Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un Faune [Flute and Piano]
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“A great edition!”
It's lovely to have a version of L'Apres Midi arranged for flute and piano by Emily Beynon, such a wonderful player of the solo itself. The flute part has been sensitively edited and all the extra orchestral parts are marked by instrument which is really helpful. There is also a very interesting introduction where she writes a little of the history, adds some performance notes and there's also a paragraph on the sources used. Serious stuff for serious players.
Pan - Journal of the British Flute Society
There are several extant flute and piano arrangements of this famous orchestral work, which have in my mind, a varying level of success. Debussy's orchestral scoring is full of colour variations, making it very difficult to reduce convincingly for just two instruments. This new arrangement by Emily Beynon, though, is one of the best i've seen. As one might expect from Beynon's reputation as one of the world's leading orchestral musicians, is full of sensitivity to Debussy's ideas and succesfully translates the mood and atmosphere of the music without a feeling of compromise. The flute part is based on the original orchestral part, with some additions from other instruments. Herein lies one of my favourite features of this arrangement, which is that these parts are clearly labelled with the original instrumeent, so that one can trace the construction of the arrangement, and also, more importantly, adapt the tone colour accordingly. This is an excellent way of getting students to engage with the full orchestral score, as well as providing an ideal opportunity to develop timbral variety.
This arrangement also stands up academically, and has been put together with reference to the original manuscript, held in the Bibiotheque nationale in Paris, as well as Ravel's four-hands piano transcription from 1910. Beynon's research has revealed some interesting changes from what might expect, and text introduction alone is worth buying the edition for.
The piano part was constructed with the help of Andrew West and is well spaced and logically voiced. The edition is well presented, although one minor niggle is that the relatively large stave size of the flute part makes the page feel a little cramped. But that's just a minor point; this is an excellent arrangement which has been put together with care, attention to detail and to an abundance of musical sensitivity. Highly recommended.
Performance duration (approx): 10'00"
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).