Hi everyone my name is Liz from flutesoundscapes.com and today I’m going to be giving you a performance of Vesti La Giubba which is from the Australian Music Examinations Board’s syllabus for grade 2 flute, list B number 5. So I’ll play the piece first and then I’m going to give you some practice tips on how you can learn this in the fastest way possible.
The first tip I want to give about this piece is to go and listen to an opera singer performing this piece-so you’ll find it on youtube fairly easily if you type in the name of the piece and this will help you conceptualize the the emotion in in this piece too and and it’s full expression. So given that opera singers have the option of words to express themselves, we want to try and create that illusion with the flute as well even though we’re obviously playing with one tone but we’re going to do it in our tonal colors.
So what do I mean by that when I say tone colors? I mean using our skills to create different sounds on the flute on the on the same note for example i might play a D and I think of tone colors in literal colors-so like a fortissimo very strong would be color red and very quiet or soft and most mysterious would be color blue and yellow would be somewhere in the middle of that.
You can make up your own version of this color chart or maybe you think of it slightly differently but whatever works for you.
Now keep in mind that if you’re at the stage with your playing where you’re using vibrato this is where vibrato can really come in handy because when you’re playing your piano or your blue color you want to use the vibrato at a faster speed to keep the note alive rather than dead. So the difference between a note that has vibrato and doesn’t sounds like this: [music] so this has vibrato [music] and this doesn’t [music].
So i’m going to play the first line without vibrato and then I’ll add in vibrato so you can hear the difference in the direction of the phrase so this is with vibrato [Music] and this is without vibrato [Music]. So if you can hear the difference between the one kind of sounds a little bit flat like it lacks a vibrancy and a direction to it and the other one has a bit more direction in the phrase. It’s like saying a sentence that is leading to a full stop, and the other one just keeps going like and we’re not quite sure where the full stop is.
All right so that’s the difference so at this point you might be wondering-‘well how do I do vibrato’? f you haven’t yet learnt vibrato, and I’m going to create a whole other video on that, so stay tuned for that one, but basically very quickly, vibrato is where we use our diaphragmic support to make the the note sort of sound like that (wavy).
So the way you would start learning vibrato is again, we’ll do it on a D and you’re going to imagine you’re blowing out candles, so if you just think about your birthday and you’re blowing out your candles you know that it’s automatically going to come from the belly. So on one note [demonstration], so no tongue just an open throat and you want to get to the point that you’re actually feeling some fatigue in the uh belly muscle area and that’s how you know you’re kind of doing it right. And then as you build on this you’re going to make this go faster and then faster again and then faster again until the the tension comes out of the diaphragm area and it’s you’re starting to now do it automatically with much less effort.
So that’s how you can begin to introduce vibrato into your playing but like I said I’ll do a whole another video on that. That’s the first tip. The next thing is we want to be thinking in sentences in this piece because it is operatic. I mean we should be thinking in sentences in all music anyway but to enhance the dramatic feel of this piece you want to be playing your notes right to the end of the phrases; right to the the bar line or right to the next note.
So for example in the the second bar, there’s a legato phrase to the D and so you want to not cut that D short. Ideally you wouldn’t breathe between those two D’s in the second bar, but if you’re not quite there yet that’s fine you can breathe, but you want to make the breath really really short. So now I want to play the difference between cutting the D short and and not cutting the D short so I’ll cut the D short this time. [Music} That to me, sounds like two sentences but we want to make this sound like one sentence [Music] So you want to make that the getting to the end of the phrase with all of your phrases and taking as shorter breaths as possible.
You also want to make sure you have enough breath for phrases and the number one mistake I see students making is that they’re not preparing their breaths in time and then suddenly they need to breathe in the middle of a bar where it’s going to break up the phrase. For example, in bar 24 to 25 there’s this long note which you need to hold for six beats and ideally you won’t breathe between the A and the B flat, so you can achieve this in a few ways. One is obviously breath preparation but two is also when you get to the beginning of the A to conserve your breath so you can really make the most of the crescendo in bar 24.
You’ve got to grow that note and you’re going to land on the B flat. So if i play from bar 23. [Music]- you really want to make this point intense and you can hear that I really grew the note in the A and I didn’t breathe before the B flat because we’re landing that as the anchor point and the point of real intensity.
Finally, with this piece articulation is so important to again bring out the expression. So you’ll see there’s a variety of expressions there’s articulation marks-there’s accents and there’s tenutos and there’s even a fermata somewhere- so do be sure to bring out those different articulations because they are important and and also to re-tongue after the phrase has ended. Those legato lines-for example in bar 11, you see this legato line over each of the notes but then there’s tenuto marks over each of those notes so you want to make sure you’re tonguing those notes, but you still want to have it in that joined expression so [Music] [Music]
It’s like you’re adding weight to those notes with your tongue but we still want to have the legato feel.
Original flute music here: https://flutesoundscapes.com/sheet-music/