Blakeman-Taffanel Genius of the Flute
Drawing on previously unavailable material from a private archive in Paris, Blakeman-Taffanel Genius of the Flute, describes and evaluates Taffanel’s life, career, and works. As founder of the modern French School of flute playing, this book highlights Taffanel’s immortal influence.
Paul Taffanel (1844 – 1908), known as the father of modern flute playing, was an extraordinary virtuoso with a rare vision. Taffanel aimed to reestablish the flute as a mainstream instrument. Through his eyes, the serious, expressive instrument had a lot to offer.
Taffanel studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Louis Dorus, graduating in 1860. When Taffanel became Professor of Flute at the Conservatoire, in 1893, he revised the institute’s repertoire and teaching methods. He reintroduced works by foreign composers and those of earlier generations, including Bach. Taffanel’s pupils learned to play in a new, smoother style that included a light and carefully-modulated vibrato. People still swear by his study books and perform his flute repertoire. Jack of all trades, Taffanel conducted the Paris Opera and The Société des Concerts du Conservatoire. The first flautist to do so. With such a full life, Taffanel suffered a break down in 1901 and passed away in 1908.
Edward Blakeman brings Taffanel alive through this very accessible biography. 25 years of research through treasure troves of private documents. Archives of unpublished letters and papers recount his multi faceted career. This book gives light on one of the most influential men of flute history. A man who taught the flute as you play now. A must read.
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