Last night the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo hit the UK, and so I woke up this morning to high winds and generally wet weather. Through the day it alternated wind and rain with lovely sunny patches, which was fascinating to watch from the warm comfort of my bedroom. I hope it clears up soon though – I was really looking forward to my run this morning!

Once again it was Tesco Tuesday. On the way there and back, we have to list composers and flute works, starting at A and continuing through the alphabet at Trevor’s discretion. Last week (still on A), the experience became rather painful, as it was obvious that most of the group hadn’t made much of an effort to do any research. So the ultimatum was delivered that anyone who didn’t participate would have to take a taxi home. With a combination of that and the number of composers beginning with B being a lot bigger, we had a much better discussion this week. In an ideal world my offerings of contemporary composers wouldn’t be met with quite so much disdain, but oh well.

As I mentioned yesterday, our set repertoire piece for this week is Doppler’s Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy, which I spent quite a while today practising. I’m really trying to be expressive without pulling the tempo around too much, especially in the faster sections. Some recordings (in particular Sharon Bezaly’s) seem to play every beat in a different tempo, and while there is a certain charm to that, the piece is still in bars with a time signature! Yes, there are some sections where accels and rits make it very exciting, but too much fluidity and I personally think it sounds a bit of a mess. Instead, I’m really focusing on the dynamics, accents and inherent drama in the rhythms (they’re quite interesting enough!), as well as the marked tempo changes. We’ll see what Trevor says on Thursday – as with last week’s Folies, I feel that there will be a lot of differences in interpretation.

Finally, I have a list of scales that still sound awful, mostly because I fluff up the turn-around at the top:

C#, D, Eb, E and Bb melodic minors

G minor arpeggio, and Bb major and G minor broken chords (playing these with long Bb as well as a high D is absolutely hellish!)

Dominant 7ths on D and Bb, and diminished 7th on B