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Mozart Flute Concerto in G Major Opening Phrase Practical Guide

by | Dec 20, 2017 | Ory's Tips | 2 comments

 

Ory’s Flute Tips

Mozart Flute Concerto in G Major Opening Phrase Practical Guide

 

How many times have you practiced the opening phrase of Mozart flute concerto in G Major? My guess is a LOT!
Yet, it seems like the more experienced player you become, the harder it is to find the ‘right’ way of playing it. No wonder: you wish to have a big sound, yet not to crack the first note, or the low D; You wish to sound majestic, yet not heavy; You wish to sound light, yet to be present; You wish to play with clear, short staccato, yet not to rush.

Each one of these aspects represents a different challenge we have to address and control. Before we look into each one of them, I have recorded for you my version:

🎯 Have a big sound, yet don’t crack the first note, or the low D

There are few important issues you have to make sure you do:

  • You have to know exactly where to send your air for the first G and the right air speed needed for that note
  • You have to make sure your tongue doesn’t interrupt your lips and doesn’t move them

Practice advice: Start the phrase few time without your tongue – just with the air. It will be easier than to recognize the exact spot you have to direct your air to and the right air speed you would need to the G. After that, try to find a way how to add your tongue in a way that doesn’t change your lips and air stream.

👑 Sound majestic, yet not heavy

In order to avoid heaviness, play with bell notes (especially the 1/4 notes). Release the ending of the notes and allow tiny pauses between the notes. Avoid accents on every 1/4 note or half bar.

Give special attention to the last 1/4 note of the first bar. Make sure it is not longer than the rest of the 1/4 notes in that bar. The tendency is to play this note much longer than the rest.

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🌠 Sound light, yet be present

Make sure your trills are quick. This would add lightness and brightness to your playing. At the same time, don’t play the trills equally throughout the whole note. The trills are part of the music and aren’t just a mechanical finger change between 2 notes. Start slower and accelerate them and make sure the upper note (the appoggiatura) is long enough and can be heard well.

🎿 Play with clear, short staccato, yet don’t rush

Apply short articulation for the 1/16 staccato notes. That will help you to sound light. Make sure you don’t lose your tone quality while articulating. Keep your tone focus at all time.

As you now play with shorter length of notes during the staccato, make sure you play the articulated passages in tempo and don’t suddenly rush. By shortening each note you articulate, you should be left with a longer pause between each note. If you rush, it’s most likely happening because you are shortening these pauses as well.

 

I hope my suggestions gave you some new ideas and insights about the opening phrase. This concerto is full of little details that can make a huge difference in your playing and interpretation of the piece and no wonder that so many participants in my masterclasses choose to work together on it.

Happy practicing,
Ory

You can now find here as well my practical guide for the D Major concerto.

Ory Schneor is a principal flutist with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Tongyeong Festival Orchestra and member of the Geneva Camerata. He is teaching masterclasses around the world and he is the founder and instructor at FLUTEinWIEN

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