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Recitative & Air for Flute and Piano
Includes Online Audio

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  • Staff Pick

Staff Pick

“Romantic music!”

Chris Hankin Just Flutes staff member - [email protected]

This is a really super piece! The style is unmistakably English but there are French influences too. In the usual format of slow introduction, theme and fast section, it's a good piece for learning about this common type of flute music. The technical challenges are reasonable, enabling the charm of the writing to come through.This would be an excellent piece for a concert. 

From the Publisher

Fun to play music from the English Mendelssohn. Macfarren's interest in opera comes across in this lively piece. A declamatory opening recitative gives way to an air of two contrasting parts - a delicate theme in the manner of an operatic aria followed by a lively somewhat dramatic section. It was first published in 1883 in the journal of the 'London Society of Amateur Flute Players'. Attached to it was a note from the editor, stating that a performance of the work given by the society to an audience of almost 2,000 people had 'thoroughly fixed the attention of the large audience. Every movement was appreciated, the lower notes of the slow air especially telling out with singular roundness and beauty'.

Sir George Alexander Macfarren, the English Mendelssohn, was an English academic and composer, famous in his day and knighted by Queen Victoria for his services to music. He was also Principal of the Royal Academy of Music, Professor of Music at Cambridge University, and a friend of Mendelssohn, with whom he shared a similar compositional style. Sadly, Macfarren had been troubled with eyesight problems from a young age and was completely blind by the time that he composed the Recitative and Air, and had to rely on the services of an amanuensis.

Performance duration (approx): 6'40

Difficulty guide: 7
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is total beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).

Item Details


  • Part 1: Flute
  • Part 2: Piano
Category: Romantic Flute and Piano Music
Publisher: Trübcher Music
Publisher's reference: 9790708082880
Part of the Forgotten Music series
Our Stock Code: 1352320
Media Type: Paperback; includes accompaniment Online Audio