Do you want to expand your flute repertoire? You should consider some of the best Romantic music for the instrument.
Not everyone loves Romantic music. But if you play the flute, it’s going to be a huge part of your musical education, so consider some of the following pieces.
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Boehm Grand Polonaise
The Boehm Grand Polonaise is definitely a show piece, but it sounds great when played well. If you or a student is at an advanced (college) level, you may want to consider working on this piece.
There are a lot of technical parts that make it hard to pull off. You’ll need to dedicate plenty of time to practicing it slowly. Be sure to have a plan for each practice session, especially if you don’t have much time to learn it.
Then, you’ll be able to work on the piece efficiently. When your recital or concert approaches, you can look forward to playing. I wouldn’t program it with other hard pieces, but it can be a great closer.
Of course, you can’t list out the best Romantic music for flute without mentioning the Chaminade Concertino. This piece is one of the standard works from the Flute Music by French Composers book.
I played this piece on my senior recital in college. It was fun to learn and perform, and it was cool to play a piece by a woman. If you’re looking to learn French Romantic music for the flute, give this piece a try.
It’s a suitable choice for college students or perhaps advanced high school students. You can add it to a recital, and it works well as the closing piece since it is a small concerto.
Doppler Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy
Sometimes called Fantaisie pastorale hongroise, Doppler’s Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy is another excellent work. It’s particularly nice because the composer was a flute player, so you know it will work well on the instrument.
The piece works well as a solo or with orchestra, and it’s not too difficult. If you’re looking for an intermediate solo for yourself or a student, consider using this fantasy.
It may not be as showy as the Chaminade or the Boehm Grand Polonaise, but it’s still worth learning. And if you don’t have time to learn it, use it for sight reading practice.
Doppler Andante and Rondo
Another piece by Franz Doppler is Andante and Rondo, and it’s an excellent work for two flutes and piano. If you have a flute friend and want to play a piece together, all you need to do is find a pianist.
This piece is a great addition to a recital, or you can play it for a jury or any other reason. As the name suggests, there’s an andante section as well as a rondo, so you can hear and play plenty of contrast.
You won’t find a ton of Romantic music for two flutes. So if you have a flute duet partner, give this piece a try. You may find it becomes one of your favorites.
Another one of my favorite Romantic pieces for flute is the Faure Fantasie. I played it on my junior recital, and it was the first piece I worked on out of the French book.
It starts with a slow section before moving to a faster part. That makes it a great piece to learn and play contrasting styles. The slow section can also work well as its own short solo, which is nice if you don’t want to learn the whole thing.
If you want to learn this piece, take your time with it. Then, you’ll be able to take in all of the musical elements. When you’re ready to perform, you can give the best show of your life.
You may want to play the Gaubert Fantasie if you like the fantasy style. It’s another piece that you’ll find in the French book. Unlike some of the other composers in that book, Gaubert was a flute player.
The piece is great for anyone looking to play a Romantic work that isn’t the Chaminade or Faure. Those pieces are fantastic, but they’re also pretty popular, and I haven’t heard as many people play the Gaubert Fantasie.
If you want to play a French piece, give this one a try. You can use it to learn the French style, or you can practice sight reading it. No matter your goals, this piece is one you should know as a flute player or teacher.
Gaubert Nocturne et Allegro Scherzando
Yet another piece you’ll find in the French book is Nocturne et Allegro Scherzando by Gaubert. The piece contains two different sections, so you can focus on learning one at a time.
Like a lot of Romantic music for flute, this piece is a great choice for a recital or concert. You can practice each section separately before bringing them back together for a full run-through.
It’s a great option for advanced high school or early college players. If you aren’t in school, you can play it as an intermediate or advanced flutist. Then, you’ll be able to make the most of the music.
Godard Suite de Trois Morceaux
The Godard Suite de Trois Morceaux is another great piece to learn. If you or your student is a lower intermediate player, start with the Allegretto movement. You’ll find it in a lot of solo books.
It also has a waltz movement and the movement Idylle. Those movements are a bit harder, so you should work on them when you’re a more advanced musician. That way, you can tackle the difficult sections and not overwhelm yourself.
I’ve played the Allegretto, and it’s an excellent introduction to Romantic music for flute students. Maybe one day, I’ll learn the other movements and re-learn the Allegretto for a full performance.
Another one of the Romantic pieces I’ve played is the Huë Fantaisie. It has multiple sections, from slow to fast and from 2/4 to 12/8. I played this piece on my second masters recital, and it was super fun.
