composer : Theobald Boehm
Year of composition : 1831
Artistic period : 19th century
Musical category : Sonata
Academy : Academy Nov. 1 - Nov. 8, 2021
Master(s) : Philippe Bernold
Student : Wong Chung Chuen Matthew
Date of recording : 10/22/21
Instrument(s) played :

"Music, if it doesn't make sense, it's absolutely useless." Philippe Bernold

About the Flute class of Philippe Bernold on the Grande Polonaise

Master class de Flute par Philippe Bernold | Boehm, Grande Polonaise

"how to learn to tell a story. It's to say a story with exclamations, with lightness,  with dramatism”, affirms the master in the middle of this class, during which, to a large
extent, the challenge is that: how to tell a story, how to endow this story with different
characters, with moments of greater light and others of more darkness, a story full of drama with
more or less tension. 

After highlighting “a certain lyricism that is really well suited to this score”, the master divides the
issues to be worked on into two types: technical and musical.
Regarding the question of technique, one of the central problems with the flute resides in
making shades, since the nuances affect the accuracy. Therefore, part of the work revolves
around this topic.
The master focuses on the musical aspects of this piece, and various ideas can be extrapolated
to think of any repertoire, not just this Boehm piece. “Music and sounds are arranged on the
score according to a logic, harmonic logic”, states the master. Beyond the particular issues of
this piece, the master highlights the importance of finding and highlighting those hierarchies
between the notes, of the ability that the interpreter must have to find different colors and
timbres for the speech to be interesting.
One idea that the master constantly returns to is to highlight the fact that this kind of music is
inspired by vocal music: “18th century is the word. 19th century is singing, it's the big phrases,
the great feelings. We go from total sadness to the most extreme joy. That's the idea of the 19th
century”. In this sense, the great challenge for the interpreter is to achieve that diversity of
emotions that make musical discourse something more than a continuity of notes.

What we learn in this Flute Master class

- How to breathe like the singers
- This kind of music is inspired by vocal music
- To put character to everything; the interpreter must be inspired by vocal art 
- In the orchestra, when the composer uses the flute, it is always for the ray of sunlight
- How to learn to tell a story: a story with exclamations, with lightness, with dramatism
- About accents: the placement of the tongue must change, it should be between the teeth.
-The articulation is important
- The importance of keeping a beautiful sound even when playing fast, as in the piano
- Music, if it doesn't make sense, it's useless.

About Theobald Boehm's work

Theobald Boehm, Grande Polonaise, Op. 16 (1831) The Grand Polonaise is a Romantic-era work composed in the early 1800s. As the master stands out clearly during class, it is reminiscent of the arias which were the foundation for opera, providing expressivity, musicality, and compositional technique.
This piece opens with the Introduction in a slower lyrical style with flowing runs of notes, allowing the use of rubato displaying the flutist’s sense of expressivity and freedom. The second section of this work is the Polonaise. A polonaise is a Polish dance in triple meter and is used in this work as a fast movement with sets of variations to demonstrate the virtuosity of the flutist’s technique and flexibility
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