Mel Bonis: Six Works for Flute and Piano
by Daum, Jenna, D.M.A., Arizona State University, 2013, 118 pages

Abstract:

The end of the nineteenth century was an exhilarating and revolutionary era for the flute. This period is the Second Golden Age of the flute, when players and teachers associated with the Paris Conservatory developed what would be considered the birth of the modern flute school. In addition, the founding in 1871 of the Société Nationale de Musique by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921) and Romain Bussine (1830–1899) made possible the promotion of contemporary French composers. The founding of the Société des Instruments à Vent by Paul Taffanel (1844–1908) in 1879 also invigorated a new era of chamber music for wind instruments. Within this groundbreaking environment, Mélanie Hélène Bonis (pen name Mel Bonis) entered the Paris Conservatory in 1876, under the tutelage of César Franck (1822–1890).

Many flutists are dismayed by the scarcity of repertoire for the instrument in the Romantic and post-Romantic traditions; they make up for this absence by borrowing the violin sonatas of Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924) and Franck. The flute and piano works of Mel Bonis help to fill this void with music composed originally for flute. Bonis was a prolific composer with over 300 works to her credit, but her works for flute and piano have not been researched or professionally recorded in the United States before the present study. Although virtually unknown today in the American flute community, Bonis’s music received much acclaim from her contemporaries and deserves a prominent place in the flutist’s repertoire. After a brief biographical introduction, this document examines Mel Bonis’s musical style and describes in detail her six works for flute and piano while also offering performance suggestions. 

A Preliminary Foray into Carl Wehner’s Influence on American Flute-Playing

by Daum, Jenna, D.M.A., Arizona State University

Abstract:

In the years before the onset of the well-documented French influence on American flute playing, German flutist Carl Wehner (1838-1912) played a unique role in the establishment of an American style of flute playing in the vibrant metropolis of New York.  A pupil of Theobald Boehm (1794-1881), the inventor of the modern-day flute, Wehner played under a long list of European composers and conductors of his day.  He immigrated to New York in the mid-nineteenth century at the invitation of legendary conductor Theodore Thomas (1835-1905), now considered the father of the American symphony orchestra.  From his position as principal flute of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Symphony, Theodore Thomas Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic during the 1880s, Wehner was a key player in what would become an important time of transition in American flute playing. However, an informative biography on this crucial figure has yet to be written.  Therefore, one goal of this study is to collect published source materials and create as comprehensive a picture as possible. Using the sparse documentation available, including information about the pupils and colleagues of Wehner, his opinions and impact on the transition of the Boehm flute from wood to silver, and his Twelve Grand Exercises (1898), I will piece together a brief sketch of this important figure. A byproduct of that process will be my estimation of his ultimate influence on flute playing and teaching during the Gilded Age of New York.


The Renaissance Flute Consort: Recent Scholarship

by Daum, Jenna, D.M.A., Arizona State University  

Abstract:

Recent research and scholarship in the area of Renaissance music has centered on the use of the Renaissance transverse flute within the confines of the consort and in mixed ensembles for musical compositions of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Within the early music revival of the 1970s, a revival of the Renaissance flute was largely neglected, with more interest instead on the Baroque flute.  Recently, however interest in the Renaissance flute has increased, especially with the culmination of the Renaissance Flute Days at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in September 2002 and the International Renaissance Flutes and Recorder Symposium at Utrecht in 2003.[1]  This paper will follow recent research for evidence of the use of the Renaissance flute in full consorts and in larger mixed ensembles. Although flutes and fifes were often used for military purposes, this paper will focus on flutes used for concerted purposes.


Music and Positive Aging

by Daum, Jenna, D.M.A., Arizona State University