Rialto Ripples [Four Flutes]
Pan - Journal of the British Flute Society
Melanie Thorne’s arrangement of Gershwin’s 1917 ragtime tune brings Rialto Ripples to the flute quartet. Arranged for C flutes, Thorne uses the four parts to maintain the ragtime feel throughout, sharing the opening triplet motif between flutes one and two, whilst the swung quaver feel is persistent in the third and fourth flute parts. This arrangement provides challenges and interest in all parts, but do note that Flute 1 often soars into the third octave, the triplet motif itself reaching a high A, and Flute 4 has to deal with a number of transitions from low C. Exciting harmonies appear when the four parts are put together and the interchange of musical ideas become fully apparent between the parts. The well-spaced layout, with clear performance directions and alleviation of page turns, makes the piece accessible and easy to read.
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).