主持人：Cleo Leung 梁敏瑩
The Wide World of Flute
The oldest fabricated instrument, the flute has been enthralling us and our prehistoric ancestors for over 40,000 years, since the Paleolithic era. Originally carved from animal bone and wood, it is present in every culture worldwide.
The Western concert flute as we know it today is, by contrast, an extremely modern invention. To me, it is an aesthetically beautiful instrument in all ways. It catches the eye with its gleaming metallic shine, silver, gold, and platinum. Its singing sound captivates with a wide palette of tone colours, allowing artists to play expressively and evocatively. I remember when I first heard the flute as an elementary school student. I could get neither its sound nor the vision of the older student demonstrating out of my head. I was hooked. All I wanted was to have that lilting silvery voice for my own, flourish those thrilling trilling runs, and be that figure with the gleaming flute. After over two decades of study, a doctorate degree, and years as a professional artist and teacher, I am still as enthralled as ever with my instrument, and all the possibilities and permutations in style and performance it encompasses.
A Magical Journey
On Sundays at 10am this July and August, I am delighted to guide you through the world of the flute. On our magical acoustic journey, we will delve into each episode with tidbits about the instrument’s technological development from its more primitive forms to the metal marvel it is today, the stories and history behind the pieces we will be hearing, and other fascinating trivia to help us better savour all the aural delights served up by the flutists and their fellow performers.
In our first episode, we will explore the wonderful baroque and classical compositions for flute, and hear recordings made both with period instruments and modern instruments. Next, we will visit the wealth of dazzling virtuosic French works. The advent of the modern Boehm-system flute allowed for great technical leaps forward in the mid-19th century, and the Paris Conservatory French flute school that came into being around that time was the origin of contemporary flute pedagogy worldwide. In the third episode, we will hear works by non-French composers from that same 19th–20th-century era. After all, though they did have an immeasurable impact on flute-craft, the French did not have a monopoly on new compositions! Finally, we will consider works by living composers, and all the ways modern aesthetics, musical styles, and creation of non-standard extended techniques has augmented our repertoire.
Moving on from just examining repertoire by time period, we will take a special look into the flute’s ability to stand out and arrest our interest in different settings. In the first episode of this second half of the series, we will listen to dazzling orchestral features, where the flute and its unique colours and sensibility shine through, allowing composers to spotlight the instrument in larger-scale compositions. Naturally following that, in the next episode, we will hear concerto works and other solos with orchestra, where the flute is given the ultimate spotlight to dazzle against the backdrop of the large ensemble. In the third episode, we will explore the flute in a chamber music setting, with small ensemble works including ensembles with instrument combinations you may not expect to ever find together such the flute doubling on piccolo, with a viola, and contrabass. Unlikely friends that make wonderful music! Finally, we will listen to the wealth of works for flute alone, a category that holds incredible depth and complexity.
I am looking forward to exploring all of these styles and ways in which the flute shines with you, episode by episode.