Five Christmas flute pieces with a twist!

Spice up your festive offerings with these quirky pieces which are sure to bring joy to the world!

Simon Desorgher: Coventry Carol Variations for Flute Ensemble

This unusual version of the Coventry Carol is certainly different. Simon Desorgher has used each variation to highlight a different alternative technique. Double trills in Lully Lullay and Woe is Me, harmonics in O Sisters Too and accents and singing and playing in Herod the King all really enhance the drama of the narrative. This is a stunner that would make an amazing contrast in any Christmas concert. Difficulty guide: 5-9

Traditional arranged Alfie Pugh: The Twelve Keys of Christmas for Flute Quartet

If you’re up for a challenge then this is the piece for you! It’s just so clever, bringing in various musical styles and snippets of other carols as well as changing key twelve times. A good amount of rehearsal time will make it sound effortless but no-one will mind – it’s as fun to play as it is to listen to! Difficulty Guide: 8

Gustav Holst arranged Nicole Chamberlain: In the Bleak Midwinter for Solo Flute

This is a beautiful, if rather unusual, adaptation of a Holst’s well-loved Christmas carol. Here there is a simple use of wind sounds at the start to give character, the middle section sounds like a free improvisation before the opening returns. A beautifully haunting piece, this would sound lovely everywhere and extra-wonderful in the resonant acoustics of a church. Definitely a carol with a difference – Holst would love it! Difficulty Guide: 7

Traditional arranged Gary Schocker: Two Pipers Piping for Two Flutes

This looks to be yet another ordinary Christmas carol book but if you know anything about Gary Schocker, you won’t be surprised to find that it’s not that at all. It’s true that all the blockbuster tunes are here but not necessarily as you might know them. He has changed some of the time signatures – ‘The First Noel’ and ‘We Wish You’ are both in 6/8 which really lends a swing to these solid tunes. ‘O Little Town’ is almost a variation without the original melody, and he constantly twists the harmonies which is especially effective in Jingle Bells. The effect of all this is to add another dimension to these perennial favourites – this quirky little book is a gem!

Traditional arranged Chris Lawry and KeriDegg: Christmas Jazz for Flute and Piano

These are really good arrangements. The accompaniments are very important as they drive the rhythms and harmonies, leaving the flute to sound fantastic over the top.  In this volume God Rest Ye and Hark the Herald are rhythmically altered and Silent Night is turned into an old fashioned Hollywood ballade. The star is We Three Ships with its quirky accompaniment complete with sleigh bells. This book is a budding jazzer’s perfect festive treat!

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