CAFE Flutes

Cardiff Amateur Flute Ensemble

We’re still here!

Unfortunately, so far 2021 hasn’t turned out to be much better than 2020 but it hasn’t stopped CAFE Flutes!

We still haven’t been able to meet up in person to rehearse together yet but we continue to meet online and have even gained a new member.

In 2020, we did some digital projects to keep us all engaged. It definitely tested our technical skills as well as our musical ability but we were all pleased with the results. So much so, that after our Summer concert, we did it all again at Christmas!

We’re currently working on a Welsh Medley that has been arranged especially for us by one of our members. We’re really hoping that we might be able to play it in the same room as each other in the not too distant future.

We’ve also recently been awarded some funding via Tŷ Cerdd to enable us to carry on improving our technical skills through online workshops run by our MD, Kristina Lennox. If you’d like to come along and join CAFE Flutes at our next online meeting, you can email the address in the poster below.

Virtual Summer Concert 2020

Cafe flutes are proud to invite you to join our first ever Virtual Summer Concert! Although we are unable to meet at present our members have still been playing and practising, and we have brought their performances together to produce a Virtual Concert. The concert will be streamed live on Youtube on 12th September 2020 at 7.15pm, we hope you will be able to join us to watch!

You can join us live at https://youtu.be/KAXYj0qdzcY

The concert includes performances from our members and some of their families too, with music from Mozart to the movies and musicals, there is something for everyone.

Please join us and watch live, invite your family and friends too.

Welcome back!

We start back after our summer break on Wednesday 4th September 2019. If you are a flautist in or near Cardiff, and looking for somewhere fun and friendly to play your flute, come along and join us at 7pm at Whitchurch Methodist Church Hall, Penlline Road, Cardiff. No auditions necessary, just bring your flute and music stand and join in! Contact us at info@cafeflutes.co.uk for more information.

Farväl Emma! Farewell Emma!

Tonight is the last rehearsal for one of our members, Emma will be moving back home to Sweden soon and will be playing with us for the last time tonight.

You can find out more about Emma here http://cafeflutes.co.uk/meet-our-members/emma-lendin/

We all wish Emma the very best for her move, and lots of happiness, success and of course flute playing in the future!

Farväl Emma, hope to see you when you come back to visit Wales, you will be always welcome back at Cafe!

Friendly Flautists Wanted!

Do you wish you had more opportunity to play your flute? Would you like to make friends, learn new music and have fun in perfect harmony? Did you enjoy playing the flute in school or university but haven’t been able to find a chance to play since? Or are you an adult learner looking for a chance to improve your  playing? If your answer is “YES” then come along and join us

New members colour

 

 

 

 

 

World Ballet Day – Flute Solos

#WorldBalletDay

It’s World Ballet Day!  So yes, maybe we’re not dancers, we’re flautists, but we can still take part and celebrate this exciting day, as we get to play some of the best and well known ballet themes.

Here is a rundown on what we think are the top 6 best ballet flute solos.

1. Tchaikovsky – Sleeping Beauty

The flute is often used in orchestral music to represent a bird, here being no different.  The entire bluebird suite is full of beautiful fluttering flute solos and motifs, although the below solo is a wonderful display of that!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWrzUFGB6CI

This short one-minute solo is Princess Florine’s solo and the opening is a flute duet, although the sound seems to be single flute: the two flutes playing together, accompanied by the strings. Flute one plays the hopping acciaccatura idea whilst the second flute accompanies with quick downwards glissandi, which repeats before the music accelerates into a difficult double-tonguing passage.  The pitch of the chords and their staccato nature create the image of the fluttering bird with its trilling song.

 

Another beautiful flute solo (also from the bluebird suite) from Sleeping Beauty can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hq3-tnLfrA  and deserves a worthy mention.

 

2. Prokofiev – Cinderella

Prokofiev’s Cinderella contains the beautiful Fairy Godmother Theme.  This is much less dramatic then many of Prokofiev’s melodies with far less distinct harmonies.  However, this slow and beautiful solo contains a hauntingly beautiful melodic line.  The flute line has a relatively sparse range during this solo, long notes dispersed with quick runs.  This is a beautiful solo that shows two different aspects of flute playing, the slow and controlled legato, with the fast connecting runs.  (The flute solo is clearest from 1.22 onwards)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDxjYwrom5o.   The long, slow trills near the end create a sense of magic and mystery.

 

3. Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker

Tchaikovsky wrote plenty of beautiful flute solos in The Nutcracker.  Two of which we’ve included in this list.  The Chinese Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiyx1m44nMM and Dance of the Reed Pipes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfxg8Qh3bBQ

 

The Chinese Dance has some beautiful solos but it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t focus on The Dance of the Reed Pipes which although is a dance all about reed instruments, contains one of the most well-known flute solos of all time.  (Especially if you like Cadburys Fruit and Nut Chocolate!.)  The flute melody here is extremely delicate and floats on top of the orchestra, contrasting to how Tchaikovsky used his flutes in the Bluebird suite in Sleeping Beauty.  The motif is repeated often throughout the piece, hence why we all know it so well.  As any flautist will tell you, it seems in this ballet that no one taught dancers how to play the flute – a backwards (left handed) flute is a rather rare!

 

4. Debussy – Prelude a l‘ Après-midi d’un Faune

One of the most famous flute solos in orchestral music is also a ballet score!  Debussy’s Prelude a l‘ Après-midi d’un Faune was composed for the legendary Ballets Russes and starts with a long un-conducted flute solo, as the flute sets the scene for the rest of the piece.  This haunting, sinuous, almost sexual melody is a dramatic contrast to the works of Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky.  The main flute motif is played in the flutes lower register, not as common for solos in orchestral music as it doesn’t stand out quite as much amongst the rest of the orchestra.  The motif is slow steady and chromatic, haunting.  This solo relies heavily on the flautist’s diaphragm control and the opening is aimed to be completed entirely in one breath, making learning it a bit of a competition amongst flautists.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_LrFJsgmJc

5. Khachaturian – Gayane

All the pieces on this list really showcase what the flute and a flautist can do.  However, Lezginka from Gayne shows a very different side to the flute then the others.  This fast-paced flute solo is firey and dramatic.  The flute line is extremely virtuosic with constant fast double tonguing.  This piece shows that flutes can play more than just birds and soft melodies in orchestral music.  The flute can also play drama and attack!

https://youtu.be/pflQ0M6hGtc?t=20s

6. Gluck – Dance of the Blessed Spirits

A piece currently in CAFÉ Flutes repertoire is Gluck’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits from the Opera Orphée et Eurydice. The reason this piece is last on the list is because it’s not from a ballet, it’s from an Opera.  However, this is a dance and is treated as one within the opera.  The flute is the only instrument carrying the melody in this piece, making it crucially important.  The flute plays slowly and drawn out, evoking the longing which Orphée feels at this point during the opera.  It is a worthy contender for this list.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NksNdUOzt0

 

 

What do you think?  Did we list all the ones you’d list?  Please feel free to comment on any more you’d like to add to our list.  Happy World Ballet Day!

Summer Open Rehearsal

We are holding an Open Rehearsal on 25th July at 7.30pm, doors open and refreshments will be available from 7pm at Whitchurch Methodist Church, Cardiff. Come along and support us and hear what kind of music we are working on at present, admission is free, but donations are welcome towards our group’s fundraising. For more information email info@cafeflutes.co.uk.

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