Beyond the Notes: Musical Thoughts and Analyses by Thomas Nyfenger, Compiled & Edited by Dr. Edward Joffe.
The second book by flutist/educator Thomas Nyfenger provides a window into his musical concepts and thoughts that he had begun to write down before his untimely passing at the age of 53. Former student and friend, Dr. Edward Joffe, helped to finish the compilation of materials and edited the book. While Nyfenger’s first book, Music and the Flute, deals primarily with recommendations for how to approach the physical aspects of flute playing (embouchure, articulation, vibrato, etc.) in order to arrive at a more successful musical performance, this latest work puts greater emphasis on musical examples and Nyfenger’s approach to solving the inherent musical problems. Some of the works cited include the J.S. Bach Partita and sonatas, Handel sonatas, Mozart Concerti, Fauré Fantasy, and numerous orchestral excerpts. In addition, there are sections that deal with “Playing and Practicing” and “Survival in the Music Industry.” Finally, Nyfenger’s emphasis on harmony (“Hearing the Changes”) and how it governs the melodic line is demonstrated in two realizations that he used as teaching tools: a Jeanjean etude for solo flute with his own piano accompaniment provided and a Telemann Fantasy, now offered as a duet. This book is a tribute to the golden age of flute playing in the twentieth century when giants such as Barrère, Laurent, Moyse, Kincaid, Rampal, Dufrêne, Mariano, Tipton, Sharp, Baker and Gilbert roamed the planet and how they approached playing Beyond the Notes!
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