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Philippe Bernold, Ibert, Piece for solo flute

Sequence published on 10/3/20
Composer : Jacques Ibert
Year of composition : 1936
Artistic period : 20th century
Academy : Academy Nov. 1 - Nov. 8, 2021
Master(s) : Philippe Bernold
Student : Kathrin Waldner
Date of recording : 10/22/21
Instrument(s) played :

"[this piece] It is improvisation except that it is written improvisation. That means you don't need to improvise. Everything is prepared for you." Philippe Bernold

About the Flute class of Philippe Bernold on the Piece pour flûte solo

Master class de Flute par Philippe Bernold | Ibert, Piece pour flûte solo

The first comment made by the master is about the importance of rhythm. When the interpreter
is not accompanied, the rhythm must be very present: “We no longer have this pulsation of
another instrument, so it's up to us to be very vigilant. Otherwise, music without rhythm, it can't
hook the listener.”. A large part of the class revolves around this topic, the similarities of this
type of piece with the preludes. In the meantime, it must sound like an improvisation, but it´s not
improvisation, it´s like the prelude, which also isn´t improvisation.

Beyond this, during this class, they also work on breathing (“you have to keep blowing hard in
your body and at the same time, close your mouth. If we release the air too much, the sound is
going to be too low. Then we fall into the medium. If I open my mouth, you hear that in my body,
there is more pressure coming out”), on how to highlight the big phrases, finding their beginning,
climax, and ending, and thinking of all these elements as a single unit. 

What we learn in this Flute Master class

- This piece is written improvisation
- The greater the interval, the greater the expression
- The importance of thinking about the exact structure of each sentence
- It must sound like an improvisation, but it's like the prelude. The prelude is not improvisation
- It's not that hard to play without breathing.
- The need to be as close as possible to the expression of a singer.

About Jacques Ibert's work

The work has fragments from the Flute Concerto’s third movement and is in ABA form with two contrasting themes. The first theme, the A section, is a slow lyrical melody, while the second theme, the B section, contains a faster, wittier theme.
This use of two contrasting themes is traditional. When the A section returns, the lyrical theme is brought back with ornamentation. The use of ornamentation on the return of the theme and the use of recurring motives was a common performance practice. As the master says, Ibert also gave the work an improvisatory feel that was characteristic of past musical eras.
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