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The French composer Leo Delibes worked as a church organist initially, but always maintained an interest in composing for the theatre, gradually attracting serious recognition; his ballets ‘Coppelia’ and ‘Sylvia’ were reputed to have been admired by Tchaikovsky. The masterpiece ‘Lakmé’ was written in 1883; its popularity at the time is still matched today, particularly for the most famous duet from the opera, ‘Flower Duet.’
Originally written for two female singers plus orchestral accompaniment, this arrangement features the renowned chorus of interweaving melodies, made famous by an airline television advertising campaign. Although the top two parts share the most prominent lines, the contrapuntal nature means each part has independent rhythms. This arrangement can be played by a minimum of four; however the inclusion of doubling players and the optional alto and bass flutes enhance the performance; there is also an optional accompanying part for piano.
Intermediate to advanced
One score and the following separate parts:
Alto Flute (optional)
Bass Flute (optional)
Bb Clarinet (optional)
Review from Ella and Gabi, adult flute quartet members
We are a flute quartet meeting monthly to make music, chat and eat cake; we have all been playing for many years and are over grade 8 standard. We recently ordered music to play at a friends’ wedding; Zoë was extremely helpful at advising on what music would be suitable. We have enjoyed the Flower Duet. Some of the time changes are quite tricky (not because of the way that it's written, just because they are) so need to be worked at carefully for a performance. Even though the third and fourth parts don't have as much tune, they are still really crucial for keeping the piece moving and leading the beginning of sections, especially if you don't have a conductor. The piece is gorgeous and it's nice to have the piano part.
Review from Stephen, adult player (and proud owner of Delibes’ Flute Duet and Rossini’s Thieving Magpie Overture)
I belong to a group of six flute players who meet every couple of weeks in term time. We have a piccolo player, an alto flute player, and a bass but not everyone can make every meeting! This means that we need music that is adaptable to our forces on any particular occasion, and this is where Pipeblower Publishing comes in! We find that Pipeblower music for four flutes/flute choir is ideal for our purposes. We can always find a satisfactory combination of parts and it would be just as suitable were the size of the group to increase, which it may well do. The arrangements sound good and we have fun! So, thank you, Pipeblower Publishing!
Listen to this arrangement (midi instruments)
Delibes’ Flower Duet for voices and orchestra on www.youtube.com
Click here to see
the first page of
this score (.pdf)
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