The piece works as a solo with piano or with orchestra. To give flute players even more options, I arranged it to work as a flute quintet or as a flute solo with a flute choir.
If you’re looking to learn a French piece that’s from the end of the Romantic era, this is a good option. It’s a bit difficult, but it’s not too hard to put together with a pianist if you practice it well.
Kuhlau 3 Fantaisies for Solo Flute
Most Romantic music for flute requires piano or some sort of accompaniment. The Kuhlau 3 Fantaisies for Solo Flute is an exception. These fantasies don’t have any other parts besides the flute, so you can play it wherever.
If you don’t know a pianist or can’t afford one, give this piece a chance. While I haven’t played it, I have read through the first fantasy, and it will take a lot of work to prepare for a performance.
However, it can be well worth the effort if you like unaccompanied music. Then, you can perform it without needing another musician. And you won’t have to worry about missing important parts of the piece.
Kuhlau 3 Grand Trios
Another piece by Kuhlau that doesn’t require piano is the Kuhlau 3 Grand Trios. As the name suggests, this collection of pieces is for three flutes. I played the first movement of one of the trios on my second masters recital.
It was fun to work on with two of my good flute friends. The hard part is that this piece doesn’t have a score to work off of. You need to be careful about counting measures so that you can stop and start together.
But once you get that covered, it’s super fun. The melody moves between each part, so you don’t have to fight for the one exciting part. Even when you don’t have the melody, you can enjoy a cool line.
The Molique Concerto is yet another great part of the Romantic flute repertoire. It’s a full concerto, but many people will focus on the Andante movement. That can be nice if you don’t want to learn a full piece.
But if you want to learn a larger work, you can learn all of the movements. It’s a nice choice if you want to enter a concerto competition. You can also play it on a recital or any other sort of concert.
I haven’t played this piece, but it’s cool to listen to. Of course, it’s also worth learning, especially if you don’t want to just play the super popular pieces. Then, you can expand your repertoire.
The Reinecke Concerto is a German Romantic work for the flute. It’s another concerto, so it’s great to play with a pianist or a full orchestra. You can learn it and play it in college or after you finish school.
One of my friends played the piece, and it was fun to listen to. Even though I haven’t learned it, I’d still recommend it to many flute players. You can use it to expand your playing and learn all or some of the concerto.
It’s a fun piece to play for a jury or a full recital. You can use it to enter a competition, or play it for yourself. Then, you’ll be able to expand your repertoire past the standard French works.
If you prefer to play sonatas over concertos, you might like the Reinecke Sonata. This work is known as the Undine Sonata, and it’s a great choice to play flute with a pianist.
You can play this piece in all of the same ways as you would the concerto or a sonata by any other composer. I haven’t played this piece, but you should still consider learning it.
Whether you’re in school or not, it’s a great work to add to your repertoire. If you ever need a sonata to play for a recital or masterclass, this is a good one to know.
One of my favorite pieces of Romantic music for the flute is the Widor Suite. It has four movements that alternate back and forth between slow and fast. While I have yet to perform it, it’s fun to play through on my own.
If you want to learn it, be careful about the edition you use. Some of the editions, such as the free one, have a different ending. It’s worth paying for a version that has the full fourth movement.
That way, you can learn the entire piece correctly. But if you don’t want to learn the fourth movement yet, you can get away with any version. Just prepare to buy the music when you do want to finish learning the piece.
Everything in the Flute Music by French Composers Book
I’ve already mentioned some of the pieces from the Flute Music by French Composers book. Of course, the Chaminade, Faure, and Gaubert works are some of the best Romantic pieces for flute.
But you can get that book and learn anything in it. The Busser, Ganne, and Taffanel pieces are also worth learning. Really, anything you find in this book is worth your time.
You can stick to the more popular works or the lesser-known pieces. That way, you’ll have plenty of Romantic music to learn and perform.
What Romantic Music Will You Play?
If you play the flute, you’ll probably eventually play Romantic music. It’s a huge part of the repertoire, and there are tons of pieces to choose from.
Whether you prefer the Chaminade Concertino or the Reinecke Sonata, give all of these works a listen. Sight read the ones you like, and you can choose one or two to start learning more in-depth.
Do you want to play the Huë Fantaisie with flute choir? Head to Flute Files to download my arrangement!
Did I miss any great pieces? Comment them below!