Product Reviews: 10 Studies in Karnatic Modes
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“Spicy technical challenges that work as real music.”
These exotic and sensual studies occupy simnlar territory to Syrinx, the Roussel Joueurs de Flute and the central section of the 3rd movement of the Ibert concerto. I am only working on numbers 1 and 9 at the moment but I have looked through the scores of the others
They are based on Indian modes which are set out as a preface to the studies. Technically there are many rapid runs that involve non-diatonic material, forcing the player to get used to unfamiliar intervals and progressions but with a strong underlying tonality. The music also demands huge and rapid, extreme leaps between registers which is a fantastic training for embouchure flexibility. There are glissandi, portamenti and occasional quarter tones and flutter tonguing but these can all be accomplished easily even on a closed hole flute. Otherwise, there is no requirement for avant-garde extended techniques.
Above all, certainly from what I've played so far (and the rest of the score seems to bear this out), htese studies are real pieces of music that don't sound like studies but elaborate and often dreamy improvisations. A joy to play and learn.