August 2005 Convention
San Diego, CA

Telemann for Two

Thursday, August 11

Detroit Symphony Orchestra flutists Jeff Zook and Sharon Sparrow whetted our appetites by performing a duet arrangement of Telemann’s Fantasia No. 1. The clever second flute part adds an innovative twist to these pieces.

The session focused on using Zook and Sparrow’s Seven Rules of Ornamentation to add embellishments to music. Working well as a team, they explained and demonstrated seven “rules” using phrases from a Telemann sonata. We listened for examples of turns, neighbors, trills, appoggiaturas, scale fillers, arpeggios, and rhythm changes. Novice players were encouraged to begin by writing out ornamentation, a la Telemann’s Methodical Sonatas. The presenters assured us that after a while, “opportunities” in the music will be easier to perceive, and improvising on the spot will be possible. The main thing, they advise, is “don’t be afraid!” Knowing chords and staying within the character of the piece when adding embellishments are also important.

Zook and Sparrow made the session fun and entertaining through the use of humor, as well as providing a clear, concise explanation of Baroque ornamentation. I can’t wait to try their ideas with my students!

—Rosene Rohrer