Flutist Quarterly review of “Beyond the Notes”

Beyond the Notes—Musical Thoughts and Analyses by Thomas Nyfenger, Compiled and Edited by Edward Joffe
This kind of book is rare; not many musicians are able to put such clear, outspoken opinions on paper. His urge to find the essence of a work—with most important parameters being time signature, phrasing, and harmony—makes him, for me, a great musician. Nyfenger encouraged the reader not to be afraid of experiments with free thinking and, most important, imagination. He showed that the embellishments in a grave from a methodical sonata by Telemann are not different from the Charlie Parker solo “Just Friends.” A large part of the book describes, often measure for measure, his ideas on important flute literature, including the Bach sonatas, Mozart’s concertos, the Andante from the Fauré Fantasie (with an interpretation as from a movie!), and important flute solos from the Fourth Symphony by Brahms and Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune. An appendix includes a number of fantasies by Telemann adapted by Nyfenger for two flutes. After reading this book, I felt as though I had had a refreshing conversation with Thomas Nyfenger himself.