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Chocolate Mousse - A Confection for Alto and Bass Flutes

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Pan - Journal of the British Flute Society

This review first appeared in Pan, the journal of the British Flute Society and is reproduced with permission. Join the BFS: membership starts from £20 a year.

Chocolate Mousse is a light and airy musical bonbon with a luscious fondant of not one but five velvety altos ladled over a rich nutty base of bass. Aptly named, and a must-play for those with a musical sweet tooth.

The piece opens smoothly in 4/4, combining the different textures of flautistic trufflesinto a lively concoction. While Alto 5 echoes the chunky swirls in the bass, Alto 1 pipes on the gliss and triplet icing. The pace starts to quicken at bar 25 and we swing into the jaunty 6/8 and 3/4 segment, which whips up some cheeky froth, before deftly slipping back into 4/4, with the 3 lower lines blending for the biscuity base and the 3 upper lines giving the souffle topping.

At bar 42, the key change is announced by the sultry solo bass with the alto quintet then adding their layer of creaminess which smoothes out in the top lines while the lower lines give us a spicy kick, as we return to the original key.

At bar 54, we get another key change and a layered cocktail of all 6 voices providing different ingredients for 4 bars before settling into a robust formation of 3 voices giving the solid base flavour, complemented by the trio of aromatic seasoning over the top. Once again, it's the wholesome base which introduces the spikey theme at bar 62, then the lower lines providing the saucy filling while the higher lines drizzle molten semibreves over the top.

The Bass and Alto 5 base cooks until golden while the higher altos brush a serence glaze over the top. This suddenly turns upside down at bar 74 with Alto 1 scattering cherries over the thickly layered cake of crotchets and minims in all the other lines, coinciding with a new key change.

The pièce de resistance is dished up between Alto 2 and 1, mirrored in the bass in one mischievous bar, whisking us towards the final flurishing bar of sforzando piano crescendoing to a roushing forte punch.

J Berman

Our Description

Composed to feature the lush sound of an alto flute section, described as “chocolate mousse!” Scored, ideally, for 5 alto flutes and 1 bass flute. Optional parts included for C flute on parts 1, 2, & 3, and a second bass flute on part 5. A wonderful opportunity to feature the lower flutes.

Difficulty guide: 6
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).

Item Details


  • Part 1: Alto Flute or Flute
  • Part 2: Alto Flute or Flute
  • Part 3: Alto Flute or Flute
  • Part 4: Alto Flute
  • Part 5: Alto Flute or Bass Flute
  • Part 6: Bass Flute
Category: Flute Choir Music: 6 Mixed Flutes
Publisher: ALRY Publications
Publisher's reference: FC273
Part of the The Bottom Line Series series
Our Stock Code: 1199154
Media Type: Paperback - Score and parts