Listening Log Page 27

The Piccolo

Possibly developed in 18th Century France , maybe 1740. The piccolo is a small flute an octave tighter than the concert flute. It is a transposing instrument where its music is written an octave lower than it’s sounding pitch.

Since the time of Beethoven it has been an integral part of the ot=rchestra often being used for special effects. By the end of the 20th Century most large orchestras had a Principal Piccolo Player. It is also used in a military band.

The Cor Anglais

The Cor Anglais was first developed shortly after 1720. It was created when a bilbos bell was added to an oboe de caccia, possibly by JT Weigel of Breslau. It is a tenor oboe in F which is a 5th below that of a standard oboe.

The design reminded people of angels’ horns which were depicted in religious imagery from medieval times onwards, but especially win German speaking Europe. In High German “embellish” meant angelic but in Middle German the word for England was “Engellant” and “engellish” meant English. Over time these became blurred and the Angels’ Horns became the English Horn.

In its early years it was used interchangeably with other tenor oboes.

In 1823, Henri Brod collaborated with the firm of Trieberts to modernise the instrument. It wasn’t until 1881 when a former Trieberts employee, Francois Loree opened his own workshop that we see the design we have today, based on the model devised by Henri Brod.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that the Cor Anglais established itself as a member of the orchestra and had more concertos written for it.

Auxillary instruments of the orchestra

The Piccolo

🎼Fluttering Birds by Jean Genin

This started off with a military feel to it before the two piccolos joined in. The piccolos are beautiful and they do indeed sound as if they could be fluttering birds talking to one another as they fly. I really like the way the band joins in with the piccolos in parts, it does still sound like it could be a marching piece. When I say military feel maybe this could be played by a marching band. Really enjoyed the piece.

🎼Herman Beeftink – Fireflies (piccolo and Piano)

A totally different sounding piece here and once again I enjoyed the way it has been presented. This time the piccolo sounded more like a flute until it reached those higher notes. This seemed a romantic piece and together with the piano the effect was gentle and flowing and very very beautiful indeed, I loved this piece

Cor Anglais

🎼Elliott Carter – Pastoral for English Horn and Piano (1940)

This pieces sounds as if it has been written so that Cor Anglais and piano merge on occasions. The Cor Anglais sounds like it is running through most of its scale repertoire. However I feel that on times the pain is too loud and completely drowns out the Cor Anglais which made it difficult to listen t and I didn’t enjoy it as much.

🎼Paul Hindemith – Sonata (1941)

Another piece written for Cor Anglais and piano but this time the piano is much gentler allowing for the romantic sound of the Cor Angais to shine through. I thought this was a beautiful piece which was romantic but for some parts had a medieval quality to it.