Sunday, August 3, 2014

Performance Guide to Gérard Meunier’s Au crépuscule

by Leonard Garrison, Associate Professor of Flute, The University of Idaho
Copyright©2014 by Leonard Garrison
To view my teaching video of this piece, please visit my YouTube Channel.
French teacher, pianist, and composer Gérard Meunier (b. 1928) was director of the Aubervilliers-La Corneuve Conservatory, just northeast of Paris, for thirty years. He has written much solo piano music and works for various wind instruments, and many of his works are for younger musicians.
Au crepuscule means “at dusk,” and this short work captures the peaceful atmosphere of that time of day. The main challenge to the flutist is creating long phrases by minimizing rests and keeping the tone moving and alive through longer notes. As the piano accompaniment is simple and unobtrusive, play somewhat freely, lingering on important or interesting notes, moving ahead to build excitement, and slowing down to highlight major points of arrival. For instance, crescendo through the first note and sustain throughout the first four measures. The next phrase (meas. 6-9) can move ahead a bit and then stretch going into meas. 10.
Project the lower notes so they match the brilliance of the high register. For instance, in meas. 28-29, crescendo in the descending lines and diminuendo going up.
In meas. 30, un peu ralenti means a little slowing down. Although the score does not indicate a tempo change, stretch the last four measures to achieve a sense of closure.
Good luck, or bonne chance!

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