More summer musical partying, and another ten-year-old dream fulfilled!

Abby and I went to a party at Gina’s. We hadn’t been over in more than half a year.

We had a great time, sharing a ton of food (I made a cabbage dish of my own invention that included onion, garlic, olive oil, cumin seeds, thyme, lime juice, salt and pepper) and hanging out inside as well as in the backyard.

I somehow started an arm wrestling competition with the guys, and then we challenged each other to pullups and chinups too.

I also ended up playing three games of speed chess at a time handicap (my 3 minutes to his 10 minutes). I barely managed to win all three games. The final game should have been a draw, but I won through a swindle.


I told Henry I was much improved musically since we played together two months ago. A lot of things have been falling in place for me. Of course, this only makes me be more ambitious about music to play, and in return, get humbled yet again by how much more improvement is left for me!

Telemann’s flute sonata in B minor, TMV 41:h4

One piece we tackled was Telemann’s flute sonata in B minor, TMV 41:h4. I had only actually gone over the first two movements, so we were both sight reading the last two. That was something of a wreck for me, but gives me homework to do: originally I had not actually planned on learning the whole sonata, now I want to!

Bach’s flute sonata in E major, BWV 1035

Another piece we did was Bach’s flute sonata in E major, BWV 1035, which I have already mentioned my obsession with in a blog post over three months ago.

Note: I am still not playing this on Baroque flute or modern flute, because of the difficulty! I have been working with a recorder transcription for F major.

Because I have actually been playing more of this sonata myself in the past months, I have come to change my mind about performances I listed in that blog post! There is nothing like actually studying and playing a piece of music to change one’s perception of it.

My favorite performance so far I’ve found on YouTube is by Wilbert Hazelzet on Baroque flute. It’s split over two parts:

Anyway, Henry and I ran through the sonata. Again, I had not actually ever run through the final movement, so it was an embarrassing sight reading scramble for me. But he really enjoyed the last movement, and I did too, and realized that I wanted to actually study and practice it. It’s funny how I came to enjoy this movement much more after having tried to play it.

Gabriel Fauré, Après un rêve: fulfilling my ten-year-old dream

After all the Baroque stuff, I decided to play something different with Henry. I pulled out my modern flute, and we did Fauré’s song “Après un rêve” in a flute and piano arrangement that I bought in 2003.

Here’s a story I have never told anyone until now.

I bought that score because I was in love with the song, but never imagined that I would be able to sing it properly. So I thought to myself that if I ever played flute again (recall that the last time I had touched flute was twenty years earlier, in childhood), my goal would be to at least be able to play this one song on flute reasonably close to how I feel it should be played or sung. (There is also a second piece for flute that I wanted to play as well. I will reveal it once I have actually played it with someone.)

Ever since I got back to flute almost two years ago, “Après un rêve” has been on my mind as well as on my shelf, and as a measure of progres, I have actually periodically pulled it out to try to play it. For well over a year, I could not play it anywhere near how I want it to sound. Here’s a piano accompaniment track I’ve been using in the past months:

Eight months ago, I fulfilled a childhood dream, by throwing myself into singing, and in fact, one song I did sing was “Après un rêve”! I still don’t sing it as well as I’d like, and will continue working on singing it, but singing in general has had a tremendous positive transferring effect on my flute playing! I am now almost able to play “Après un rêve” how I want (the remaining difficulties being cleaning up the high passages in the arrangement as well as controlling the breath there as well). In any case, I went and played it with Henry for the first time, and it wasn’t horrible. In summary, ten years after I bought that score with wishful thinking, I made my dream reality.

By the way, here’s a nice performance on flute that inspires me:

Roland de Lassus, as recorder duets

The surprise of the day was when, after watching me mess around with bass recorder, Henry got the idea of playing recorder duets with me. I hadn’t known that he played recorder. He said he could play recorders in C (soprano and tenor), and since I didn’t have my tenor on me, I gave him my soprano recorder. He picked up a book and went through it to find some early music duets that we could do on recorders. We did some with soprano and bass, then I switched to alto and we did soprano and alto for the rest we found in the book. It was immense fun!

Henry and Franklin on recorders


I feel blessed to have the opportunity and inspiration from Henry to continue improving at playing music, and stretch myself further. I have come so far in the past two years.

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